By ARIEL ZANGLA, Daily Freeman, link to original post
Comments are being sought on a draft amendment to the Kaaterskill Wild Forest Unit Management Plan that would allow for one mile of newly designated trails to connect state lands with the Kaaterskill Rail Trail.
“We are very pleased to propose this plan amendment, which will allow for improved public enjoyment of the forest preserve,” state Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Director Gene Kelly said in a press release. “Once completed, this rail trail extension will run from the hamlet of Haines Falls to the site of the former Laurel House Hotel and then connect with trails leading to DEC’s North/South Lake Campground.”
In all, one mile of newly designated multiple-use trails in the Kaaterskill Wild Forest are proposed for non-motorized recreation purposes, the Department of Environmental Conservation said. The agency said the system would be developed in two phases, the first of which would entail construction of the trail between Haines Falls and Old Laurel House at the south end of Laurel House Road. The second phase would continue the trail to the east and require construction of a bridge across Spruce Creek, the agency said. The agency said local user groups plan to raise funds and apply for grants to fund the bridge.
The bridge would link the trail to the Escarpment Trail that is part of North/South Lake, said Michelle Yost, watershed assistance program coordinator for the Greene County Soil & Water Conservation District.
“It’s wonderful,” Yost said of the proposed plan amendment. She said the proposal would allow for the connection of the Kaaterskill Rail Trail to state land. Yost added that the Kaaterskill Rail Trail will open June 1.
The Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting comments on the proposed amendment until May 17. Comments can be sent to Frank Parks, Senior Forester, NYSDEC, 65561 state Highway 10, Suite 1, Stamford, N.Y. 12167, or via email at email@example.com. The draft plan amendment is available online at www.dec.ny.gov/lands/80993.html.