The Adirondack Rail Trail Plan Takes a Big Step Forward

ALBANY — The transfer of a 34-mile section of an Adirondacks railroad platform from one state agency to another is announced as the start of a major phase to convert it into a recreational trail.

The part of the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor – the future Adirondack Rail Trail between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid – has been transferred from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Environmental Conservation, marking the official start of a design and construction phase for the development of a trail for hikers, cyclists, cross-country skiers and snowmobilers.

Beginning in October 2020, the DOT worked to remove sections of railroad from the Tupper Lake to Lake Placid segment of the corridor, leading to last week’s transfer of jurisdiction. CED will henceforth ensure the management of public safety and recreational activities as well as the maintenance of the section.

According to the DEC, the first of three stages – Lake Placid to Saranac Lake – is scheduled to open in September 2023. The full trail is expected to open in 2025. The expected cost of the trail is $22.9 million, which will be likely adjusted as design details and final contract costs are finalized for parking lots; stops for snowmobiles, pedestrians and bicycles; retaining walls; stormwater measurements; wetland mitigation; signs and other details, the agency said on Friday.

The State Office of General Services is leading the design and construction of the trail with the goal of making it accessible to people of all abilities as much as possible.

Limited public recreation during trail construction will be permitted:

•With the exception of Class 1 E snowmobiles and bicycles, all motorized vehicles are prohibited. DEC will enforce this ban with barriers, bollards, patrols and law enforcement checkpoints;

• Winter recreation including snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, fat biking and snowshoeing will be permitted

• Pedestrians (non-motorized) and cycling (including Class 1 e-bikes) will be the only non-winter uses permitted

• Users should always apply Leave No Trace principles when recreating by realizing what they are hauling, preparing for the risks and challenges of the unimproved corridor and varied trackbed surface, respecting wildlife and taking into account other users and adjacent private properties. For more information, visit

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