PLATTSBURGH - It's been a process several decades in the making, but the development of a formal recreational trail system within the city of Plattsburgh is starting to gain momentum.
Over the past few years, a grassroots committee has been picking up where efforts left off in the 1980s to connect the city's existing pedestrian trails and develop new ones as part the Saranac Recreational Trail System.
The group of community-minded citizens, dubbed the Saranac Recreational Trail Committee, has been meeting more frequently in recent months to hammer out details of the proposed system. The committee is now headed up by Victoria Zinser Duley, an economic development specialist with the Technical Assistance Center at the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh, and is aided by city engineer Kevin Farrington.
Farrington, who serves the committee as a private citizen, has lent his expertise to help shape the trail system, which is currently in the design and development phase. Meetings held in the past year have been productive, giving the public the opportunity to provide their own input as to how they'd like to see the trail system established, Farrington said.
"There's a lot of interest, enthusiasm and desire for this trail system," he said. "The community has been asking for this type of thing for quite some time and government officials at the local and state levels are starting to listen."
During one of the committee's recent meetings, there was discussion on the potential for the trail system to connect with multi-use trails outside the city, such as the Lakes to Locks Passage, which connects New York State's Hudson Valley region to the Richelieu Valley in Quebec, by way of the Champlain Valley along State Route 9. On the smaller scale, connecting city trails with ones in the town of Plattsburgh and other neighboring communities has also been discussed, said Farrington, leading to seemingly endless possibilities.