About Tim Rowland

Tim Rowland is a columnist, author and outdoors writer living in Jay.

Reader Interactions


  1. Alvin R Breisch says

    When I read the response to “Once the track has been removed, is it permissible to ride or hike on the trail before its official opening? If so, what kind of bike is recommended prior to resurfacing (hybrid, fat tire, etc.)?” I actually laughed out loud.

    The answer was “To protect public safety, recreational use is strongly discouraged due to uneven terrain.” Uneven terrain? It is a former railroad. Nearly flat. Sure there may be depressions at first where the railroad ties were removed but I hardly imagine the “uneven terrain” will be as uneven as many of the High Peaks trails.

    • Boreas says


      I suspect the word they meant was surface, not “terrain”. Poor choice of wording. There may also be bridges that are unsafe or perhaps even unusable. I think they are just not encouraging use at this time until they feel it is relatively safe to use as a mountain bike trail.

  2. Peter says

    The tracks never should have been removed. There are more than enough trails for pollution spewing snowmobiles and ATVs in the park already.

    • Cynthia Clark says

      The State of Pennsylvania has taken over Rail Trails. PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Pennsylvania Game Commission, Snowmobile Clubs, ATV clubs cutting down trees using their gasoline vehicles and doing a lot of damage to properties along these corridors. The land was supposed to revert back to the landowners when the railroads went bankrupt. The landowners pay taxes and insurance on their land that the railroads went through while these organizations get grants to takeover the landowners land. Don’t be fooled into thinking these are nature trails. They are just big land grabs that the states are getting for nothing. We pay their state salaries, so in essence the people are funding it all.

      • Boreas says


        I am not sure what you are trying to say. NYS bought this particular corridor ages ago and has owned it ever since. The question was, what to do with it after the trains stopped running, since it runs mostly through state lands. No land was “grabbed” – the taxpayers have “owned” it for a long time.

    • Scott Thompson says

      R U serious? The rail removal will not add motorized recreation yet the rail restoration will add smokin’ diesels rather than hikers and bikers. Look on YouTube and watch the diesels. Then there is the railroad ties; there will be well over 100,000 new stinking ties leaching preservatives into the watershed. The worst thing is loss of business. The Adirondacks are losing population at an alarming rate.

    • Daniel P. says

      I’m not replying to be argumentative, I’m seriously asking, I know where trails are for snowmobiles but are there any state owned trails for ATV’s? I do agree 100%, should have left the rails there and made some other accommodation.

  3. Alan Fisher says

    Several years ago my family rode from Lake Placid to Saranac Lake on the rail train. Guess that will never happen again. At that time there was a talk that it might be maintained. Now it is gone from Lake Placid to Tupper Lake. Will the same thing happen to the rail from Tupper to Big moose? I expect the rail was originally used for logging and perhaps the only or best way to traverse the area. Is there any writings of the history, development and decline?

  4. william c hill says

    “In the meantime, DEC and the Office of General Services (OGS) are working on obtaining the necessary wetlands permits from the APA “-

    Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into an albatross around the neck of the entire project.

  5. Daniel C. says

    Back when the whole thing was in court, I argued, that I would travel to places to ride the train for the fall foliage, mystery dinner theatre, or even the rail bike. I’m not traveling to those places to ride my bicycle or walk the trail, I can do that right where I am.

  6. Bill Keller says

    Yet another waste of tax dollars for the rail portion. The Saratoga to North Creek rail line failed twice. Not many people want to pay to ride old worn out rail cars and if they do it’s only once. Today the stations in Thurman and Hadley sit idle.Trains are not profitable, period. That means after wasting tax dollars on repairing the rail line, building sidings, etc. tax dollars will be needed to keep it in operation. Politicians never learn from previous mistakes, they keep repeating them.

  7. Mark Jacob says

    Pure idiocy…

    And for the locals who think it’s “great”, do they agree it’s great that their tax dollars will have been spent to 1.) rehab the railroad, then 2.) remove the railroad, then 3.) build the trail?( and hopefully eventually when cooler heads prevail, once again 4.) rehab the railroad)?

    I know I’d be some pissed if my taxes got spent 3 times over in the same place on this back and forth boondoggle and then in the end of it all, all there was was a path through the woods. I love paths in the woods. But there are probably thousands of miles of them in the ADKs, most of them are “better” paths in the woods than this, and most of them only required a fraction of tax dollar expenditure and only required it once. Maybe next will tear up some of I87, make it into a trail, and then come back in 10 years and make it I87 again all with “your tax dollars at work”?

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