LAKE GEORGE - A network of bike trails in Lake George village could attract a considerable number of two-wheeled tourists while relieving congestion and making the resort village more family friendly, a local business owner told the town board Monday.
John Carr, owner of Adirondack Pub and Brewery, is seeking to establish a network of bike trails in Lake George, and Monday he asked the town to support his effort.
His initiative includes opening up Prospect Mountain Highway to bicycle traffic, establishing bike lanes on state Rte. 9 and establishing a bike route from the village up the Prospect Mountain access road and ending at the Lake George recreation complex.
Carr said many resort destinations are developing bike trails for family recreation and ecological transportation, citing examples of trails from Alexandria Va. to Washington DC, from Venice Beach to Santa Monica Calif., or along the city waterfront of Burlington, Vt.
"Imagine families riding bikes from Hampton Inn to Million Dollar Beach and back," he said. "This would be like what other destinations around the nation are now developing to attract tourists."
Town board members expressed support for his ideas.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation does not permit bicycles to travel up the Prospect Mountain Highway, as it only allows vehicles.
He said this DEC regulation was anti-environmental, discouraged enviro-tourism and restricted access to various prime mountain-biking areas.
Although the DEC said they have prohibited biking on Prospect Mountain "for bikers' safety," Carr said that bikers who possess the skills to complete the two-mile climb would be able to safely navigate the descent.
The Prospect Mountain Highway provides access to a series of well-maintained mountain-biking trails that then connect with Big Hollow Rd. which would bring ambitious two-wheeled trail riders back to the north end of the village, he said.
Merely opening up the lower quarter-mile of the highway, Carr said, would allow bikers to reach the entrance road for the municipal recreation complex, which provides access to a variety of woodsy trails suitable for mountain biking.
"We're presently missing a tourist opportunity that has substantial benefits at a minimum cost," he said, noting that striping pavement in many places is all that's needed.
Carr's plan, depicted on a detailed map he prepared, shows a network of trails including along state Rte. 9 and Canada St., up Beach Rd. to Million Dollar Beach, and down the Lake George waterfront in the village.
He said that if bike racks were installed on village trolleys traveling to Bolton Landing, two-wheeled tourists would gain convenient access to the various biking opportunities in the Bolton area, as well as south of Lake George village.
Hearing Carr's plan Monday, Supervisor Lou Tessier said he would suggest to state officials they consider his initiative and provide for traffic up the Prospect Mountain Highway - at the least to the Lake George recreation complex. The town board also said they'd be seeking to have bike racks installed on trolleys that circle through the town.
In other business at Monday's town board meeting, the panel named Dan Cracco as town director of youth retroactive to Jan. 1, appointed Dan Davis as director of mining operations, and hired Rebecca Coon as highway administrative assistant to replace Barbara LaFond, who is retiring after 23 years of service to the town.
LaFond received hugs and praise from board members and was presented with a service plaque.
Wendy Baird was hired as part-time assistant to the assessor to take over Coon's prior duties.