The grassroots effort was extraordinary, "I've never lived in a community that was so cooperative and supportive!" revealed Mr. Craig.
Wanakena has a year round population of about 40 residents, with over 200 residents living in town during the summer months.
It doesn't hurt to have a nearby NYS Ranger School, with its incredible forestry resources, in Wanakena. Jamie Savage, also one of the "Partners," is a forestry instructor at the campus.
A local chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club offered their help and trail building expertise. Other partners included the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the NY Department of State and the North East State Foresters Association.
It also helped to have folks such as Rick Kovaks and his wife, Angie, owners of Packbasket Adventures, a bed and breakfast and Adirondack guide service in Wanakena.
In addition, Kovaks is the proprietor of the Wanakena General Store, the village meeting place. He has fashioned the business around the outdoors, with GPS and bear canister rentals, and a growing flyfishing shop, in addition to providing groceries and the daily newspaper.
I was interested to learn that Kovaks' log cabin B&B sits on the banks of the Oswagatchie River, on the exact location of a cabin that was once owned by my old friend, the late Edwin Reid.
Reid was a Forest Ranger, guide, hunter, trapper and author. He was also a reporter for the Plattsburgh Press Republican and a resident of Adirondac, located on the edge of the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. Most of all, he was a sportsman.
Reid lived the backwoods life, summer and winter, and I expect he would be happy to know that his old haunts are still being enjoyed by a new generation of outdoor travelers. Reid's old newspaper column heading was, "This is Packbasket Country."