Meeting Stefano means remembering Stefano. He’s soft-spoken but warm, genuinely curious and eager to help. His thick Italian accent, notable from the first encounter, adds to his charm. He considers the summer of 2022 his inaugural season of mountain biking. Despite being relatively new to both the sport and the BETA community, his commitment is unwavering. In just the past year, Stefano has become one of our most dedicated volunteers, missing only two volunteer days and frequently devoting his free time to maintaining the trails independently.
From novice, to daily user, he now proudly rides 1,300 miles in a single season.
We're excited to share Stefano's experiences and insights - a vivid testament to the transformative power of trails and the profound impact your support can have.
STEFANO'S UNLIKELY BEGINNING
Stefano stumbled into mountain biking, by his own admission, accidentally. Retiring to Lake Placid with his wife from the Eastern Alps by way of New Jersey, he sought the simple pleasures of exercise and fresh air. "I was just riding an old hybrid bicycle. I found the roads quite scenic but not very bike-friendly," he explained. So the trails piqued his interest, offering an escape from traffic.
“I started riding the Jackrabbit and some of the Lussi and Scott’s Cobble trails, and I found them very challenging and almost dangerous on my old bike. When I mentioned this to a friend, he suggested that I borrow his mountain bike, which he thought was more appropriate for these trails. This was an epiphany.”
AN EVOLVING RELATIONSHIP WITH THE TRAILS: GIVING BACK
On the trails, Stefano found more than just a safer, quieter reprieve from the roads; he discovered a sanctuary.
"I am not exaggerating to say that for me, mountain biking has been a life-changing experience.” From downhills, to technical sections, to jumps and drops, each ride, he faced new challenges. "It's like meditating and exercising combined," he shared, "I come home feeling happier, more balanced, and optimistic, and my body feels stronger and healthier. And to all these benefits I can now add the feeling of belonging to a very welcoming mountain biking community."
As Stefano's skills improved, so did his relationship with the trails. "The very same trails that I might have strongly disliked on my first ride have now become some of my favorites.” Moved by his experiences, he found a way to give back to the trails and the community that had given him so much.
"I started volunteering because I felt I had to do something to show my appreciation for the tremendous work that BETA does." His involvement in volunteer days became a conduit for deeper connections within the local community. "I love being outdoors, I love getting some exercise, and I love talking to people, so volunteer days are perfect!"
Stefano’s enthusiasm and commitment reflect the spirit of our community and the importance of every individual's contribution.
Our trails are not just pathways among the trees but lifelines to a like-minded, supportive community.
MATCHING CHALLENGE: DOUBLE YOUR DONATION
Exciting news: for the first time ever, a group of BETA board, staff, and committee members are collectively pledging to match every dollar of community donations, up to $11,600, made before the year's end.
Give now to become a part of these transformative stories and help connect more people to the trails where beginners find their footing and seasoned riders push their limits.
All gifts received by December 31st are eligible to be matched up to a total of $11,600, worth $23,200 if fully matched!
Together, we can ensure that our trails continue to be a source of joy and connection for riders like Stefano and for future generations of adventurers.
Join us in making a difference.
New "Scott's Cobble" Trail Section Awaits Final Approval by NYSDEC: In 2022, BETA submitted plans to the NYSDEC for a new section of the Jackrabbit Trail in North Elba. The trail will traverse through a beautiful old growth hardwood forest on the north shoulder of Scott's Cobble in the Sentinel Range Wilderness, connecting Craig Wood Golf Course to the intersection of Mountain Lane and Route 73 and providing a more direct route for skiers touring between Lake Placid and Keene. The work plan for the project is open for public comment until early November. With any luck we'll have all the approvals in place in time to clear the trail before winter. Stay tuned for future volunteer opportunities.
