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For Release: Friday, June 6, 2014

DEC Issues Revised Draft Adirondack Park Trail Plan for the North Country National Scenic Trail

Proposed National Trail Would Traverse Central Adirondacks

Public Comments Being Accepted Until July 7th

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 (DEC) released a revised draft Adirondack Park Trail Plan for the North Country National Scenic Trail (NST), DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The plan includes recommendations for the route of the National Scenic Trail through the Adirondack Park.

"Governor Cuomo recently held a tourism summit that focused on efforts to build this industry and create jobs, and the Adirondacks has long been a popular tourism destination for outdoor enthusiasts," Commissioner Martens said. "The North Country Trail will build on the existing network of trails in the region and increase outdoor recreation opportunities for New Yorkers and visitors. As New York works to incorporate the North Country National Scenic Trail into the state's Adirondack trail system, we encourage people to review the plan and provide input to ensure the trail will be a great addition to the magnificent Adirondacks."

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 renowned 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. DEC will also ensure it is developed and managed in a manner consistent with federal and state laws, policies and guidelines.

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.

The plan also proposes a route for the North Country NST that intersects nine Units of the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve: Black River Wild Forest, West Canada Lake Wilderness, Moose River Plains Wild Forest, Little Moose Wilderness, Jessup River Wild Forest, Siamese Ponds Wilderness, Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest, Hoffman Notch Wilderness, and Hammond Pond Wild Forest.

People who want to review the plan can visit DEC's web page: North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) or obtain a copy or CD version at DEC headquarters in Albany or DEC's Region 5 headquarters in Ray Brook. DEC will accept comments on the draft plan until July 7, 2014. Comments may be sent to Josh Clague, Natural Resources Planner, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway - 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4254 or emailed to

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