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North Country Now, link to original post

The Adirondack Mountain Club Laurentain Chapter schedule is as follows:

• October 6 the club will climb Noonmark Mt. An almost-High Peak with spectacular views of the Great Range, near St. Hubert’s. six miles of rough terrain, 2,200 feet of gain. Steep, but slow pace. Strenuous. Contact John Barron 315-613-828-2296 or johnbarron@sympatico.ca

• October 12 the club will climb Furnace Mt. To avoid the crowds on Columbus Day weekend, we’ll climb a little mountain few know of, off the Red Tavern Road. About six miles RT and 900 feet elevation gain. Moderate. Contact Armond Spencer 315-379-1383.

• October 13 there will be an afternoon “Kids Pirate Hike” on Red Sandstone Trail. A joint event with Nature Up North. This three mile walk on mostly level ground includes a hot dog and marshmallow cook out midway along the trail (all food provided). A little known band of Pirates from the Caribbean lost their gold along this trail. Learn the legend and look for their treasure. Along the way we’ll learn about frogs, beavers, hydropower, the history of the region and more. Limited to 24 participants. Contact Blair Madore madorebf@potsdam.edu or 315-265-0602 to reserve your spot.

• October 19 climb Debar Mt. Named after Quebec native John Debar, renowned hunter and 19th century guide, start from Meacham Lake state campground through beautiful forest, past kettle holes at gentle slopes except for the final half-mile, which is quite steep. 7.4 mile RT, with over 1600 feet of climb. Strenuous. Great views to the west. Contact David Trithart 315-265-8117 or dtrithar@twcny.rr.com

• October 24 participants will climb in Malone and watch snow geese return. Not just for birders. We’ll travel to Malone to watch a spectacular evening display as the Snow Geese come back to the Salmon River for the night. It’s an easy walk in the park, We’ll plan to stop for dinner on the way home. Easy. Contact Ann Spencer 315-379-1383.

• October 25-27 there will be a Stone Valley Trail work weekend. There will be many SUNY Potsdam Students involved, therefore, we are primarily in need of crew leaders that know the Stone Valley trails, and/or have experience with trail maintenance and construction. Projects will include: trash clean-up, trail marking, bridge building, mountain bike trail construction, clipping brush, and trail maintenance. Please contact Mark Simon by October 14th simonm@potsdam.edu or 315-262-2571 if you can lead a crew or would like to participate.

• November 2 there will be a bike ride on the St. Lawrence River. We’ll try for one last bike ride along the St. Lawrence River, from a scenic overlook to Kring Point Park and back. The round trip total is 28 miles. Moderate. There are shorter options, contact the trip leader for details: Tom Ortmeyer tortmeye@gmail.com or 315-265-8219.

• November 10 there will be an annual meeting and fall pot luck will be held at the First Presbyterian Church on at the park, 17 Park St., Canton. Bring a dish to share and your own tableware. Arrive at 5 PM for supper to start promptly at 5:30. Our guest speaker will be Dr. Bill Kirchgasser, Professor of Geology, Emeritus, SUNY Potsdam, who will present “Lines, Planes, and Curves of the Adirondacks: A Geologist’s Perspective”. Contact John Barron johnbarron@sympatico.ca or 613-828-2296.

• December 7 there will be an early season ski, snowshoe, and hike at Higley Flow State Park. Kids, grandparents, and dogs are invited on our annual two to three mile romp. We’ll finish with a campfire at the Warm Brook Lean To with hotdogs, hot chocolate and marshmallows provided. Easy walk. Contact Blair Madore madorebf@potsdam.edu o r315-265-0602.

• December 14 there will be a snowshoe hike at Indian Creek. Celebrate winter with an easy snowshoe or hike of about 2 miles at Indian Creek Nature Center, just outside of Rensselaer Falls. We’ll finish with free s’mores and cocoa. A fun event for kids. We have snowshoes to loan. Level 1, easy. Dress in layers. Contact Ann Spencer 315-379-1383.

