By PETE KLEIN
Express News Staff
INLET - Many wished they were going snowmobiling when they gathered at the 7th Lake boat launch here Friday, Feb. 14, for the grand opening of a major new community connector snowmobile trail through the Adirondack Forest Preserve from the Moose River Plains to Raquette Lake.
The 12.8-mile multiple use trail links the communities of Inlet, Raquette Lake and Indian Lake. It does not require a snowmobile permit.
The trail is a new opportunity for snowmobilers, hikers and bicyclers in Hamilton County. It is joined with the current Moose River Plains Wild Forest trail system that connects to Newcomb in Essex County and Old Forge in Herkimer County.
State Department of Environmental Conservation crews had help from the Student Conservation Association’s Adirondack Program; the towns of Long Lake, Inlet and Indian Lake; the New York State Snowmobile Association; and local volunteers.
They worked for six months to build what is the most significant trail project to be undertaken in the Central Adirondacks in decades.
The trail runs 5.1 miles east from the Limekiln - Cedar River Road near Fawn Lake to State Route 28 across from the Seventh Lake Boat Launch, then continues east from there to the north end of Sagamore Road in Raquette Lake.
Speakers at the ceremony included Adirondack Park Agency Chairwoman Leilani Ulrich, DEC Region 6 Director Judy Drabicki, DEC Region 5 Director Robert Stegemann, Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Chairman William Farber, Assemblyman Marc Butler and Dominic Jacangelo, executive director of the New York State Snowmobile Association.
“With the opening of this trail we mark the culmination of longstanding efforts ... to link the communities of the Western Adirondacks to a statewide trail system,” said APA Chairperson Lani Ulrich. “Under Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo’s leadership, community connector trails will increase recreational opportunities and strengthen the economies of communities that rely heavily on tourism.”
“Hamilton County and the towns of Inlet, Long Lake and Indian Lake are very appreciative of this outstanding trail and the enormous effort DEC and others put into completing it in such a short time,” said William Farber, chairman of the Hamilton County Supervisors.
“We appreciate the vision of Gov. Cuomo and [DEC] Commissioner [Joe] Martens who recognize that economically sustainable communities connected to forest preserve and conservation easement lands are needed to ensure a healthy and vibrant Adirondack Park.”
A map of the trail may be viewed and downloaded from the DEC website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89235.html.