Mountain Lake Journal - December 27, 2013

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Adirondack Scenic Railroad tourist train

Between Lake Placid and Big Moose, the railroad travels through miles and miles of wetlands, lakes, and low-lying wooded areas, which would be lovely when viewed from a bug-proof train. The snowmobile club representatives who want this to become a recreational trail are probably right that, given good snow conditions, converting the railway to a recreational trail would bring lots of tourists for about 12 weeks of the year, mainly on weekends. But for the rest of the year, I doubt either of these men has ever tried to walk beside an Adirondack bog on a spring or summer day, but you certainly wouldn't want to be pushing a stroller unless you were planning to feed your child to the mosquitoes. It wouldn't make any sense to spray such a narrow corridor against mosquitoes, unless you’re planning to poison the wetlands.

I think the proponents of a train running from Utica right to Lake Placid have the right idea, and that this would be very attractive to New Yorkers and foreign tourists alike. To say that the train has been given a fair chance to prove itself does not seem correct, and I think the line should be opened all the way to Lake Placid in order to understand if it’s viable or not.

As far as locals using the trails for commuting between towns or for recreation, again I think summer trails in low-lying areas offer only limited attractions, and I doubt, for example, that someone would be willing to spray themselves with mosquito goop every morning in order to ride the trail during the calm periods of the day when the bugs are at their worst. Also, when days are short in the spring and fall, few people will want to venture onto a narrow, unlit trail unprotected from wildlife of both the six and four-legged kind.

Linda De Witt more than 2 years ago

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