About Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch is a multimedia reporter for the Adirondack Explorer. He can be reached at mike@adirondackexplorer.org. Sign up for Mike’s newsletter

Reader Interactions


  1. Nate P says

    While I understand the appeal, I personally feel that allowing snowmobiles on the trail detracts from the tranquility of nature due to the noise they create. Even though they may not physically damage the trail, the auditory disturbance can diminish the natural experience for many

      • Nate P says

        While I genuinely recognize the dedication and enthusiasm of snowmobilers, I find it somewhat challenging to discern the extent to which they could have impacted the trail’s creation and sustainability so significantly. While their involvement might have had some positive aspects, the potential environmental and auditory disturbances posed by recreational snowmobile use, such as noise pollution, cannot be overlooked. It’s my belief that snowmobiles, given their potential to affect the environment and other trail users, should be reserved for authorized personnel who use them for maintenance, safety, and other necessary tasks. It’s vital to strike a balance between acknowledging the contributions of snowmobilers and ensuring the trail remains a serene and ecologically intact space for everyone.

        • Daniel Bogdan says

          The noise standard only applies to individual sleds. Still too loud especially with numerous sleds passing by,

        • Nate P says

          Without a doubt, I’ve observed that frequently, snowmobilers come in sizable numbers, which amplifies the noise and contributes to environmental degradation. This often drives wildlife away and disrupts the serenity of our natural surroundings. Furthermore, the rising concern of theft and associated crimes are alarming. Transitioning to human-powered modes of transportation without engines would not only diminish these problems but would also simplify the process of apprehending culprits.

        • Tom Paine says

          Decibel levels are not linear they are logarithmic. So a group does not get louder than a single sled. There are also many multi-use trails across NYS that are shared by snowmobilers and other user groups. The NYS canal trail is one as well as many in the western New York region, Canada and other snow belt states. And to accuse the snowmobile community of looting when it is not even winter is despicable. What is despicable is the under handed dealings of certain a APA official who has used their position for their own gain in the Saranac Lake region. A never ending song of NYS bureaucratic corruption.

        • Nate P says

          Understood, but the actions of individuals, whether on a snowmobile or not, shouldn’t reflect the entire community. Just like any vehicle, a snowmobile can be used with good or ill intent. If other motorized vehicles are prohibited in certain areas for specific reasons, it’s worth discussing whether those same reasons apply to snowmobiles and ensuring that regulations are consistent and fair for all.

        • Tom Paine says

          The New York State Snowmobile Association has been issued the winter use permit for the travel corridor from NYS for the past 25 plus years.The local snowmobile clubs along the corridor have signed groomed and made it work for those years. The snowmobile community insures the corridor in the winter months as required under the permit. We are far from being new users to this corridor. Oh, and a snowmobile has a special vehicle classification under NYS law. That is why we are allowed and other motorized used is not in the park.

        • Paul says

          Nate this train has left the station so to speak. Snowmobiles were part of this compromise if the state were to kick them out now the well would be so poisoned and nobody could ever trust them again.

    • Bob says

      I would recommend time of use access restrictions. Certain days or certain times of day would allow snowmobile use. Other days and times would be for non snowmobile users. Mixing snowmobiles with skiers and snowshoers is a recipe for Danger and even Death. Another idea is to transition to only battery electric snowmobiles with public chargers along the route. This would eliminate emissions and reduce noise. But mixing users with less noise might be even more dangerous.

      • Daniel Bogdan says

        Just because one way of measuring sound levels is logarithmic (decibels-dB(A)) doesn’t mean that a group of sleds is no louder than a single sled. For another example several loudspeakers are much louder than a single one.

      • Brian says

        Bob, you do realize that the snowmobile clubs will have the burden of maintaining these trails with no additional funds from walkers, bikers and cross country skiers. Maybe those 3 communities could chip in for grooming efforts and make it a true multi use trail.

  2. George says

    I hope that there will be infrastructure installed to allow for cameras/surveillance in the future to catch any crime being committed by using the trail.

    • Boreas says


      It is sad, but probably will be necessary given DEC staffing. It will also be necessary for camp owners to upgrade the security of their property and minimize valuables left at camp. DEC certainly underestimated the appeal of the trail for ne’er-do-wells. Tightened security should have started once the rails were removed. Signage and fences won’t take the place of enforcement.

      • Paul says

        It’s too bad, you used to not need to worry much about “security” at camp.

