NY funds to boost First Wilderness Heritage Corridor projects

Saratoga-North Creek Railway at the North Creek train station

Saratoga-North Creek Railway at the North Creek train station Photo by Andy Flynn.

— Projects along the First Wilderness Heritage Corridor — from Saratoga Springs to North Creek — will get a financial boost this year after receiving a grant from the New York State Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

This latest round of funding will help Warren County planners bolster their marketing efforts along the Hudson River and former Delaware & Hudson Railway corridor by investing in infrastructure projects in local communities.

“What we’re trying to do is just showcase a way of life,” said Wayne LaMothe, director of the Warren County Department of Planning and Community Development, which is in charge of promoting the 62-mile corridor to the traveling public.

On Dec. 19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that $738 million will be released for economic development projects throughout the state via

the Regional Economic Development Councils. And Warren County is on tap to receive $308,000 for implementation of the First Wilderness Heritage Corridor Action Plan.

Project components include: design of a new train station in the village of Corinth; restoration of the historic bandstand in the town of Warrensburg; and design of a new waterfront park on a 3.5-acre former Brownfield site in the town of Warrensburg.

Established in 1999 as a way to boost tourism, the First Wilderness Heritage Corridor was designed to highlight the attractions, events, outdoor activities and businesses along the railroad corridor between Saratoga Springs and North Creek. The railway spans two counties — Saratoga and Warren — and follows the Hudson River north as it did when it first opened as Thomas Durant’s Adirondack Railroad in 1871.

“We looked at what was common to all the communities that share the rail corridor,” LaMothe said. “The rail line — and the river — was the pathway into the Adirondacks. And the Adirondack Park was the first area in the country that was officially set aside as wilderness by a legislative action. Hence, we came up with the name the First Wilderness Heritage Corridor.”

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