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County trail network expected to open this summer in Parishville, Colton area

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COLTON - Over 150 people attended an informational meeting at the Colton-Pierrepont School on May 30 regarding the St. Lawrence County Multi-use Trail System, sections of which will be opening soon. In the planning stages for almost ten years, the trail system will support a wide variety of recreational uses throughout all four seasons.

A series of speakers made strong statements of support for the system, including representatives of the St. Lawrence County Legislature, the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, town governments, local businesses and trail user groups. All voiced enthusiasm for the recreational opportunities for residents and the potential for capturing tourism dollars as hundreds of miles of trails connect communities.

Other topics covered at the meeting included a brief history of the project and the extensive environmental studies done to facilitate the main route crossing the county and connecting to Jefferson, Lewis and Franklin counties. Maps were on display in the auditorium lobby and on the screen during the program. Also discussed was how communities along the route could capitalize on trail tourism.

St. Lawrence County has recently been awarded both a $500,000 grant from Empire State Development and a $30,000 SLRVDA grant toward further development of the trail system.

The easternmost section of the multi-use trail is expected to open in the towns of Parishville, Hopkinton, Colton, and Pierrepont early this summer, with western and central portions to follow. Many areas will see local “feeder” trails being developed to link to the main route.

Deb Christy, St Lawrence County trail coordinator, says the depth of support for the project is overwhelming. “As part of a greater regional system, St. Lawrence County is ideally located to anchor a fantastic network that will bring new life to the north country in the form of long-distance touring, recreational opportunity and huge tourism potential.”

For more information on the St. Lawrence County Multi-use Trail System, contact Ms. Christy at 315-386-8525 or e-mail stlawrencetrails@twcny.rr.com.

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