North Elba To Join Legal Fight For Rail Trail

Tourist train near Saranac Lake. Photo by Susan Bibeau.

The town of North Elba plans to retain an Albany Law School professor to appeal a judge’s decision blocking the creation of a 34-mile rail trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake.

The Adirondack Daily Enterprise reports that the town, which includes Lake Placid, will engage Michael Hutter to file a friend-of-the-court brief if there is an appeal.

The newspaper says the town board also unanimously passed a resolution in support of appealing the decision by Acting Supreme Court Justice Robert G. Main Jr. The resolution cites the economic and health benefits of a rail trail.

Town Attorney Ron Briggs predicted that Main’s decision, if appealed, will be reversed. He also said Hutter’s legal work would cost the town nothing or a minimal amount.

The Adirondack Railway Preservation Society, based in Utica, had sued to stop the state from tearing up tracks to create a trail for biking, hiking, and snowmobiling along the 34-mile corridor. Main agreed that the state’s plan violated the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan and historic-preservation laws.

The state has not announced whether it will appeal.

Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates, a booster of the trail, is urging the state to both appeal the decision and take steps to satisfy the judge’s legal objections.

Click here to read the Enterprise article.


About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

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