Q: Can I use the trail?
A: Yes. Interim recreation is allowed at users' own risk. Until the construction of the rail trail is complete, the trail will be open to public use on a limited and fluctuating basis, depending on construction status. The trail can be accessed on foot or skis, snowmobiles, and fat-tire bikes. Allowable public uses of this trail will include any pedestrian activities (including but not limited to running, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing), bicycling (which includes the use of multi-wheeled cycles and class 1 electric bikes), and snowmobiling.
Q: What is the current state of the trail?
A: Lake Placid to Saranac Lake: Interim recreation is allowed at users' own risk on this unimproved section of the Corridor while construction is paused for the winter season. This segment of the trail will close again when construction resumes in the spring of 2023. Please respect posted signage and barricades. Saranac Lake to Tupper Lake: Interim recreation is allowed at users' own risk on this unimproved section of the Corridor. Public use may be limited or restricted in sections due to hazardous conditions or active construction or maintenance. Please respect posted signage and barricades. Users will need to traverse the Corridor at low speeds and use caution, use good sense, and heed signs. Currently, the rail bed surface is not consistent along the entire segment. The surface material varies, ranging from large, crushed stone to sand, and is often mixed with varying amounts of mineral soil. Occasional rail tie fragments and small metal pieces remain in the Corridor.
Q: What is the construction schedule for the trail?
A: Construction of the Adirondack Rail Trail is anticipated to be done in three phases. As each phase concludes, the completed portion of the trail will open to the public. The first phase of construction starts at Station Street in Lake Placid, just west of the Lake Placid Depot, and ends just past the Saranac Lake Depot near the intersection of Cedar Street and Route 86. The first phase also includes the construction of a parking area in Tupper Lake. Phase one is anticipated to continue through the fall of 2023. Construction is currently paused for the winter season and will resume in the spring of 2023.
Q: Where can I park?
A: There are multiple parking areas to access the trail: Fish Pond Truck Trail Parking Area is located off State Route 30, 3 ½ miles west of the Hamlet of Lake Clear Junction; Haystack Mountain Ray Brook Trailhead Parking Area is located along State Route 86 between Ray Brook and Lake Placid; Little Clear Pond Parking Area is located off State Route 30, 3 1/2 miles west of the Hamlet of Lake Clear Junction; Oseetah Trails Parking Area is located on State Route 86 east of the Village Saranac Lake; Scarface Mountain Trailhead is located on County Route 32, 0.2 miles south of State Route 86; and a trailhead is currently planned for the land adjacent to the
Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society.
Q: Will e-bikes be allowed on the trail between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid?
A: Yes, Class 1 e-bikes will be allowed
Q: Are ATVs allowed on the trail?
A: Motorized vehicles, aside from snowmobiles and Class 1 e-bikes, are prohibited on the entire corridor in all seasons. This will be enforced with gates, bollards, and law enforcement patrol and checkpoints.
Q: Are there trash cans along the trail?
A: No. Like the High Peaks, Users should always practice Leave No Trace™ while recreating on the trail by carrying out what they carry in, being prepared, respecting wildlife, and being considerate of other users and adjacent private property. Never put trash in outhouses or porta-potties.
Q: Is camping allowed along the trail?
A: Camping and campfires along the corridor are prohibited. There are a range of camping opportunities nearby on both undeveloped state land and campgrounds. Nearby State Campgrounds: Fish Creek Pond Campground & Day Use Area, Rollins Pond Campground, Saranac Lake Islands Campground & Day Use Area, and Wilmington Notch Campground & Day Use Area. Nearby Primitive Camping Areas: Bog River Complex - Tupper Lake, Saranac Lakes Wild Forest - Saranac Lake, St. Regis Canoe Area - Saranac Lake, Lake Clear, Santa Clara, William C. Whitney Wilderness & Round Lake Wilderness - Tupper Lake
Q: Is the trail accessible for all ages and abilities?