• December 14 there will be a cross-country skiing outing will be at Whiteface Toll Road. This was an annual event for the chapter for many years. Whiteface often has snow when the low country is bare. This is a very strenuous climb of five miles one-way. Ability to ski in crusty and wind-swept snow is essential. Conditions can be harsh, and participants must dress for cold and wind. Very strenuous. Contact David Trithart 315-265-8117 or dtrithar@twcny.rr.com

• December 21 climb Mt. Marcy on the solstice. At 5,344 feet this is the highest of the High Peaks. This one is for experienced winter climbers. Dress in layers, balaclava, goggles, gloves/mittens, micro spikes/crampons, snowshoes, insulated water source and a determined spirit! With a long exposed summit windchill can be big factor. Heavy snow and or high winds will cancel. Very strenuous. Contact Brian Baston 315-600-1282 or brian.b.goode@gmail.com

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To fully enjoy the sights and smells that autumn in New York has to offer, try walking or biking along a multi-use trail. Take your time as you stroll or pedal your way through a canopy of bright fall foliage, breathing in the fresh air, and drawing in the scenery around you.

Multi-use trails such as rail and canal trails, greenways and bikeways are family friendly places to walk, run, or bike. Many are along historic railways or canal corridors and are mostly flat. Many of the trails are also located near scenic rivers and streams. One thing they have in common, however, is that they all offer a view of the beautiful foliage during the fall months.

Parks & Trails New York has put together a list of Ten Terrific Trails we recommend for fall.

To find a trail near you, use TrailFinder, Parks & Trails New York’s online guide to multi-use trails across New York State at www.ptny.org/trailfinder. TrailFinder can be used to search for trails in several ways—by trail name, by trail attributes such as length, surface, allowable uses, distance from a particular location, or by browsing the interactive map.

Parks & Trails New York is New York’s leading statewide advocate for parks and trails, dedicated since 1985 to improving our health, economy, and quality of life through the use and enjoyment of green space. Find out more about Parks & Trails New York by visiting www.ptny.org and our Facebook and Twitter sites.

Take Your Bike - Rochester available at www.footprintpress.com

Take Your Bike – Rochester available at http://www.footprintpress.com

Erie Canalway Trail – Between Albany and Buffalo more than 270 miles of Erie Canalway Trail provide the opportunity to experience quaint towns and a bounty of fall color along the state’s historic New York State Canal System.  The longest continuous stretch of trail begins in Lockport, about 10 miles east of Buffalo, and continues 100 miles to Lyons along the Erie Canal in western New York.  Other long stretches can be found in the 36-mile Old Erie Canal State Park between Dewitt and Rome in central New York and the more than 40 miles of trail between Little Falls and Amsterdam in eastern New York. When completed, the Erie Canalway Trail will provide 365 miles of multi-use trails along the canal, making it the longest intra-state trail in the country.

Genesee Valley Greenway
- In western New York, the Genesee Valley Greenway’s well-known “tunnel of green” turns to red and yellow as more than 60 miles of trail follows the Genesee River and the abandoned Genesee Valley Canal through woodlands, farmlands, and historic villages from Rochester to near the Pennsylvania border.  Within Letchworth State Park, the Genesee Valley Greenway affords sweeping views of the famous gorge and waterfalls of the “Grand Canyon of the East.”

Take Your Bike - Finger Lakes available at www.footprintpress.com

Take Your Bike – Finger Lakes available at http://www.footprintpress.com

Catharine Valley Trail – The hillsides resplendent with autumn color above Seneca Lake are a perfect backdrop to begin a visit to the Catharine Valley Trail in Watkins Glen.   The 10-mile trail follows abandoned railroad and canal towpath corridors through the 900-acre Queen Catharine Marsh, historic villages, and a heavily wooded, glacially carved valley Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes.

Pat McGee Trail – In the western Southern Tier, the relatively rural 12-mile Pat McGee Trail offers the opportunity to experience the colors of fall while passing through woods, wetlands, and open fields filled with rich a variety of plants, trees, and wildlife.

Cato-Fairhaven Trail – Ponds, wetlands, and old farm buildings add to the rural and agricultural charm of the 14-mile Cato-Fairhaven Trail.  Dense stands of sumac, beech, maple, and aspen trees provide plenty of fall color along this corridor near the shores of Lake Ontario in Central New York.

TOBIE Trail
 
– What better place to experience autumn color than in the Adirondacks.  There are plenty of opportunities to be surrounded by the best of fall foliage from this 12-mile trail that connects the five mountain communities that give the trail its name – Thendara, Old Forge, Big Moose, Inlet, and Eagle Bay.