        Seems safer at home these days, sad.

    • Dana says

      At this point, it isn’t a rail trail, it is a 34 mile construction zone under the control of various agencies and contractors. Perhaps give it a chance to operate as intended for a season before calling it a “debacle”.

  3. Larry Roth says

    This was never going to be the unmixed blessing the trail advocates promised. Ripping out the rail line is going to go down as one of the biggest mistakes ever inflicted on the tri lakes.

  4. Al W. says

    “The moment the trail opens we’re going to have hundreds or thousands of people there every week,” said a pro-trail person.

    It’s a good thing marijuana is legal now because some of the trail advocates are smoking some really good stuff !

    Upgrading the railroad to a viable level would probably have cost less and kept a lot of the issues away. Trains self-regulate tresspassing.

  5. Robert M. Ellsworth says

    As a proponent of keeping the railroad intact — I say give them the chance to finish the trail, and see ‘if they will come’.

    Just don’t expect any more State money to fix any shortfalls or ‘surprises’. We should expect the ARTA people to step up to the plate if that becomes necessary.

  6. Daniel Bogdan says

    You got that right Larry, what a debacle as Paul noted. Once people realize this they will want the tracks back, so many benefits when the railroad was in town. Time to put the tracks back.

  7. Anonymous says

    Bad look for the DEC staff overseeing this. No thought to local businesses ? Really? Rob Daly at it again with nonsense like the illegal road re-built in Tahawus… how did that get swept under the rug so well ? Maybe the explorer should follow up.

  8. chris says

    Snowmobile usage is probably a mistake. Noise pollution for sure but pretty much eliminates cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Too many yahoos like the ones around Old Forge. They have enough trails already.

      • Gary Algier says

        I have been cross country skiing on a no-snowmibile trail and had to dive into the brush to keep from being flattened by a snowmobile. I would never choose to ski where they are allowed.

        • Rob says

          Flattened?? Maybe a little exaggeration?? I’ve never had any issues with snowmobiles while XC country skiing. And I’ve never had any issues with XC skiers while snowmobiling. Sad that when someone doesn’t like something it needs to be banned or eliminated

  9. Eben Knowlton says

    Please give the trail a chance! I know some were disappointed the trail did not continue its rail function ,but these kind of trails have been a great success throughout the U.S..As a avid cyclist, I can’t wait until it’s completed and my friends and family can come for a group weekend visit! ( Conn.).

    • Barry Lobdell says

      Exactly! The trail is hardly a “debacle” and there’s no reason to think it will ever wear that label. It will be a true asset throughout the Tri Lakes region, not just for the users of the trail either, since businesses near the trail will get a boost from riders, whatever the season. Snowmobiles have used this corridor for years and there’s no reason to think that continuing that use will cause any problems which haven’t already been seen and dealt with. Bottom line – stop complaining and lets see what the reality of the trail becomes.

  10. Buck says

    I say give snowmobiling a chance, and I’m not even a snowmobiler! Huge for winter businesses along the trail. I live in a town where snowmobiling is an economic boost, at least when there’s snow. Again, not to mention the work they’ve done (yes, and everyone else too. Sorry for hurt feelings). I just remember the early days of ARTA and how everyone worked together. Keep it that way.

  11. Paul says

    The set-up in Saranac Lake with all the asphalt and the railings and fences, that is not what I saw in their plans. Who is making sure they adhere to the original plan? Can they just wing it?

    • Paul says

      I don’t think so. Motorized not permitted in the forest preserve, only snowmobiles are allowed. I don’t even know how they can build this thing legally? TRP I guess.

  12. TrailOgre says

    ATVs and Dirtbikes on the trail ….what a surprize!!

    GEE…..nobody saw that coming !!!!

    If you think that, I have a bridge to sell you ……..

  13. Joan Grabe says

    When I think about how AdkAction sponsored the Camoin Study and then Lee Keet and Dick Beamish went to work and started ARTA which raised money, held public meetings, went to town meetings and even went to court to argue for the rail trail, I get so angry at the nay sayers on this site. It was so many years ago and the untold hours put in by volunteers over those years to raise the money for this project and to push it forward should humble us all. The unsightly and temporary construction paraphernalia will disappear, nature will blur the raw edges and all will look wonderful. And without the snow mobile association this would have never gotten off the ground. ARTA will deal with any kinks after it opens. And I am sure that the tracks and the trains will never return.

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