Press-Republican

Columns

May 6, 2012

Spreading the word about recreation

The Vision2Action group recently completed its second public forum, this time on a vision for recreation in Clinton County.

Some of the details and discussion were absolutely thrilling.

One of the key elements is the inauguration of the Saranac River Trail. This trail, that now runs from Plattsburgh State to downtown, is now essentially complete. It is an amazing mile of scenic walkway, bikeway, runway or just about any way you can imagine.

It follows the bank of the Saranac River through a university of significant history, past cemeteries and historic battlefields, and continues along Pine Street to the edge of the downtown core. Eventually, as NYSEG completes its work, the trail may run right to the center of downtown.

Meanwhile, the Town of Plattsburgh is beginning discussion about how they could extend the trail farther west, toward the former Clinton County Airport and Saranac.

Already, this trail is a tremendous city asset, thanks in no small part to the support of Mayor Kasprzak and years of effort by its engineer, Kevin Farrington, and his team of volunteers.

This is the stuff of those who dream and who work for years to realize a dream that benefits all. Check the trail out for yourself. You will be impressed. You can even see it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q0ZlqePVaM on YouTube.

But wait, there's more. Whitewater kayakers have long appreciated both the quality and the accessibility of the Saranac River rapids. There is an idea afoot to tailor the rapids through Plattsburgh near the Bridge Street bridge. Imagine the opportunity such a world-class whitewater run would provide.

Kayakers can experience exciting runs while we watch and bask in the sun from a blanket on the grass adjoining the river. Such a facility will be just one more reason why our city is increasingly becoming a destination in itself, not just for its access to other destinations.

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