AROUND THE REGION NEWS BRIEFS
Purchase Expands Recreational Opportunities in Wilmington and Jay
KEENE – The Adirondack Land Trust announced the purchase of Four Peaks, a 600-acre tract in the towns of Jay and Wilmington adjacent to Wilmington Wild Forest’s Beaver Brook tract, which is popular for mountain biking, trail running, hiking and hunting.
In Wilmington, mountain biking is powering a revival of small businesses catering to cyclists. In 2017, Wilmington was named one of “America’s 20 Best Mountain Bike Towns” by National Geographic. The community hosts a variety of trail systems built mainly by Barkeater Trails Alliance in partnership with the Adirondack Mountain Club and Student Conservation Association. BETA is a volunteer-driven organization that maintains over 100 miles of ski and bike trails across six Adirondack towns.
NYS has identified the Four Peaks tract in its Open Space Conservation Plan for the potential to expand multi-use recreational opportunities from the Beaver Brook trail network, which features 8.5 miles of singletrack bike trail. The Land Trust will conduct an ecological inventory to ensure that future trails are sited with consideration of conservation values. The Land Trust will consult with partners: BETA, Town of Jay, Town of Wilmington, and NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation to plan trails that connect the Wilmington network to Jay. The land remains closed to public recreation in the meantime.
The Adirondack Land Trust worked with the estate of the late Martin Schwalbaum to honor his wish to conserve Four Peaks, which he had managed as a low-impact cabin resort. The purchase price was $509,000; the Adirondack Land Trust expects to incur $700,000 in cumulative costs before anticipated transfer to the state as Forest Preserve. Founded in 1984, the Adirondack Land Trust works to protect farms and forests, undeveloped shoreline, scenic vistas and other lands contributing to the quality of life of our communities as well as the wildness and rural character of the Adirondacks. The land trust has protected 23,637 acres to date. For info, visit adirondacklandtrust.org.
Go Take a Hike Event at Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library
LAKE GEORGE – If you are curious about how to get started hiking, want to learn more about hiking, or if you are hiking your way through the Adirondack 46 High Peaks, join other enthusiasts at the Clifton Park–Halfmoon Library on Tuesday, June 12 at 6:30pm. Topics covered will include what to bring, safety, family fun, hiking destinations, trail habits and practices, and the ADK Fire Tower Challenge. Registration for this event is requested at cphlibrary.org, in person or by calling 518-371-8622. The library will debut its loanable backpack collection at this program. Loanable backpacks have been filled with hiking books, maps, a flashlight, first aid kit and more.
This program is presented by Jim Schneider, coeditor of the book, Views From On High: Fire Tower Trails in the Adirondacks and Catskills, now in its second edition. This guide enables hikers, history buffs, and others fond of Adirondack and Catskill trails to visit and learn about 30 historic fire towers. Detailed trail descriptions are accompanied by numerous photographs and maps as well as an essay about these structures written by historic preservationist Wesley H. Haynes. A complementary activity to Views since the guide’s inception, the ADK Fire Tower Challenge requires hikers to ascend and document at least 23 of 30 fire tower summits found in the Adirondacks and Catskills. A patch is awarded for those who complete the challenge.
On June 12, the library will introduce its own, less vigorous hiking challenge. The goal of the Library Challenge is to have families hike a fire tower summit and email a picture or tag the library (#cphlibrary) in social media posts. Photos can be emailed to email@example.com. The library will collect and print out all family pictures and build a photo tower. Each new picture will be entered into a drawing for a grand prize to be awarded on August 31. Staff librarian and ADK member Jim Schneider, an experienced hiker is a Winter 46er and Northeast 115er, he has been an active ADK volunteer for more than 30 years, including service as a High Peaks Summit Steward, lean-to adopter and trail steward. He is co-creator of the ADK Fire Tower Challenge.
Capital District and Bethlehem Triathlon Clubs Present “The Voice” of Ironman
ALBANY – The Capital District Triathlon Club and Bethlehem Tri Club are thrilled to welcome the most iconic race emcee on the Ironman circuit, Mike Reilly aka “The Voice.” With numerous Ironman races taking place all over the world, Mike has a busy schedule and he will again emcee the 20th annual Ironman Lake Placid on July 22. He has emceed countless Ironman races, and is a wealth of knowledge for all triathletes.
Mike Reilly begins each race at the starting line, keeping athletes calm as they anticipate the day ahead. He then waits at the finish line to welcome home each and every finisher with the sacred words “You’re an Ironman!” Mike will be sharing some of his most memorable Ironman and Ironman Lake Placid experiences. He will also share some common mistakes he has seen triathletes make on race day over the years and other great tips to make your race day successful. Most importantly, Mike will inspire all of those in attendance to go after their biggest, scariest, and most audacious goals this season. If you are racing Ironman Lake Placid (or any triathlon distance this summer), this is definitely a great event to kick-off IMLP race week and get you pumped up.
The event will be held on Tuesday, July 17 at 6pm in the Albany area (location TBA). Mike Reilly will speak from 6:30-8:30pm. Come meet “The Voice” of those three little words that mean so much, and give Mike a big welcome from the Capital Region. For more info on this event, visit Capital District Triathlon Club on facebook.com.
Brant Lake Bike Park Opens
BRANT LAKE – The Brant Lake Bike Park, a newly developed singletrack mountain biking destination, opens on Sunday, June 10 at 9am. The park is on land directly behind The Hub, a bike shop, cafe, and craft beer pub. The trails were designed and built by Wilderness Property Management, a local professional trail building company. Mountain bikers are familiar with their work at the Gurney Lane Mountain Bike Park in Queensbury and the mountain bike trails at Ski Bowl Park in North Creek.
The park is unique and the first of its kind in the area. Not just because of the incredible and varying terrain, but due to the means of the project’s completion. The trail system is on land owned by Drew Cappabianca of The Hub and was professionally constructed. Funds for construction were raised through a Kickstarter campaign, individual donations and sponsorships. This allows the park to be free and open to the public. Grand opening festivities include a send-off ceremony, live music, and a tap-takeover by Common Roots Brewing at The Hub, and six miles of fresh singletrack mountain bike riding.