For Release: Saturday, June 7, 2014
DEC and ADK Celebrate National Trails Day in the Adirondacks
90th Anniversary of Northville-Placid Trail Includes Dedication of Trailhead Relocation and Trail Reroute
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) celebrated National Trails Day® and the 90th anniversary of the Northville-Placid Trail (NPT) today in the Village of Northville by dedicating the relocation of the trailhead at the southern terminus of the Northville-Placid Trail (NPT) to Waterfront Park in Fulton County.
"DEC, ADK and others continue to work to ensure that the Northville Placid Trail is a premier long distance trail that provides a high quality experience for those who hike it," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "The relocation of the trailhead is a great example of connecting Adirondack communities to the forest preserve. Governor Cuomo and I support efforts to develop the outdoor recreation and tourism industry in the Adirondacks. On National Trails Day it is important to celebrate the natural wonders of the Adirondacks that can be preserved, enjoyed by visitors and benefit local communities."
"The Northville - Placid Trail was the very first project of the newly created Adirondack Mountain Club some ninety years ago," said ADK Executive Director Neil F. Woodworth. "Since then, ADK has devoted countless hours to improve and maintain this longest of Adirondack foot trails. Our ADK Professional Trail Crew with DEC funding has eliminated almost all of the previously lengthy road walking portions of the trail. ADK volunteers have spent many thousands of hours maintaining the trail since 1924, including bridge repairs, bog bridging, side cutting and blowdown removal work. The Northville - Placid trail is one of the premier backpacking opportunities in the country and we are very excited that this year's National Trails Day projects will replace 5.5 miles of road walking with a new hiking trail in a beautiful section of the Forest Preserve."
National Trails Day® and the 90th anniversary of the Northville-Placid Trail (NPT) was celebrated in Northville's Waterfront Park with exhibits from DEC Forest Rangers, ADK and others, food from local eateries beer from local breweries, live music, displays local artists, outdoor demonstrations by various organizations, attractions for children and more. The celebration was sponsored by the Adirondack Mountain Club in conjunction with the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Northville Merchants Association.
The relocation of the trailhead adds 0.8 miles to the length of the NPT, and provides many benefits to hikers starting or finishing their NPT trip. Parking, lodging, dining and supplies can all be found in the Village and Town of Northville. Not to mention much more relaxing and attractive setting than the former location near the intersection of State Route 30 and Bridge Street.
A reroute of the NPT was also dedicated today. The reroute included seven miles of new trail in the Silver Lake Wilderness combined with upgrades to the former Woods Lake Trail. The new route eliminates 1.6 miles of walking along the Benson Road for those hiking the NPT. The new route was identified by a DEC Forester and the Adirondack Mountain Club Field Program Supervisor. DEC contracted the Adirondack Mountain Professional Trail Crew to construct the new trail with assistance from numerous volunteers.
This is part of a continuing effort to improve the experience for those hiking the only long trail in the Adirondacks. A previous reroute into the Blue Ridge Wilderness completed in 2009, eliminated nearly 6 miles of walking along the Cedar River Road. A planned reroute through the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest will connect with the most recently completed reroute and eliminate another 5.5 miles of walking on the Benson Road and State Route 30. Once this reroute is completed, DEC and ADK will eliminate almost all of the previously existing road walking portions on the Northville-Placid Trail.
DEC has expended more than $250,000 on reroutes, foot bridge construction, basic maintenance and other improvements to the NPT during the past five years. The Adirondack Mountain Club Professional Trail Crew (ADK Pro Crew) was hired to complete five major projects along the NPT during that period - including both the Blue Ridge Wilderness and the Silver Lake Wilderness reroutes. The ADK Pro Crew will also be working on the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest reroute beginning this year and are expected to complete the new reroute in 2016.
The Student Conservation Association's Adirondack Program expended more than 2,500 hours of member time on projects along the NPT in 2013.
Volunteers from the Adirondack Mountain Club provided more than 1,900 hours of work on the NPT during the previous four years and scheduled to spend another 600 hours this year.
ADK recruits volunteers to complete trail improvement projects each year for National Trails Day. This year numerous volunteers worked on projects along the recently completed reroute of the NPT, including constructing rock steps, rock retaining walls and rock turnpikes. One volunteer crew also worked on constructing new trail on the future Shaker Mountain Wild Forest reroute.
American Hiking Society's National Trails Day® is the country's largest celebration of trails. National Trails Day® is a nationally recognized trail awareness program that occurs annually on the first Saturday of June and inspires the public to discover, learn about, and celebrate trails while participating in outdoor activities, clinics, and trail stewardship projects. National Trails Day® is a registered trademark of American Hiking Society.