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May, 2014

Limit trail to unused part of rail line

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Regarding the rails-versus-rail-trail debate: What am I missing? Why does it have to be all one or the other? Why not retain the existing tourist-train operations (at the Old Forge and Lake Placid ends) for as long as they remain viable, and develop the multi-use rail trail on the presently unused section of the right-of-way between those ends? That way everyone gets a piece of the pie. The tourist trains seem to be providing a desirable service for those seeking that experience, and the infrastructure seems to be well developed and in good working order where the trains now operate, >>More


May, 2014

Rail trail still the clear choice

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In the your March/April issue, reporter Brian Mann raised questions about the cost and other difficulties of converting the ninety miles of mostly unused rail corridor from Old Forge to Lake Placid into a recreational trail for biking, running, walking, and much improved snowmobiling [“Rail-trail questions”]. Whatever the challenges of converting the obsolete rail line to a world-class recreational trail in the Adirondacks, one thing is clear. It would be much cheaper than restoring rail service on the line. State Senator Betty Little believes the tracks should remain in place even though this would preclude the use of the corridor >>More


March, 2014

Recalling tragedy at Camp Santanoni

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I enjoy my subscription and read with great interest all of the stories. Any article about the Newcomb area and Great Camp Santanoni are most interesting. In 1971 I left my home in Liverpool, NY, to help search for Douglas Legg, a young boy who had gone missing on that private preserve. His grandmother worked with me at Niagara Mohawk in Syracuse. I worked with a large group of volunteers led by a state trooper out of Malone. Search groups went off in all directions, and planes flew overhead looking for “hot spots.” These turned out to be animals or >>More


March, 2014

Make Glens Falls a true gateway

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In the January/February issue of the Adirondack Explorer I was surprised and pleased to see an advertisement urging people to “Warm up in Downtown Glens Falls.” My wife and I have done exactly this since moving north of the city into the Adirondacks forty years ago. Early on, Glens Falls became our “go-to” place for shopping, entertainment, medical services, and a host of other activities. It remains so today because Glens Falls is a true gem. This being said, I’ve always wondered why Glens Falls and its business community in particular don’t take advantage of the city’s proximity to the >>More


March, 2014

Rail-trail idea shortsighted

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It is extremely unfortunate that your paper devotes so much effort to the establishment of a bikeway on the old Lake Placid-Old Forge line. My family and friends have ridden this line in the past and hope to do so again soon. It provides an experience that we have trouble finding elsewhere, that is a train trip in the wilderness. For the past thirty-seven years, my family has camped and rented in the Adirondacks in the summer and fall. We particularly enjoy hiking and canoeing. However, we would never hike on paths that were often used by bicycles, finding their >>More


March, 2014

Polaris Bridge built to last

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In your January-February issue, you had an extensive article titled “A Consensus Solution.” I would like to comment on the Polaris Bridge section. Dave Gibson from Adirondack Wild is reported as saying in regard to the bridge that it was meant to be temporary and should be removed. “Finch, Pruyn constructed this bridge to allow for easy de-construction. It should go, no question about it,” he is quoted as saying. This is not accurate, as Finch never intended to remove the bridge. We purchased the bridge, which had been used in Baltimore, and installed it in the early 1990s to >>More


March, 2014

Don’t restrict extended camping

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I like to camp and trap in remote areas of the Adirondack Park. I need permits for extended stays at a campsite, but I’m allowed only one permit during hunting season. Then I must remove my tent and gear. But trapping season extends for months past the end of hunting season. Then I’m allowed to stay in a campsite for only three days before removing all my gear. This makes it impossible to camp in remote areas. I’m only doing what my ancestors did for one hundred years. Trappers don’t harm the environment in any way with their tents. The >>More


January, 2014

Wilderness is vital to Adirondack economy

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In the It’s Debatable section of the November/December issue, Sue Montgomery Corey, then supervisor of Minerva, took the position that Wilderness Areas hurt the economy. To test this theory, on the opening day of the Essex Chain Tract, she polled several businesses in the local area and found that they had no increase in activity on that day. So she concluded that Wilderness Areas would not “draw a large contingent of hikers and paddlers who would exercise their economic power in the area.” Strangely, Hornbeck Boats was not part of her poll. We have operated a business in Minerva for >>More


January, 2014

Scenic railroad a success story

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I am surprised by your reporter’s description of the nonprofit Adirondack Scenic Railroad as “a shoestring operation” [“A trainload of questions,” November/December 2013], especially when you send me requests for a donation to keep your nonprofit magazine afloat! Most of the search-and-rescues and fire protection in the Park are done by struggling nonprofit volunteer organizations. I am amazed by the way you gloss over the major accomplishments of the railroad. In the last five years they have paid off all long-term debt and have paid down most of their accounts payable. Also within the last two years ASR even bought >>More


January, 2014

Set aside rail line differences

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The article “A trainload of questions” [November/December 2013] leaves a very negative impression of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, its paid staff, and scores of dedicated volunteers. In order to set the record straight, I would like to point out the following: Regarding the finances of the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society (ARPS) and the Adirondack Scenic Railroad (ASR), all long-term debt has been paid off as the story acknowledges. Last year ARPS purchased two rebuilt, updated locomotives for cash. ASR employs a highly qualified, professional, experienced mechanical and operating staff, both paid and volunteer. These staff members are committed to safety >>More


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