About Gwendolyn Craig

Gwen is an award-winning journalist covering environmental policy for the Explorer since January 2020. She also takes photos and videos for the Explorer's magazine and website. She is a current member of the Legislative Correspondents Association of New York. Gwen has worked at various news outlets since 2015. Prior to moving to upstate New York, she worked for a D.C. Metro-area public relations firm, producing digital content for clients including the World Health Organization, the Low Income Investment Fund and Rights and Resources Initiative. She has a master's degree in journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She has bachelor's degrees in English and journalism, with a concentration in ecology and evolutionary biology, from the University of Connecticut. Gwen is also a part-time figure skating coach. Contact her at (518) 524-2902 or gwen@adirondackexplorer.org. Sign up for Gwen’s newsletter here.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Plow boy says

    i can only wonder when this rail trail all done who or whom will be snow grooming this new rail trail NYS or local snowmobile clubs?
    Too all snowmobilers ride safe this season so as to spite the anti-snowmobile lobby

    • Tom Paine says

      The local clubs will be doing the grooming on the trail. Odd how on other multi-use trails in NYS all users co-exist with no problems.

    • Tom Paine says

      The grooming will be done by the local snowmobile clubs. Partially paid for by NYS snowmobile registration trail funds. What I find strange is there are other multi-use trails in New York State where snowmobile, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, walking, and bicycling co-exist quite well. The NYS canal trail would be one example. One can not see why co-existence would not work in the Adirondack Park as well.

    • Boreas says

      Visibility shouldn’t be a problem! Slow down when passing others using the trail. Perhaps if the trail is ever groomed, ski tracks could be set as well beyond the edges of the snowmobile section. I believe groomers can be modified to do this.

  2. upstater says

    “Megan Phillips, deputy director of planning for the Adirondack Park Agency, also told commissioners on Thursday that in addition to snowmobiling, cross country skiers, fat bike riders and snow shoers would also be able to use the segment of trail.”

    Anybody trying non-motorized use of any snowmobile trail in winter is risking their life. This isn’t like a designated bicycle lane, the whole thing is wide open to machines. Ms Phillips should be discouraging non-motorized use.

    • Josh Wilson says

      “Anybody trying non-motorized use of any snowmobile trail in winter is risking their life. This isn’t like a designated bicycle lane, the whole thing is wide open to machines. Ms Phillips should be discouraging non-motorized use.”

      Seems a tad alarmist.

      Cross country skiers have been sharing this corridor with snowmobiles for decades. Is it ideal for skiing? Not really. But are skiers risking their life? Hardly. Ms. Phillips should NOT be discouraging non-motorized use because that use is entirely appropriate and legal according to the State Land Master Plan.

      I’ve been cross country skiing in this area for about 20 years, and frequently ski on different sections of the former rail corridor around Saranac Lake, Lake Clear and Fish Creek. The vast majority of snowmobilers are friendly and courteous to other trail users, and most skiers are smart enough to step to the side when they hear sleds coming. Sled tracks can be fun to ski on in certain snow conditions.

      The Jackrabbit Ski Trail route from Paul Smiths to Saranac Lake utilizes about 8 miles of the corridor to make a connection between Lake Clear and Fowler’s Crossing. This route has been in use by Jackrabbit skiers for over 30 years, and there has never been a reported incident between a snowmobiler and a non-motorized trail user. More recently the corridor has become popular with fat bikers because snowmobiles and groomers create a perfect riding surface for this activity.

      I skied a section of the Rail Trail yesterday. A snowmobile passed by. I did not fear for my life. We both waved, and continued enjoying the snow, each in our own way. Imagine that…

      Josh Wilson
      Executive Director
      Barkeater Trails Alliance

      • Boreas says

        Josh,

        I agree. I have shared snowmobile trails as long as there have been snowmobiles. Some primitive backcountry trails can be pretty tight, but judicious use of a horn(?) easily alerts pedestrians and skiers from behind. Just allow us ample time to move over – especially in waist-deep snow off the trail.

  3. Daniel Bogdan says

    Just put the tracks back. And run winter trains. Polar Express out of Utica entertains 800- 1000 customers per night. Why not at Lake Placid/ Saranac Lake?The recently introduced coach/upscale winter trains (Cabin Fever trains) are quite popular. Why not at Lake Placid/ Saranac Lake? And develop a parallel trail for non-motorized use. Just a thought for now.

  4. Plow boy says

    My vanilla comment/question was deleted I said nothing Naughty but did ask the snowmobile community not to give ammunition to the anti-snowmobile lobby so, I assume that is why my comment was removed. This bias is so the way of the green tainted media IMHO

    • Boreas says

      It isn’t always the big-bad wolf. Your first post remains. Was it a duplicate? My posts take about 24-48 hours to post because of moderation. But I also believe the server/software is less than perfect. Try posting it again!

      • Plow boy says

        Boreas in reply to your comment
        You were right my 1st comment disappeared until i posted my 2nd Comment
        Then when i posted my 2nd comment my 1st comment popped up immediately!?
        So all good as for safety on an old RR bed the trail is quite safe as the site distance is almost unlimited as a RR bed is almost straight As a snowmobiler I love seeing others enjoy the trail with me but do feel a bit guilty as the skiers & fat bike riders are getting a good healthy workout and i am not LOL

  5. Plow boy says

    Boreas in reply to your comment
    You were right my 1st comment disappeared until i posted my 2nd Comment
    Then when i posted my 2nd comment my 1st comment popped up immediately!?
    So all good as for safety on an old RR bed the trail is quite safe as the site distance is almost unlimited as a RR bed is almost straight As a snowmobiler I love seeing others enjoy the trail with me but do feel a bit guilty as the skiers & fat bike riders are getting a good healthy workout and i am not LOL

  6. Plow boy 1 says

    You were right my 1st comment disappeared until i posted my 2nd Comment
    Then when i posted my 2nd comment my 1st comment popped up immediately!?
    So all good as for safety on an old RR bed the trail is quite safe for all users as the site distance is almost unlimited as a RR bed is almost straight As a snowmobiler I love seeing others enjoy the trail with me but do feel a bit guilty as the skiers & fat bike riders are getting a good healthy workout and i am not LOL

  7. Brian Woods says

    Josh Wilson’s comment was perfect. I was out on the Adirondack Rail Trail a couple of days ago on skis and has a very similar experience. I crossed paths with a fat biker and a snowmobiler and both slowed and waved. The trail is a multi-use space year-round; the quality of the entire experience depends on all of us coming together to normalize best practices in the use and support of the trail. The construction occurring on the trail over the next few years will only make the Adirondack Rail Trail better for users, the businesses they support, and the communities it connects.

    Brian Woods
    Executive Director
    Adirondack Rail Trail Association

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