Rail-trails are proven draws

My family loves to visit the Adirondacks once or twice a year—it is my children’s favorite place to go.  Over the years we have taken advantage of many activities the area has to offer—biking, hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, camping, canoeing, you name it.  We recently learned of the campaign to convert the old railroad tracks to a recreational trail. We are very excited about this, having had access to these types of trails for vacation adventures and in our own community.

We live just outside Seattle in Sammamish. Seattle has for years been converting old railroad beds to multi-purpose trails. They recently opened a section near our house (the Sammamish River Trail) that connects to the Burke-Gilman trail into Seattle (over 30 miles of trail). My family and I use this trail weekly for walking, running, or biking. It is a heavily used trail and a beautiful way for many people to experience the outdoors. The trail can be used by anyone—mothers with strollers, people in wheelchairs and young and old alike. We have also used the Iron Horse Trail over the Snoqualmie Mountain Pass nearby that includes a two-mile bike tunnel. This is a hundred-mile trail that connects Cedar Falls to the Columbia River.

In addition this summer while vacationing in Idaho we were lucky enough to take advantage of The Hiawatha Bike Trail. This is a fabulous trail that has the most breathtaking scenic stretches of wilderness in the country. It is considered to be the “crown jewel” of rails-to-trails and includes ten tunnels and seven high train trestles.  It was a fabulous experience for our family.  Adding such a trail to the Adirondacks would attract many people to the area who feel the same.

Rails-to-trails allow you to see a different part of the country than you normally would.  They are a great way for many people to experience the outdoors—whether by hiking, biking, running, skiing, etc. A multipurpose year-round trail will have a greater economic impact on your communities than a single-purpose summer train.

Laurie Urh, Sammamish, WA

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