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DEC announces opening of new multi-use trail system

WILMINGTON - Outdoor enthusiasts and state Department of Environmental Conservation officials gathered May 29 to celebrate the opening of a new multi-use trail system in the Town of Wilmington.

The Flume Trail System is one of a small handful of trails to allow mountain biking on forest preserve lands in the Adirondacks. The path consists of approximately eight miles of trail perfect for mountain biking along with hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Representatives from the Town of Wilmington, the Wilmington Mountain Peddlers, Adirondack Mountain Club and the Whiteface Mountain Ski Area joined DEC officials Friday for the celebration.

DEC Regional Director Betsy Lowe said the Flume Trail System stands as an example of how her organization can partner with others to develop safe recreational opportunities on state lands in the Adirondacks.

The mountain biking portion of the trail winds alongside the West Branch of the AuSable River, while a second trail strictly for hiking brings people to Flume Knob. A majority of the trail system lies within the Wilmington Wild Forest, although roughly two miles are located on the Whiteface Mountain Ski Area.

Wilmington Supervisor Randy Preston said the project will serve as a model for other recreational projects in the Adirondack Park.

"The partnership between the Town of Wilmington and DEC has been a very positive one," Preston said. "People of all ages and abilities can enjoy the trails whether it be mountain biking or a walk along the river."

Adirondack Mountain Club trails coordinator Matt McNamara said the trail system's greatest asset is its accessibility and diversity.

"It's been encouraging to get positive feedback from bikers, hikers and trail runners," he said. "This is a great example of how we can successfully accommodate multiple users within Wild Forest areas."

The trail system can be accessed from Route 86 via a trailhead, about two miles west of Wilmington. It can also be reached from the Kid's Campus parking lot at Whiteface.

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