Trail beats junk rail for Tahawus

A rail trail would be an alternative to oil-tanker storage in Tahawus, which is surrounded by wild lands. Photo by Carl Heilman II
A rail trail would be an alternative to oil-tanker storage in Tahawus,
which is surrounded by wild lands.
Photo by Carl Heilman II

In August I rode the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Ididaride bike tour out of North Creek, along with five hundred other cyclists who came from far and wide. A grueling ride like this attracts only a small fraction of the general bicycling population—most greatly prefer the gentle and peaceful environment of a bike trail.  When I looked at all the cars in the field where we parked, I thought about how many cars were parked at the nearby rail station—a few dozen, perhaps.

I thought about how wonderful it would be seeing regular people and their families walking and biking on the rail corridor through North Creek. That is, if it were a rail trail. I thought about quietly gliding up the corridor to Tahawus myself, along the Hudson and the Boreas Rivers, across the Opalescent into the broad valley of the Upper Hudson formed by the High Peaks, to the most magical part of the Adirondacks—Tahawus.

Then I thought about how this would be the current reality had a different path been taken five years ago, one that would have led to a multi-use trail to Tahawus instead of a junkyard for oily tank cars, as the Saratoga & North Creek Railway now plans.

The Tahawus rail corridor is for sale again. The state ought to buy it, or provide the funds for Warren, Hamilton, and Essex counties to buy it. That would take care of the tank-car problem and give us a wonderful bike trail.

Curt Austin, Chestertown

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