NORTH CREEK - The non-profit Friends of the Upper Hudson Rail Trail, Inc. has been selected to receive trail development assistance from Parks & Trails New York as part of the statewide non-profit's Healthy Trails, Healthy People program.
The program is aimed at helping New York residents develop more active communities and an enhanced quality of life through creation of new or enhanced usage of existing multi-use trails. Select communities receive support and assistance with technical issues, planning, public outreach, grant writing, fundraising, programming, organizational development and other activities critical to the long-term success of trail projects.
"It is an honor to be recognized by Parks & Trails New York for this award," said Curt Austin of Friends of the Upper Hudson Rail Trail, Inc. "Local governments are supportive, and the level of community enthusiasm is awesome."
Parks & Trails New York will assist the Friends of the Upper Hudson Rail Trail, Inc. as they generate community and government support for the creation of a 29-mile multi-use trail within the Adirondack Park between North Creek and Tahawus. The trail will follow the railway formerly used to haul ore from the National Lead Industries mine, passing through the towns of Johnsburg, Indian Lake, Minerva and Newcomb, and the counties of Essex, Hamilton and Warren.
The exact nature of the types of multi-use intended for the trail will be decided as the project progresses by the communities involved, according to Fran Gotcsik of Parks & Trails New York.
"We hope to create a trail that will best benefit the public good and be used by as many people as practical," said Austin. "It is possible that the trail will be used by snowmobile in the winter, but that will be determined in later discussions."
Selection was based on level of community support and commitment to the project, clearly defined project goals, ability of the trail to increase physical activity levels within the community, and the level of need within the community. The amount of community support struck Parks & Trails New York and contributed heavily to their selection choice.
"This special trail will attract people from all over the Adirondacks and surrounding areas," said Sterling Goodspeed, town of Johnsburg supervisor.
According to Dr. John Rugge, chief executive officer of the Hudson Headwaters Health Network, "One of the most important issues in the prevention of disease is ensuring that people get enough exercise. Clearly, the development of this trail will afford people additional opportunities for healthy lifestyle activities."
Parks & Trails New York will now join the Friends of the Upper Hudson Rail Trail, Inc. in meetings with the APA and other procedural activities in order to move forward with the project. Austin hopes to have the project near completion within five years. The average trail takes 10 years to complete.
To find out more information on the project visit, www.upperhudson.org or www.ptny.org.