Press-Republican

Outdoors

June 8, 2014

DEC issues revised draft plan for National Scenic Trail

As part of a federal effort to expand the national trail system across the northern U.S., the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has released a revised draft Adirondack Park Trail Plan for the North Country National Scenic Trail (NST).

The plan includes recommendations for the route of the National Scenic Trail through the Adirondack Park.

In March 1980, federal legislation authorized the establishment of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NST) as a component of the National Trails System. To date, Congress has authorized the establishment of eight National Scenic Trails — long-distance, non-motorized trails that follow major geographic features or pass through scenic areas. National Scenic Trails are patterned after the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, commonly known as the Appalachian Trail.

The projected length of the North Country NST is approximately 4,600 miles, stretching across the northern tier of the United States, and approximately 2,000 miles have already been completed. Under federal law, the trail is being developed and managed through a federal-state-local-private partnership, with the National Park Service providing overall administration and coordination.

In November 2007, DEC released the Draft Adirondack Park Trail Plan for the North Country NST for public comment and review. The plan described a proposed route for the trail across the central region of the Adirondack Park. The revision to the draft plan proposes includes changes to the proposed 2007 route based on public comment and information gained from scouting trail alternatives.

The plan recommends following approximately 81 miles of existing foot trail and constructing 38 miles of new trails within the park. In addition, it is estimated that 39 miles of temporary connections along roads will be initially utilized to make connections along this route. Within the Adirondack Park, the North Country NST will be approximately 158 total miles in length when complete, stretching from the Hamlet of Forestport in Oneida County to the Hamlet of Crown Point on the shore of Lake Champlain.

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