Saranac Lake seeks consensus on Adirondack rail trail debate

Tourists enjoy the Adirondack Scenic Railroad at the Union Depot in Saranac Lake.

Tourists enjoy the Adirondack Scenic Railroad at the Union Depot in Saranac Lake. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— “Consensus building with all the stakeholders is really a prerequisite for further action,” Rabideau said. “In the village of Saranac Lake, we really do welcome the opportunity to join the dialogue that includes all the advocates and opponents of ARTA’s vision along with representatives from local and state government and interested regional non-government organizations. I think that, as a village, we should encourage the development of the common understanding of the facts involved in this regional issue and a full analysis of the alternatives for resolution of this issue based upon the facts with a goal of providing the state-appointed elected leaders with a suggested plan for the future use of the Adirondack Railroad corridor.”

Trustees agreed that they need to find out more information before making a decision whether to back any proposal for a recreation trail along the railroad corridor. All trustees were present, except Paul Van Cott, who left the room for that portion of the meeting.

ARTA was formed in 2011 to create a world-class recreation trail — a rail trail — along the 90-mile railroad corridor between Old Forge and Lake Placid. The town of North Elba is currently in the process of building a recreation trail beside the tracks between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, where the Adirondack Scenic railroad operates a seasonal tourist train.

The Adirondack Scenic Railroad also operates tourist train rides in the Old Forge area and uses the entire line to transport its Tri-Lakes train to and from its southern operations in the spring and fall.

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