A: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that programs (e.g. camping and boating) are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. The NYSDEC uses the US Access Board's Final Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas as guidance for the creation and alteration of facilities to ensure compliance with the requirements of the ADA. The NYSDEC's Standard Accessible Designs for Outdoor Recreational Facilities provides resources for creating accessible outdoor facilities not covered under either the ADA or the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA). The conversion of the TLLP Segment to a recreational trail will involve assessing opportunities for access onto and along the trail for persons of all ages and abilities. Every effort will be made to build trails and facilities in the Corridor to the Final Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor UMP Amendment/SEIS | 45 Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas standards. Where this cannot be accomplished, the NYSDEC will construct facilities that are compatible with as many levels of user-ability as possible.
Q: When are snowmobiles allowed on the trail?
A: According to the DEC, snowmobiling on the trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake will be allowed as conditions permit. Snowmobile use from Tupper Lake to Remsen will be allowed between December 1 and April 30 each year.
Q: Is hunting or fishing allowed along the trail?
A: Hunting and trapping are prohibited along the trail corridor. There are an amazing variety of angling opportunities that can be accessed by the rail trail, from remote brook trout ponds to large lake trout and land-locked Atlantic salmon lakes, to largemouth and smallmouth bass waters, and some excellent stream fishing for trout. Waters adjacent to the Adirondack Rail Trail contains great examples of what the Adirondacks has to offer in terms of fishing. Lake Colby is a particularly popular fishery that can provide excellent angling opportunities. Note that no fishing is allowed on Little Clear Pond.
Q: What type of wildlife might you encounter on the trail?
A: Moose, Black Bear, Beaver, Eastern Coyote, River Otter, White-Tailed Deer, Little Brown, Bat, Bald Eagle, Common Loon, Peregrine Falcon, Osprey, Great Horned Owl, Great Blue Heron, Wild Turkey, and Eastern Bluebird
Q: Are pets allowed on the trail?
A: Pets will be allowed on the trail, but they must be kept under the control of their owner and be restrained on a leash no more than 6 feet long. People must clean up after their pet(s).
Q: Who is responsible to enforce laws and regulations?
A: All state and local police departments and law enforcement agencies are authorized to enforce these regulations, including the NY State Police, NY State Park Police, NYSDEC Environmental Conservation Officers and Forest Rangers, county sheriff departments, and local police departments.
Q: What is the maximum group size allowed on the trail?
A: Groups of 20 or fewer can access the trail without a permit. Groups of 21 or more must contact the DEC to apply for a permit.
Q: What is the speed limit for snowmobiles?
A: A speed limit of 15 miles per hour will be established where the trail passes through a village and at the area along Lake Clear. In addition, all snowmobile laws and regulations will apply to the trail, including that snowmobiles cannot be operated within one hundred feet of a dwelling between 12 midnight and 6 AM at a speed greater than the minimum speed required to maintain forward motion. New York State's snowmobile speed limit law states: in no case shall a snowmobile be operated at a speed in excess of fifty-five miles per hour upon public trails or lands.
The following regulations apply to public use of the trail:
- NYSDEC and its partners—like ARTA—are also committed to maintaining a safe work environment and ask the public to treat employees, volunteers, and other partners with respect. New York State does not tolerate harassment of any kind. Inappropriate behavior or treatment by anyone will be reported. We encourage members of the community to help stop harassment - please report misconduct or harassment to DEC, partner organizations like ARTA, or local law enforcement as appropriate.
- The trail will be open for public use at all hours.
- Public uses not allowed will include camping, discharging a firearm from or across the trail, operating motorized vehicles (except as noted above), and starting fires outside of provided fire rings.
- Since much of the trail is adjacent to private property, the public should only leave the trail at officially designated points or onto State Land, and in compliance with all rules and regulations. The public should also respect adjacent residents and camps by not loitering near them.
- Respect our neighbors and don't trespass on private property. Leaving the trail to enter private property adjacent to the trail without the explicit permission of the private landowner is trespassing. Respect private property and homes.
- No equestrian activities. The use of horses is prohibited.
- Follow all traffic rules and be aware of other traffic.
- Use public restrooms at designated locations.
- Be courteous and considerate of other trail users.
- Pass with care. Avoid startling others and announce, "on your left".
- Move to the side when stopping on the trail.
- Wheels yield to heels. This means that snowmobiles yield to all users and bikes and skiers yield to those on foot. Slower and more vulnerable trail users get the right of way.
- When in doubt, refer to the DEC.