Route Change at Craig Wood: This winter, there will be a modification to the designated winter route across the Craig Wood Golf Course. Skiers approaching the golf course from the north (via Theresa's Bridge) will now follow a clockwise path around the golf course, hugging the tree line and a portion of the groomed ski trail established by High Peaks Cyclery for the Scott's Cobble Community Trails. This updated route will lead skiers to the new "Scott's Cobble" trail section, which commences behind the lean-to in the southeast corner of the golf course. It will also loop around to the maintenance garage for skiers wishing to continue on the existing route across Route 73 to the Cascade Welcome Center trails.
Affordable Housing Development Preserves Critical Trail Section: Recently, a developer submitted plans to the North Elba Review Board for an affordable housing development on the "Peninsula" in Lake Placid. If approved, it will be situated behind Hannaford and Simply Gourmet, necessitating a rerouting of a portion of the Jackrabbit Trail. Rest assured, BETA is collaborating with the developer, and we've received assurances that public access across the property will be safeguarded at all costs. BETA will continue to work closely with the developers to plan the trail reroute, with construction expected to commence in 2025.
Public Access Restored on River Road: Starting this winter, Jackrabbit skiers will once again be permitted to traverse the farm fields at the former Snow Slip Farm on River Road. The property owners have generously reinstated public access to this section of the trail, eliminating the need for skiers to walk approximately half a mile between the steel deck bridge and Bird Song Way. The trail across the farm property will be clearly marked and open for skiing seasonally, from December to April.
BETA is psyched to hear that the UCI World Cup cross-country mountain bike race is coming to our backyard, Mt. Van Hoevenberg, in September 2024. We can’t wait to share both the stoke of our trails and the warmth of our trails community. Like you, however, we are also aware of the challenges to our trails and community that come with hosting such a significant event, and our aim is to collaborate with the organizers to address these issues.
With your support, BETA has sustainably expanded trail infrastructure in our region over the past decade, improving quality of life in our communities and providing new recreational opportunities for residents and visitors. According to ORDA, the UCI World Cup race is expected to draw between 5,000 and 8,000 spectators, many of whom will hit the trails. For comparison, our largest event, the Wilmington Mountain Bike Festival, has around 300 folks attending, and the Wilmington Whiteface 100K mountain bike race in June draws a similar number of riders.
The World Cup will bring our biggest influx of trail users ever and our current trailheads and parking areas lack the capacity to handle such numbers. We've been having discussions with ORDA for months with the goal of working together to mitigate some of these challenges. Although we have concerns about ORDA’s response to our efforts to engage thus far, given their recent creation of a stakeholder committee, we remain hopeful for a positive outcome with a successful, community-centered event.
BETA is deeply invested in maintaining the trust and well-being of you - our local stakeholders, and we will continue to represent your interests and keep you informed. We hope that ORDA will meaningfully address our concerns and we look forward to working with the race organizers to ensure this event is a success in every way.
Welcome to fall! I hope you are enjoying the trails and the foliage. Today, I want to take a moment to thank you for being part of the BETA community and also to share some exciting news.
With your help and support, this summer, BETA built four new trails in four towns, and we updated, improved, or extended many others. In addition to working with professional builders, our volunteers put in a ton of hours. We also laid the foundations for upcoming projects next year and beyond. All of this work will better serve our communities and ensure a sustainable future for our trails.
I also want to thank our members for their patience and trust while the board’s hiring committee searched for the right person to become our next Executive Director. We are grateful for Josh Wilson's leadership and dedication for the past eight years -- skillfully building BETA into a strong and effective nonprofit organization. Finding a successor to carry on our trajectory was challenging but vitally important.
I’m happy to welcome Glenn Glover as our new Executive Director. Glenn brings a wealth of professional experience, including six years as E.D. of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, four years as President of Washington State Trails Coalition, and three years managing statewide recreation and resources for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. We were seeking a candidate with a special blend of experience, passion, personality, and skill to lead BETA. Glenn is that person.
Glenn is already ramping up into the position. He’ll officially take the reins as Executive Director on October 30, 2023. Joining Glenn in relocating to the area are his wife, Toni, and their two golden retrievers. During a visit this summer, they were struck by our community's warmth and welcoming nature.
