The trail is in use even if nowhere near complete. The first finished section is scheduled to complete in 2023. NYSDEC has taken control of completing the trail from NYSDOT. Rails have been removed between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid. In August, 2022, the APA issued a permit for the trail to pass through wetlands. An Army Corp of Engineers permit remains for construction to begin.
The surface is rough and there are areas of mud and water on the trail. The trail is not officially open but it is nonetheless being used, primarily by snowmobiles, hikers, and mountain bikes. The roughest section is between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake where all but fat-tire mountain biking should be discouraged until the surface is installed, currently scheduled for fall of 2023. Sections between Saranac Lake and Lake Clear are being incrementally closed to allow the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) to remove leftover railroad ties from the corridor. Work began on Tuesday, September 6. DOT will incrementally close sections of the trail to allow for the safe movement of equipment and materials. Work is expected to continue through September.
Surfacing of the trail and the addition of signage and amenities will begin once permitting is complete and contractors have been selected. NYSDEC expects to open the 9-mile section between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid by late 2023. The rest of construction will follow with a projected completion dare of 2025. Permits are required from the Adirondack Park Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers due to the corridor's passage through wetlands, permits that were not required previously due to a Federal Railways Act exemption for active railroads. The current estimate is that it will take several years to obtain the necessary approvals and complete the trail's construction.
The final surface will be multiple layers of gradually smaller crushed stone. This surface will be road-like and should accommodate road bikes, wheelchairs, and strollers.