The new Adirondack Rail Trail is 34 miles of an outdoor lover's paradise.

“This trail will be used for cross-country skiers. It's what I'll use it for. It'll be used for biking in the summer. It'll be used for snowmobiles,” Lake Placid Mayor Art Devlin said.

“It's beautiful when you look at the snow on the trees. This is what all the paintings of winter look like. It's just spectacular. And here it is right in our backyard,” Devlin added.

What You Need To Know

  • New York state recently announced $13.1M in funding to finish the Adirondack Rail trail

  • The trail, which will allow snowmobiles, will run 34 miles from Tupper Lake to Lake Placid

  • The project will also include the restortation of the Saranac Lake Depot, which was used in both Adirondack rail history, but for the New York Central Railroad

And to preserve this wilderness gem, New York state recently announced a $13 million investment to help finish the project that changes a rail bed into a world-class, shared-use path that goes from Lake Placid to Saranac Lake, and then all the way into Tupper Lake.

“It's one more piece of the puzzle, I would say,” Devlin said. “You know, there's a lot that's going on here, but this just makes it so when a visitor comes here, it gives them one more thing to do and makes it a complete experience."

And that's the thing. Being in the Adirondack Park, there's just not a lot of room to expand for hikers and bikers to do those outdoor things they come here to do.

“The roads are very narrow. There's no room to expand for bike paths,” Devlin said. “Everyone rides bikes or a lot of people do, but eventually they start to pare back and they give up and realize how dangerous it is.”

And as Lake Placid Mayor Art Devlin mentioned, this new trail also helps those who have been disappointed in another Adirondack restriction — snowmobiles.

“In the Adirondack Park, it’s forever wild and you're not allowed to have motorized vehicles on trails. So it really eliminates the snowmobilers. And this is one of the few chances where snowmobilers can come into Lake Placid,” Devlin added.

And as much as this project is about creating something new, there's also a focus on preserving history, most notably the region's real history. The long-abandoned Saranac Lake Depot, and its long connection to not only the Adirondack Railway, but the New York Central Railroad, will be brought back to life.

“The breathtaking beauty that we have here, if that goes away, it's part of our character. It's part of our identity here,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said.

“To have this trail be something people can get out and use, it’s great,” Devlin added.

It's the perfect way, he says, to honor Adirondack Past.

There were some in the community who had hoped the trail would have actually become a high-speed rail, but Mayor Devlin said that was never really a realistic option.