NORTHVILLE - The Northville-Lake Placid Trail will have a new starting point in the village beginning this year.
Local residents are getting ready to celebrate the new trailhead.
Brian Correll, event planner for the Northville Merchants Association's National Trail Days Celebration, is preparing for the June celebration in honor of the addition to the Northville-Placid Trail, which now runs from the town of Benson through the Adirondacks to Lake Placid.
The Northville Waterfront Park, shown above, will be the site of a new trailhead for the Northville-Lake Placid Trail.
The Leader-Herald/Arthur Cleveland
The state Department of Environmental Conservation is extending the wooded trail from Benson to Northville. The new trailhead will be at the Northville Waterfront Park.
The DEC also will build a parking lot and kiosk for the trail.
In conjunction with the DEC, the Northville Merchants Association will plan a large, rustic arch for the park, Correll said.
The celebration will include the Adirondack Arts & Crafts Show, Mr. Man's Kayaks Canoes & Paddleboats providing a demonstration, speeches by authors and trail guides, storytelling, a barbecue, local maple syrup products and ice cream. Music will be performed by Annie and the Hedonists, Adirondack fiddlers and folk musicians.
"It is going to be a great thing for the village," Correll said.
According to the trail's website, the Northville-Placid Trail was completed in 1924 as the first project undertaken by the Adirondack Mountain Club. George D. Pratt, an officer of Standard Oil Co., funded much of the work. He was also the first president of the mountain club and commissioner of the New York State Conservation Commission, a predecessor of today's DEC.
Larry Weill, a coordinator with the ADK, said the trail is unique, bringing hikers through many of the lowlands and water-filled regions of New York.
Many other trails bring hikers to high elevations, but the roughly 133-mile Northville-Placid trail does not.
"It is very different from any other large trail," Weill said.
Weill said the trail attracts people who want to hike and camp around the Silver Lakes, along with people who want to hike the entire trail.
Weill estimated 200 to 250 people sign in at the trailhead in Benson every year.
If the first year of the celebration is a success, Correll said he hopes it could become a yearly celebration in the village.
Weill said part of the goal of the redesigned trail is to bring all of the trail into the woods.
Currently, hikers starting in Northville have to take Bridge Street to Route 30 and follow the road along with car traffic until they reach the trailhead in Benson.
"They are taking a really unpleasant first day of a hiker's experience and bringing it into the woods," Weill said.
A section of the extended trail around Silver Lake has been completed, Correll said. Further work will continue after the snow melts, he said.
Details about the work on the trail, the cost of the project and where the trail extension will run from Northville to Benson were unavailable from the DEC.
"We're working on the trail," DEC spokesman David Winchell said. "I think a lot of the work has already been completed."
Correll said representatives from ADK will work on the Northville-Placid Trail the day of the celebration, as well as part of the dedication.
Winchell said further information about the new trail would not be available until the celebration in June.
The celebration is scheduled on June 7 and 8 at the Northville Waterfront Park.