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Tue., Sep. 2
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County trails coming closer to fruition

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BRASHER FALLS - A member of the St. Lawrence County Trail Advisory Committee says a trail system through the southern part of St. Lawrence County is coming closer to fruition.

Using a color-coded map, William E. Dashnaw outlined plans with Brasher Town Board members this week for the approximately 200-mile trail system that will stretch from Lewis County to Franklin Countys via St. Lawrence County.

“This trail has been in the works for almost 11 years,” according to Mr. Dashnaw, the retired St. Lawrence County Highway Department superintendent who has been an associate with the town of Brasher since January.

Roads marked in a dark purple delineated proposed trails, the “preferred route,” he said, while those marked in yellow were pre-existing all-terrain vehicle trails already recognized by the Department of Environmental Conservation.

“Jefferson County has trails. Lewis County has pretty extensive trails,” Mr. Dashnaw said, noting they planned to hook on to the Lewis County trail at Harrisville and end at Lake Ozonia at the Franklin County line.

He said the map with the proposed trails was part of the final generic environmental impact study scheduled to be released in a couple of weeks. Mr. Dashnaw said they had received many comments on the plan during the 30-day comment period.

While permits are needed to complete some segments of the proposed trail, others need to be built and they need to modify areas where there is a DEC Unit Management Plan in place, Mr. Dashnaw said they were making progress.

“We do expect to have segments open this year,” he told the Brasher board members.

Mr. Dashnaw said there will be preferred staging areas and kiosks at some locations. Trails will be numbered, and rules will be posted, he said.

There is also a plan to make sure riders can get from municipality to municipality. The main focus right is “just to get the blueprint in place across the county,” he said.

“Once this main trail gets open across the county, we’ll work on the other trails that connect municipal entities,” Mr. Dashnaw said.

But that could take some time, he suggested.

“There are all kinds of issues,” such as culvert and bridge problems, Mr. Dashnaw said. “There’s a ton of work to be done.”

Once trails are up and running, they will be maintained by a number of groups, including the county highway department and “the shared services of a whole lot of towns,” he said.

Clubs can also adopt segments of a trail, much like they do for highways, he added.

Brasher officials were enthusiastic about the plan.

“If this happens, this’ll be great,” Assessor Allen W. Fukes said.

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