We are planning a series of events in early November for our members to meet Glenn. Stay tuned for details.
In the meantime, please join me in welcoming Glenn to BETA. Our board and staff are excited about the future and we hope you are as well. Thank you for your continued support, involvement, and trust.
President, BETA Board of Directors
We are still riding the high of the sixth annual Wilmington Mountain Bike Fest - a celebration of bikes, BETA, the trails and the community who loves and cares for them. We were honored to share the weekend with riders from across the Northeast and Canada and as far away as Maryland, Minnesota and both Carolinas. Over 250 adults and kids enjoyed the Adirondack-style singletrack, wild forest terrain and the warmth of Wilmington’s small-town hospitality.
Bike Fest continues to be a cornerstone fundraiser for the Barkeater Trails Alliance, and this year, we proudly raised over $9,000. The proceeds will directly support our ongoing efforts to build, maintain and advocate for a sustainable network of community and backcountry trails for mountain-biking, ski touring and other human powered recreation in the greater High Peaks region.
We would like to thank Roy Holzer and the Town of Wilmington for hosting the event, and especially John Langford and the Wilmington Parks Department for working tirelessly to help us bring the festival to life by preparing the grounds, driving shuttles and helping us to clean up the aftermath of a weekend well spent.
A monumental thanks to the 50 or so local riders and dedicated BETA board members who shared their love of the trails by volunteering as planners, ride leaders, skills coaches - who hammered signs into the ground, directed traffic, set up, cleaned up and checked lists, not once, but twice to ensure a smooth and successful event.
We are eternally grateful to members of our Community Partner Program who call Wilmington home and to those organizations and businesses who support the Bike Fest and the local mountain bike culture in so many ways: Bike Adirondacks, Placid Planet Bicycles, Cadence Lodge at Whiteface, Little Supermarket, High Peaks Builders, Adirondack Land Trust, Whiteface Mountain Regional Visitors Bureau, Speed Science Coaching, High Peaks Cyclery, Town of Wilmington, Wilderness Van, Tahawus Trailsand Ride With Gratitude.
A special shoutout to Tahawus Trails, Wes Lampman, machine operator extraordinaire, our Trails Coordinator Dusty Grant and every volunteer who had a hand or shovel involved in the herculean effort of getting "Flobus" Bike Fest ready. The yelps of joy could be heard from the festival site.
Thank you to The Outcrops for out-howling the wind and filling the night with their bluesy tunes and good vibes. And thank you Island Vybz, Hex & Hop Brewery and Love, Peace & Grilled Cheese for providing some tasty food and drink on Saturday night.
Finally, no Bike Fest would be complete without the Hardy Kids MTB Race and the associated kid-centric activities throughout the weekend. The Hardy Kids (and parents!) are an inspiration to us all.
We are so honored to host an event that spotlights two of the things we are most proud of: our trails and our community. Your support makes it all possible and we are profoundly grateful.
UPDATES ON FOUR MAJOR TRAIL PROJECTS: 3 OF 4 COMPLETE!
Wilmington has a new trail for the first time in almost 5 years thanks to a generous donation of services and equipment form Tahawus Trails, and the superhuman efforts of the lead builder, Wes Lampman, and BETA’s Trails Coordinator, Dusty Grant, who were assisted by several dedicated local volunteers including Matt Schmidt, Liz Grades, Jen Patching, Patrick Carey, and Bill Pierson. In total, staff and volunteers logged over 900 hours on the project over the course of 26 days.
“Flobus" pays homage to ever-present white pine trees on the property (Latin name - Pinus strobus) and has become an instant favorite with local and visiting mountain bikers. The new trail was built with extreme attention to detail, taking advantage of the natural fall line and contours of the property (all farmland 100 years ago) to create a flowing downhill-only trail with a multitude of friendly jumps and rock features. BETA is coordinating with owners of the Three Sisters Preserve, Adirondack Land Trust to install new trail signage this month.
