On Friday afternoon, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Marc Gerstman announced New York is launching a new initiative to create a multiple use “hut-to-hut” recreation trail system that will directly link lodging and other local visitor amenities with public lands within the ‘Upper Hudson Recreation Hub’ of the Adirondacks. This area encompasses the 5 towns in the heart of the Adirondack Park, including Newcomb, Minerva, Indian Lake, Long Lake and North Hudson.
Multi-use hut-to-hut trail systems draw visitors seeking a destination-based experience where they can visit for more than a day at a time by providing access to lodging and amenities along the way. When complete, this new recreational opportunity in this region of the park will give another economic boost to the Adirondack community by creating incentives for the expansion of local lodging and amenities for visitors.
“Governor Cuomo is committed to making the Adirondacks a destination for tourists in New York State.” Acting Commissioner Gerstman said, “The outcome of the Upper Hudson Recreation Hut-to-Hut initiative will be a workable blue print to accommodate improved public access to Forest Preserve and conservation easement lands coupled with lodging, for the benefit of tourists, sportsmen and women, outdoor enthusiasts of all types and the people and communities of the 5 towns region of the Adirondack Park.”
DEC has engaged Leading E.D.G.E., LLC to develop a proposed path for the Hut-to-Hut trail system, aligned with existing and potential lodging (huts.) Leading E.D.G.E. will work cooperatively with DEC, the Adirondack Park Agency and New York State Department of State and the local towns on their ongoing efforts to expand outdoor recreational opportunities in the Adirondack Park. The proposal they shape coupled with ideas for implementation will be shared with the public for review and comment early next year.
In recent years New York State, with the full cooperation of local municipalities, is embarking on a number of plans to knit the state-managed lands with communities and private holdings that complement one another. Stakeholders such as the towns, the Common Ground Alliance, conservation organizations, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and the Adirondack Park Agency are working on a number of planning activities to accomplish the integration of state lands with private and municipal holdings for the economic benefit of the region and the environmental protection of the Adirondack Park.