Catskill Scenic Trail
– The Catskill Scenic Trail follows the route of the former Ulster and Delaware railroad. Young and old will find this an easy and enjoyable route through the foothills of the Catskills.  The trail parallels the West Branch of the Delaware River for the entire route and offers many delightful fishing spots.

Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park:  Drink in breathtaking views of the Hudson Valley fully decked out in autumn color from more than 200 feet above the middle of the river on the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world.  The Walkway is the center piece of a 3.6-mile loop that links riverside parks, cultural attractions and historic points of interest on both the Poughkeepsie and Highland waterfronts.

North County Trailway  Following the bed of the former Putnam Division of the New York Central Railroad, this paved trail winds more than 22 miles through the woodlands, parks, and suburbs of Westchester County.  Historic rail stations and a beautiful bridge across the New Croton Reservoir add to the appeal of the route.

Bethpage Bikeway – The 6.5–mile Bethpage Bikeway links Long Island’s Bethpage State Park with the South Shore at Massapequa.  From the Park, the trail passes through a mature forest cover along the Bethpage State Parkway before entering the mixed evergreens and deciduous forests of the Massapequa County Park and Preserve.  The park’s ponds, wetlands, and Massapequa Lake and Creek can all be experienced from the trail.

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Explore Fort Ticonderoga on Land and Water!

Explore Fort Ticonderoga on Land and Water!

For the first time ever, visitors to Fort Ticonderoga will be able to explore one of America’s most significant historic sites on water and land.  The new recreational activities will highlight Fort Ticonderoga’s rich historic landscape.  A new interpretive hiking trail winding around Carillon Battlefield offers guests an unparalleled opportunity to explore the site’s epic history and natural beauty and a new canoe rental program provides a unique perspective of the Fort’s history from the stunning waters of Lake Champlain. Admission to the Carillon Battlefield hiking trail is included in a Fort Ticonderoga’s general admission ticket.  Details on canoe rentals can be found at http://www.fortticonderoga.org/visit/recreation or call 518-585-2821.

“Our story is in our landscape,” said Beth Hill, Fort Ticonderoga President and CEO. “The unique combination of lakes, hills, mountains, and streams that surround Fort Ticonderoga made it a strategic location in the 18th century and make it one of North America’s most beautiful destinations today.  Its history cannot be appreciated without an understanding of its landscape.”

“This season Fort Ticonderoga begins a new chapter in connecting its epic history with its remarkable landscape by opening access to locations on its grounds that have been inaccessible to visitors.”

The new interpretive hiking trail winding around the long, rocky ridge jutting through the center of the Fort Ticonderoga peninsula and down to the LaChute riverside plains below leads guests to several very different parts of the site, including the Carillon Battlefield. A trail pamphlet identifies several points of historic and natural interest along the 2 mile route.

Viewing the Fort from Lake Champlain is possible through the new canoe rental program where the site’s unspoiled views and Fort’s strategic importance becomes even more apparent when viewed from the lake’s surface.  A self-guided brochure provides highlights of the historic and scenic waterway.

Recognized as the top destination in the Adirondacks by USA News Travel, Fort Ticonderoga connects all guests to a place and time that defined a continent, a nation, and its continued legacy.

Fort Ticonderoga offers more than one hundred exciting and unique events and programs this season! Visit www.FortTiconderoga.org for a full list of ongoing programs or call 518-585-2821. Funding for the 2013 season is provided in part by Amtrak.  Visit http://www.fortticonderoga.org/visit/directions for a special 2 for 1 Amtrak offer!

FORT TICONDEROGA – America’s Fort ™

Located on Lake Champlain in the beautiful 6 million acre Adirondack Park, Fort Ticonderoga is a not-for-profit historic site and museum that ensures that present and future generations learn from the struggles, sacrifices, and victories that shaped the nations of North America and changed world history. Serving the public since 1909, Fort Ticonderoga engages more than 70,000 guests annually and is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of Fort Ticonderoga’s history.  Accredited by the American Association of Museums, Fort Ticonderoga offers programs, historic interpretation, tours, demonstrations, and exhibits throughout the year and is open for daily visitation May 17 through October 20, 2013. The 2013 season features the Fort’s newest exhibit “It would make a heart of stone melt” Sickness, Injury, and Medicine at Fort Ticonderoga which explores early medical theory, practice, and experience as each relates to the armies that served at Fort Ticonderoga in the 18th century.  Visit www.FortTiconderoga.org for a full list of ongoing programs or call 518-585-2821. Fort Ticonderoga is located at 100 Fort Ti Road, Ticonderoga, New York.