We did it…with your help! Phase 2 of the East Branch Community Trails project was completed on September 1 by Peduzzi Trail Contracting. The new trail - “Downriver” - is the first of several downhill-oriented mountain bike trails planned for the property and provides the easiest option for descending back to the “Leepoff Loop." “Downriver” traverses a beautiful hillside with massive berms, rollers and jumps. Just try to resist a second (or third) lap.
This project was made possible by grants from the Town of Keene and Cloudsplitter Foundation, with which BETA was able to leverage over $25,000 in grassroots donations, business sponsorships, and local fundraising events. Over 100 hours of volunteer labor were logged on the project as well. Because of the groundswell of excitement around the East Branch trails, donations continued to roll-in even after we reached our goal for Phase 2, giving us a head start on fundraising for Phase 3 which we hope will include a new pump track at the trailhead and additional trails higher on the mountain. BETA has applied for a big grant from the Santa Cruz PayDirt program to support Phase 3…fingers crossed!
By now there’s a good chance you’ve already enjoyed the amazing new jump line - "Green Jacket”- constructed by Max Van Wie of Backslope Trail Building this summer at Craig Wood. “Green Jacket” keeps riders engaged at every second with a multitude of berms, hips, roller gaps and jumps. This is THE place to hone your jump skills if you enjoy spending time in the air. For riders who are just starting to get a feel for jumps, we recommend visiting the aforementioned “Flobus” and “Downriver” trails as a way to progress and build your way up to “Green Jacket." For advanced riders, a new “pro line” option was added in the vicinity of “Green Jacket." This new trail is called “Gold Jacket” and extends the old “Steamroller” jump line with two additional big jump features before merging back into “Green Jacket." A friendly reminder - riders should “pre-ride” or walk these trails to inspect all features before committing, and remember to ride within your ability. Plans are in the works to build a more convenient climbing line for riders who want to lap the jump lines without descending all the way down the 19th Hole trail. “Gold Jacket” remains closed until signage is installed, hopefully later this week. Thank you for your patience.
This project is supported by a grant from the North Elba LEAF program, as well as a handful of major donations and investment from BETA's Sterling Watchorn Trail Fund.
BETA is nearing completion of a new trail at Fowler’s Crossing trail network in the Saranac Lake Wild Forest (state Forest Preserve land). In August we partnered with the Adirondack Mountain Club trail crew to begin construction on the main 0.75 mile singletrack loop on the west side of the network. BETA staff and local volunteers are continuing work to finish the trail this month.
The new trail can be seen on TrailForks, and will form a “loop within a loop” utilizing the existing “Oseetah View Loop,” a portion of which will be rerouted in the future to achieve consistency with the state’s mountain bike trail design guidelines.
Fowler’s is one of the only tracts of state land directly accessible from the hamlet of Saranac Lake, and is dominated by plantation pine forests and the kind of well-drained, sandy soils that trail builders like us love. The friendly, smooth trails (virtually no rocks) and minimal climbing make this network a perfect destination for novice riders, families with small kids, or anyone looking for a soulful pedal or walk in the woods. A reminder that the parking for this network remains closed due to the construction of the Adirondack Rail Trail, but can still be accessed by bike or on foot.
This project is supported by a grant from the North Elba LEAF program, as well as a handful of major donations and investment from BETA's Sterling Watchorn Trail Fund.
August is going out with a bang! With the Wilmington MTB Festival right around the corner, BETA staff, volunteers and partners are burning the candle at both ends to finish new trail projects before the fall riding season. Here’s a quick update on our progress:
Thanks to a very generous donation from Tahawus Trails and our long-standing partnership with the Adirondack Land Trust, BETA was able to break ground on the first new trail in Wilmington since 2019. At the Three Sisters Preserve - now owned by ALT after its merger with the Lake Placid Land Conservancy - work is underway on a new downhill-oriented, machine-built trail featuring super fun (but friendly!) jump features that utilize the natural terrain and high-quality soils found in the Beaver Brook Valley. The new trail can be seen on TrailForks. We anticipate that construction will continue for another two weeks and the new trail remains closed during this time for the safety of trail builders and riders.
