Friends of the Upper Hudson Rail Trail is a group that formed late last year to promote the conversion of the old National Lead rail line in the Adirondacks, into a bike trail.
The trail would follow the line that was used to transport iron from the Tahawas mining operation during World War II. The right-of-way begins in North Creek and makes its way along the Hudson and Boreas River valleys, until it reaches the old mine in the southern High Peaks.
My love affair with Adirondacks started in the 1970s when I began cycle touring the mountains. I loved the views and the water everywhere. But I soon tired of the sections of road without shoulders, and the interaction with traffic in some of the busier parts of the park. This bike trail could provide a 29-mile stretch of beautiful, peaceful Adirondack bike riding.
This project might not be easy to accomplish. There is a legal provision that was enacted when the right-of-way was originally established that dictates that when the rails are removed, the land reverts to the original owners. It would seem unfair after all these years to simply overrule that provision. On the other hand, the rail line has been in place a long time and the affected property owners might be willing to let it happen.
Whenever there are new land use proposals in the Adirondacks, things can get contentious. I’d like to understand the hurdles this project faces. How are affected landowners reacting to this idea? What other objections are being raised? Share what you know. Post a comment below.