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