The existing “Three Sisters” trail was rerouted in one location to accommodate the new trail. The reroute was completed during a well-attended volunteer trail day (see photos below!) on August 19 and is now open to the public. The Three Sisters and Noreen’s trails are also getting a complete tune-up to correct some maintenance issues that have arisen thanks to the record-setting rainfall we’ve seen this summer. During your next visit to the network, please take notice of the beautiful new kiosk at the Hardy Road entrance added by The Adirondack Land Trust.
After a 4-year delay, BETA is back to work at the Fowler’s Crossing trail network in the Saranac Lake Wild Forest (state Forest Preserve land). A new 1-mile loop of singletrack is under construction and we anticipate work will be complete by early September. The new trail can be seen on TrailForks, and will form a “loop within a loop” on the western side of the network and utilizes the existing “Oseetah View Loop,” a portion of which will be rerouted to achieve consistency with the state’s mountain bike trail design guidelines. This project is funded in part by the North Elba LEAF program. Work began in early August, and we were grateful to have the opportunity to work with the Adirondack Mountain Club trail crew for a full week, as well as the half-dozen local volunteers who came out to help on August 20.
For those that don’t know, Fowler’s is adjacent to the Adirondack Rail Trail on the eastern edge of Saranac Lake and home to a beautiful section of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail and a number of other informal trails that have been around for decades. Fowler’s is one of the only tracts of state land directly accessible from the hamlet of Saranac Lake, and is dominated by plantation pine forests and the kind of well-drained, sandy soils that trail builders like us love. The friendly, smooth trails (virtually no rocks) and minimal climbing make this network a perfect destination for novice riders, families with small kids, or anyone looking for a soulful pedal or walk in the woods.
BETA first advocated for additional singletrack to be built in this network, long enjoyed by local mountain bikers, following our founding in 2009. We constructed two new trails in 2019 following the adoption of the unit management plan by NYSDEC, but work was soon put on hold following a series of court decisions related to trail construction and tree cutting on state lands. It seems the logjam of bureaucracy has started to give way, and we’re excited to resume work on this amazing trail network.
With your help, we have successfully met our 2023 fundraising goal of $30,000! In continued partnership with Peduzzi Trail Contracting, Phase 2 of trail construction on the property is in progress and anticipated to be completed soon. Phase 2 will expand on the success of the multi-use trails, and will feature a new 3/4 mile, machine-built, mountain bike specific trail. The new trail will be fun for beginners and rippers alike and will bring riders back to the Leepoff Loop without riding down the climbing trail.
Upon completion of the new trail, the lower half of the climbing trail will be designated for uphill bike traffic only (foot traffic will remain two directional). Once additional downhill-oriented bike trails are constructed higher on the mountain (2024 and beyond), the entire climbing trail will be one-way for bikes. This is the preferred design for an enduro-style mountain bike network and allows for some trails to be enjoyed by walkers and trail runners without concern for potential conflicts with downhill riders.
Backslope Trail Building has crafted an insanely fun new jump trail at Craig Wood in Lake Placid that is now open. "Green Jacket" is stacked with jump features of all shapes and sizes and perfect berms that will allow riders to progress their riding skills and confidence, although riders may experience facial soreness from grinning so hard. The new trail is located inside the loop formed by the 19th Hole and Back Nine trails and merges into the popular 19th Hole downhill run (see map on TrailForks). A new climbing trail is in the works to allow riders to short lap Green Jacket (please don't hike up the jump line). Work continues on an adjacent pro line for advanced riders that we're calling "Gold Jacket". This work is supported by a grant from the North Elba LEAF program, as well as a handful of major donations and investments from BETA's Sterling Watchorn Trail Fund.