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by Claire Woodcock, North Country Public Radio, link to original post

The St. Lawrence County Recreational Trails Advisory Board has been working for some time to create a sustainable community-linking system throughout the county. Last week, community members had their first look at maps of the trail route.

Last Thursday evening, more than 100 people gathered in the Colton-Pierrepont Central School auditorium to learn more about the St. Lawrence County Multi-Use trail system and what it will mean for the community. The more-than-200-mile system is called “Blazing Trails,” and will extend from Franklin to Lewis Counties. The trail will be multi-season and multi-use, and open to snowmobilers, ATV users, mountain bikers, horseback riders, hikers, cyclers, cross country skiiers, dog sled users, and snowshoers. The committee hopes to extend the trails further with smaller trails diverging from the main tracks.

County Trail Coordinator Deb Christy says the multi-use trail system will promote tourism in the North Country, benefitting local businesses that have struggled to remain open.

Christy said that the system will showcase the County’s beautiful natural setting. “We want all our area people to get out and enjoy our great outdoors. I mean we have beautiful assets in the North Country, and we feel everyone should get out and be able to use them in whatever manner they choose to use them.”

Christy and others said the formation of the trail system is expected to help new and established local businesses expand and succeed in the community, and to attract travelers from outside the area. “We worry about the economy in the North Country,” Christy said, “and we want to be able to bring more dollars into our small businesses to keep them going year round. We hate seeing businesses close right and left and we want them to be able to stay and have sustainable income all year, not just part of the year.”

Many ATV users attended the meeting, and most seemed in favor of the trail system as a whole. However, there was some dispute over how the motorized vehicle users and hiking and skiing enthusiasts would share the land and continue to enjoy their differing recreational activities. At the meeting, several community members expressed their unease about noise and fumes from the ATVs on the new trail, which prompted some ATV owners to grumble and walk out of the meeting.

By the end of the summer, the first part of the trail is expected to open to the public in Colton, Pierrepont, Parishville, and Hopkinton, connecting St. Lawrence and other neighboring counties.

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By CRAIG FOX, Watertown Daily Times, Link to original post

With Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo pushing to promote tourism and Upstate New York, Dr. Jason F. White said he believes now is the time to go after state funding to complete the city’s hiking and biking trail system that runs mostly along the Black River.

In the past couple of decades, the city has finished almost 2½ miles of trails. Now, Dr. White and the Riverfront Committee are eyeing an addition to the system. And state funding could help pay for new trails, he told members of Advantage Watertown on Thursday. “I don’t think we should miss this opportunity,” Dr. White told the group of business and community leaders.

Last week, Gov. Cuomo held a tourism summit in Albany and announced what he called the largest tourism campaign in decades, committing $60 million to promote the industry. His proposal included a major advertising campaign in New York City to promote upstate tourism.

Dr. White and Advantage Watertown Chairman John K. Bartow Jr. will attend Monday night’s Watertown City Council work session to push for the city to apply for a grant from the North Country Regional Economic Development Council for trail funding. The Riverfront Committee is a subgroup of Advantage Watertown. “As a group, we can get the momentum going,” Dr. White said.

Almost all of the system is on the river’s south side. The trails mainly snake through the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds, Veterans Memorial Riverwalk, Factory Square and the Marble Street, Whitewater and Waterworks parks.

Last year, more trails were added in Marble Street Park and Bicentennial Park, along the river at the fairgrounds. They were added when overall park improvements were completed there. The first set of trails was completed in Waterworks Park, across from Huntington Heights, during the 1980s.

So far, the city has completed 21 projects along the Black River, Dr. White said, adding the city could use in-kind services by Department of Public Works crews as a matching grant for the state funding. Dr. White suggested applying for $100,000 to $150,000 to complete additional trails.

The city has worked to increase public use in and around the river. Besides the trails, a handful of companies now operate rafting trips along the river, Mr. Bartow said.

Senior City Planner Michael A. Lumbis, a member of the Riverfront Committee, said the city still has about $47,000 remaining for Black River funding that could be used for trail improvements.

