With the growing popularity of bicycling, and the lure of being the only long-distance, multi-use trail within the Adirondack Park, the proposed thirty-four-mile Lake Placid-to-Tupper Lake trail along the Adirondack rail line would be a major draw.
Bicycling is now the second-most common form of outdoor recreation in the United States, with sixty million Americans enjoying the activity. More Americans bicycle than golf, ski, and play tennis combined. Twenty-seven million Americans have taken a bicycling vacation in the past five years.
The economic benefits to the area would clearly be substantial. No less important are the ways a multi-use trail would enhance quality of life, improve mental and physical health, and address rising health-care costs. Our state will spend about $9.9 billion on adult obesity-related health problems in 2011 and $136.3 billion over the next ten years, according to a recent study by the Commonwealth Fund. This huge taxpayer expense is almost entirely preventable with increased physical activity.
A multi-use trail will provide an enhanced quality of life for visitors and residents alike. Let’s make it happen! Robin Dropkin, Albany
Dropkin is executive director of the nonprofit
Parks & Trails New York.