FRESH TRACKS AT CRAIG WOOD
Despite uncooperative weather during the last month of construction, the new jump trail at Craig Wood is NEARLY there. Backslope Trail Builders and BETA staff and volunteers have been digging, building and perfecting a buttery smooth, big-bermed addition to the Lake Placid trail system. We're anticipating a mid-August opening to the public and we invite you to check it out with us on Saturday, August 12th when BETA will offer a schedule of group rides on the new trail throughout the day. Details to come.
Please remember that the trail remains closed while construction is in progress.
Thank you to all of the volunteers who've had a hand in helping with what is sure to be a new favorite for many, and thank you Backslope Trail Builders for your vision, expertise and commitment to building a trail that inspires even a self-proclaimed climb-hater to pedal up for just one more lap.
Following a nearly 4 year delay in trail development at the Fowler's Crossing system in Saranac Lake, we are finally back on track to add new singletrack to the network. With persistent planning and advocacy efforts by BETA, NYSDEC has approved our work planfor building approximately 1.25 miles of new mountain bike and foot trail on a parcel of Forest Preserve directly adjacent to the new Adirondack Rail Trail and Route 86 on the edge of the village. The new trail will be consistent with others at Fowler's - friendly for novice riders but fun for anyone on foot or bike.
BETA will begin work on the trail in early August and we anticipate the project to be completed by early September. We're excited to partner with the Adirondack Mountain Club trail crew who will assist with trail construction, along with BETA volunteers (join our trail day on August 20!) This project is made possible by a grant from the North Elba LEAF programand grassroots donations.
We're breaking ground on some rad new trails on June 26 and we're so freakin' psyched! The goal of the project is to create approximately 1 mile of new machine-built trail with jumps and skills features, offering easy options for novice and intermediate riders, and more challenging options for advanced riders. The new trails are inside the loop formed by the "Back Nine" and "19th Hole" trails and will create fun new link-ups in Craig Wood (and satisfy your burning hunger for more gravity trails in Lake Placid). No dig, no ride...make sure to sign-up for our July 9 volunteer day to help with finishing work on these new tracks!
The main trail will be approximately 0.5 mile long and is designed to be inclusive of riders of all skill levels with numerous features including table-top jumps, berms and rollers to practice on. The secondary trail provides a more challenging option for advanced riders with mandatory jumps and drops, and will be constructed adjacent to the main trail.
Construction will be done by Backslope Trail Building, a professional trail building company based in Vermont and the Adirondacks. Backslope is owned and operated by Max Van Wie, an Adirondack native who completed work on the new Harrietstown Bike Park and pump track in 2022 in coordination with SLICK. Grant funds from the North Elba LEAF program and grassroots donations will support 4-6 weeks of work by Backslope Trail Building and BETA's staff.
We'd like to share an update on our search for a new Executive Director following the planned departure of Josh Wilson at the end of this trail season.
The hiring committee of the Board of Directors carefully considered and interviewed several candidates for the ED position over the past month, but has decided to continue the search process. This is a unique position we are seeking to fill, and the Board anticipated that it may take time and more than one round to find the right candidate.
Josh Wilson continues to serve as Executive Director in a full time capacity until Labor Day, at which time he will assume an interim leadership role with support from the Board. BETA's capacity will remain strong into the fall and beyond to the new year thanks to the generosity and commitment of our donors and volunteers, and the hard work and strong organization knowledge of Jamie McGiver, Outreach Coordinator, and Dusty Grant, Trails Coordinator. We are well positioned to implement several major projects this summer while preserving BETA's momentum and direction over the long term.
The hiring committee is accepting applications and conducting interviews on a rolling basis with an anticipated fall start.
Please help us get the word out about this exciting professional opportunity in the Adirondacks.
