Ideas for developing recreational facilities are now being sought from the public by local officials, and a meeting is set for Wednesday July 30 to air the proposals.
The meeting is to be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Town of Chester Municipal Center auditorium on Main St. in Chestertown.
All are invited to attend.
The municipal planning firm LA Group of Saratoga Springs will be moderating the session.
The employees of LA Group have noted that municipal recreational assets leverage tourism, thus having a substantial impact on the local economy.
At the July 30 meeting, the LA Group will be presenting plans for recreational trails and a playground at Dynamite Hill, in addition to many ideas already suggested.
Local residents are urged to identify their favorite places as well as think about what facilities may need improvements to enhance the local quality of life. Also, town officials and the planners are seeking ideas for new facilities that residents and visitors would enjoy.
Ideas discussed to date by a citizens’ advisory committee include developing a safe walking path from North Warren Central School to Dynamite Hill, constructing a playground and walking trail in the fields and woods west of the Chester Municipal Center, and building sidewalks from the Chestertown hamlet south on Rte. 9 to the Rite Aid Pharmacy Plaza and to Hudson Headwaters' Chester Health Center.
Another idea proposed is to obtain public access to the Panther Mountain trail, plus developing trailhead parking and signs there.
Some citizens have suggested upgrades to the D.C. Van Weelden Memorial Park including developing ballfields, a fitness trail and small playground, and establishing a trail from the park to the Chester Municipal Center.
Another concept raised is to acquire ownership or establish an easement on Sullivan Pond and its surrounding land for hunting, fishing, hiking, and canoeing opportunities. Acquiring such an easement would likely provide watershed protection for Friends Lake, according to the advisory group members. The recreational opportunities could tie in with the D.C. Van Weelden park, along with the snowmobile trails along National Grid right-of-way and other Town of Chester lands north of Sullivan Pond.
Also proposed is upgrades at the Starbuckville Dam — providing park benches, bike racks, signage, kayak or canoe access; building a barrier-free fishing platform; and promoting bike routes in the Schroon River area of Chester.
Also suggested has been developing bicycle routes from Chestertown to both Brant Lake and Scaroon Manor campgound.
Citizens have also proposed developing a continuous snowmobile trail between the hamlets of Schroon Lake and Pottersville.
Adding a kayak launch and promoting picnicking, fly-fishing and wading at Gambles Beach has also been suggested.
Another concept that has elicited support has been upgrading the Pottersville municipal park by adding signage and making safety and aesthetic improvements to the playground there, as well as installing lights on the park’s basketball court.
Other ideas include extending the area’s snowmobile trail network into Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest and improving conditions at Schroon River recreational access sites.
Also suggested is developing a trail system between Palmer Pond and Ice Meadows land and Lake George Wild Forest acreage.
Citizens have also proposed developing trailheads, parking areas, kayak access and campsites along appropriate publicly owned stretches of the Hudson River.
Suggested improvements at Loon Lake include landscaping the perimeter of the Town Beach and establishing a road crossing; building a formal canoe and kayak boat launch and developing an upgraded biking loop around Loon Lake, beginning at the pocket park located at the intersection of state Routes 9 and 8.
A similar bicycling loop developed around Friends Lake would be pleasant for residents and visitors alike, some citizens have said. Developing a bike trail along state Rte. 8 between Riparius and Chestertown has also been proposed.
Another suggestion has been to establish a scenic overlook and kayak take-out along Friends Lake Road at The Glen on the Hudson River. People have also called for widening of road shoulders and erecting signs to promote biking safety and convenience.
Also proposed is the expansion of snowmobile trails on a portion of the Igerna Tract to Henderson Mountain.
Citizens have also called for improving signage identifying and promoting recreational opportunities throughout town.
This effort to boost recreational facilities and opportunities in the town of Chester is part of a project of the First Wilderness Heritage Corridor initiative, which encompasses similar work in Warrensburg, Stony Creek, Thurman, Johnsburg, Hadley, Lake Luzerne, and Corinth.