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Lake Placid could get $1.2 million trailhead on Adirondack rail trail

A group of five people hold shovels of gravel on a trailhead.
Emily Russell
DEC Region 5 Director Joe Zalewski, Commissioner Basil Seggos, OGS Commissioner Jeanette Moy, DOT's Steve Gagnon, and Saranac Lake mayor Jimmy Williams breaking ground on the 34-mile Adirondack rail trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake, Feb. 14, 2023.

A green group is aiming to invest $1.2 million in a trailhead in Lake Placid on the eastern end of the Adirondack Rail Trail.

The 34-mile trail has been under construction since 2021, with crews pulling up old rail ties and laying down a new surface.

At the Adirondack Park Agency’s meeting last week, the APA’s Megan Phillips revealed plans for a new trailhead on the eastern end of the trail.

“The Open Space Institute received a municipal parks grant for $500,000 to build a trailhead in the village of Lake Placid, so that’s really exciting," said Phillips.

That trailhead would be near the Lake Placid History Museum, where the rail trail ends. The Open Space Institute is now looking to raise an additional $700,000 in private funds for the project. 

OSI says it’s also eyeing $300,000 from the state’s Environmental Protection Fund to buy the property from the Lake Placid Historical Society.

"This project is part of a larger effort by OSI to establish new public access to trails," an OSI official explained in a statement, "expand year-round recreational opportunities, and better welcome and orient new and experienced visitors to recreational destinations in the Adirondacks, and beyond."

Two people snowmobile past a chain-link fence on a forest trail.
Emily Russell
Snowmobilers on the Adirondack rail-trail in Saranac Lake.

According to the APA's Phillips, OSI is hoping to have the parking portion of the Lake Placid trailhead complete by fall 2023.

That lines up with construction plans for the section between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. Crews started grading and resurfacing that portion of the Adirondack Rail Trail late last year and expect to be done by this fall.

The final section of trail, between Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake, isn't expected to be complete until 2025.

This story was produced by North Country Public Radio.

Emily Russell, NCPR