We are thrilled to announce that BETA has been awarded $25,000 from the North Elba LEAF Program to support two separate community-based trail projects in the Town of North Elba. These trails will further improve the recreation opportunities in the vicinity of the villages of Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, and are part of a region-wide BETA effort to plan, build and promote new community-based trails that are more accessible and more inclusive of younger riders and people who are new to mountain biking.
The North Elba LEAF program provides funds for programs, activities, and facilities that will have direct benefits to our communities and improve the quality of place for both residents and visitors. This is the third grant awarded to BETA through the program since 2020. BETA will be seeking grassroots donations to help match the LEAF grant, stay tuned for more updates and the opportunity to contribute to these exciting projects.
Here's a quick summary of the projects to get you pumped as we head into the 2023 trail building season!
CRAIG WOOD: JUMPS, BERMS & ROLLERS
This project includes the construction of two new mountain bike trails on North Elba Parks District lands at Craig Wood with skills features and jumps for mountain bikers. The goal is to create approximately 1 mile of new downhill-oriented trails that provide youth and adult riders with challenging features that sharpen skills, inspire confidence, and spark JOY. Trails with safe, well-designed jumps and other skill building features are in demand and BETA recognizes the need to better accommodate this type of riding into the existing trail systems. This is especially important as more and more local families embrace mountain biking, as evidenced by the immense popularity of the pump tracks and bike skills parks in Wilmington and Saranac Lake and the work to establish similar facilities in other towns.
Our partner in this project is Backslope Trail Building, a professional trail building company based in Vermont and the Adirondacks with experience in dirt all along the East coast. Grant funds will support 4-6 weeks of work by Backslope and BETA's seasonal trail staff. If you've visited the new Harrietstown Bike Park dreamt up by SLICK - Saranac Lake Innovative Cycling Kids - you've already enjoyed the high quality product created by Max Van Wie, owner/operator of Backslope Trail Building.
The main trail will be approximately 1/2 to 3/4 mile long and designed to be inclusive of beginner and intermediate riders - but loads of fun for everyone - with numerous individual features like jumps, berms and rollers for riders to practice on. A secondary trail will provide more challenging options for advanced riders and will be constructed adjacent to the main trail. The two trails will merge at a safe and appropriate location. Both trails will be located inside the "loop" formed by the popular Back Nine and 19th Hole trails. This will be a great companion to the Craig Wood trail system.
FOWLER'S CROSSING: MELLOW CRUISING FOR ALL
This project includes the construction of a new singletrack trail on state Forest Preserve lands at Fowler’s Crossing in Saranac Lake. The goal is to further develop the existing multi-use trail system adjacent to the Adirondack Rail Trail in the hamlet area of Saranac Lake by constructing a new 1.25 mile singletrack trail loop designed for mountain bike and foot travel. The Fowler’s Crossing trail system is already popular with local residents and visitors of all ages for non-motorized activities and will be a key destination along the Rail Trail once completed.
BETA has been planning new trails in the Fowler's Crossing network for a number of years. We began advocating for new trails in this zone in 2010, back when BETA was just getting started as a grassroots effort. Finally in 2018 the unit management plan for the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest - which included an expansion of trail mileage at Fowler's - was adopted by the NYSDEC. In 2019 we constructed about 1 mile of new trail on the north side of the Fowler's network, but work has been stalled since then due to multiple court decisions relating to snowmobile trail construction in the Forest Preserve. This project is still pending work plan approval by NYSDEC, but we are hopeful that we can proceed with the project by the summer. Grant funds will directly support 6-8 weeks of paid work by BETA's seasonal trail staff and volunteers.
The project will help expand and improve access to the Fowler’s Crossing trail network, which provides an accessible and user-friendly mountain biking opportunity for adult and youth mountain bikers who are new to the sport and developing their skills, or who are simply seeking a more mellow riding experience as compared to some of the more technical trails in the area. This small but growing trail system is directly accessible from multiple points in the hamlet area of Saranac Lake (on the North Elba side of the village), via the Adirondack Rail Trail (which will be paved in this area) and multiple “neighborhood” trails.