Mr. Bartow said that other communities, including Wilna, Carthage and Lyons Falls, have made recent improvements along the river or plan to do so.

Advantage board member Peter W. Schmitt, who is also executive director of the Watertown Family YMCA, suggested that the group would be more successful in lobbying for funding if it can prove how much the trails are used by the public.

While the city does not track such data, rafting trips attract about 40,000 people a year. The City Council’s work session starts at 7 p.m. in the third-floor council chambers at City Hall, 245 Washington St.

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Click here for a resource on Northern New York Trails: Mainly Jefferson County, NY and surrounding areas – Mountain Biking, Hiking, Trail Walking, Cross-Country Skiing, Camping, Nature Trails/Preserves, Parks with Trails, and Historical Trails

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The Black River Trail is so popular, New York State Parks and Recreation hopes to expand it and have it connect to all the other parks from Black River to Eastern Boulevard in Watertown.

Black River Trail was once an abandoned railroad, which dated back to the 1800s. The abandoned railroad was secured by the state and made into a recreational trail.

Click here for info on the current Black River Trail.

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Backcountry Skiing Raymond Brook Ski Trail – North River, NY

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By STEVE VIRKLER, Watertown Daily Times, link to original post

The Lewis County Development Corp. is seeking grant funding to take on a long-discussed rails-to-trails project that still may include a scenic railroad. “The concept was to preserve these rail lines,” said Lawrence L. Dolhof, corporation president, noting the railroad idea particularly spurred his group’s interest.

The development corporation has applied for funding through the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to undertake a project similar to one proposed by the county that eventually was derailed by a conceptual schism among legislators.

County officials earlier this year proposed buying the 10-mile Lowville and Beaver River Railroad line from Lowville to Croghan from the Mohawk, Adirondack & Northern Railroad Corp. for $425,000; the county then was to acquire the 17-mile Lowville Industrial Track from Lowville to West Carthage for $1.

Under the proposal, the corporation, a subsidiary of Genesee Valley Transportation, Batavia, was to remove tracks from the donated spur so it could be developed as a recreational trail, with the Lowville-to-Croghan spur remaining intact to allow the Railway Historical Society of Northern New York possibly to operate a scenic railroad from its depot in Croghan.

The county was to use a $450,000 Environmental Protection Fund grant, awarded in 2010, for the purchase.

While most legislators didn’t seem opposed to the rail acquisition itself, some were concerned about possible county expenses and problems following the purchase and wished to give local municipalities input on usage and limit all-terrain-vehicle usage on any trails. Some property owners along the lines also questioned how trails would be managed to avoid disruptions to neighbors.

Lawmakers were unable to reach a suitable compromise on motorized-vehicle restrictions and, in May, a majority of lawmakers chose to scrap the idea as a county project and turn down the state funding.

While the state grant could not be transferred from the county to the LCDC, the nonprofit corporation could apply for project funding through the same grant program, Mr. Dolhof said. “The whole thing hinges on the grant,” he said.

LCDC discussions on the project have been limited, given that the grant funding is not a certainty, Mr. Dolhof said. However, he did suggest that part of the group’s rationale to consider the project was to keep alive the potential for a scenic railroad.

John S. Herbrand, GVT’s secretary and general counsel, at an informational session in late March said that if the proposed deal with the county ultimately fell through, the rail company likely would remove all of the rails on both lines for scrap metal. The company then could either hold the land or seek out a nonprofit agency, such as a snowmobile or ATV club, willing to take over the corridors for trail use.

GVT would presumably try to rid itself of the lines before the end of 2013, when a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement on them expires. The company now pays little to no taxes on the rail property, since the PILOT is based on a percentage of revenue generated by the lines rather than the actual land value. “Somebody’s going to end up with title to it,” Mr. Dolhof said.

Having a local entity take over the railroad property would be preferable to an outside developer buying it and making money by selling easement rights, as has happened elsewhere, he said.

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Champlain Canalway Trail

Great news from Washington County!  The NYS Canal Corporation has announced that construction will begin on a segment of the Champlain Canalway Trail next fall. Totaling 4.5 miles, the trail will pass through the Town of Kingsbury before ending in the Village of Fort Ann.  Further improvements planned include the construction of camping facilities at Lock C-9 and the placement of interpretive kiosks along the finished trail. Read more about the project.

source: Parks & Trails New York e-newsletter

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