‘Arranged’ walks would draw visitors

I read the article “Moose inspires idea for trail” [May/June 2016] with great interest. The Algonquin-to-Adirondacks trail, which is proposed to promote a wildlife corridor, could also provide economic benefits to nearby villages and hamlets. I’ve backpacked many times in the Adirondacks, including the Northville-Placid Trail.

I also enjoy long-distance treks that enable hikers to spend evenings in B&Bs or inns along the way. I’ve done such walks in the British Isles, where the terrain and the existence of small villages along the way is conducive to such adventures. A local company provided me with multiple options based on distance, terrain, etc. They coordinated overnight lodging. They arranged the daily transport of my bag from place to place; I only had to carry a day pack. They provided me with a detailed itinerary that included route notes and a map, packing list, evening meal suggestions, some local history, etc. My experiences have been uniformly wonderful, and I certainly supported local businesses (restaurants, pubs, markets) along the way. On these trips, other walkers often asked me if I did such walks at home. My reply was that we weren’t quite set up for such supported walks where I live (in upstate New York).

I believe, however, that with some careful planning and coordination with local businesses, we could have such opportunities here in the Adirondacks and nearby regions. Most important, I believe this could be accomplished without compromising, in any way, the environmental integrity of the areas that such arranged walks would traverse. With local communities facing economic challenges, I think such arranged walks provide a real win-win opportunity for the region’s residents and outdoor enthusiasts.

Dennis Sullivan, Ballston Lake, NY

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