LOUISVILLE - The New York Power Authority Board of Trustees has approved the award of a more than $934,000 contract for the design and construction of approximately 2 1/2 miles of hiking trails on Nichols Hill Island in Louisville. The new trails will provide both handicapped accessible and rustic sections and include a fishing pier, observation platform and hunting blind.
The trustees approved the competitively bid contract to Tahawus Trails LLC of Accord, in Ulster County.
“This recreational initiative provides another excellent example of NYPA’s commitment to help improve the quality of life in the north country,” Judge Eugene L. Nicandri, a NYPA trustee and resident of Massena said in a news release. “The new trails will bring great enjoyment to everyone who visits Nichols Hill Island.”
“We are pleased to offer environmental and recreational enhancements that will further promote the beauty of the north country to tourists and local residents alike. The new trail, designed by award-winning trail-builders, will provide opportunities for all people to experience the sights and sounds of nature for many years to come,” NYPA President and Chief Executive Officer Gil C. Quiniones said in the release. “Recreational and habitat improvement are an integral part of the Power Authority’s continuing mission to collaborate closely with the residents and communities of the north country.”
Over the last decade, NYPA has contributed to numerous recreational and environmental improvements under the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Plant’s 2003 relicensing and as part of other efforts. The improvements include:
• Rehabilitation and additions to local boat launches, beaches and parks
• State parks rehabilitation
• Wilson Hill Wildlife Management Area rehabilitation
• Current and future habitat improvement projects
• Fish enhancement, mitigation and research fund
• St. Lawrence Research and Education Fund
• NYPA shoreline stabilization
• Adjoining landowner shoreline stabilization
• Hawkins Point Visitors Center
• Preservation and support of the Nature Center.
Small equipment and hand tools will be relied upon by Tahawus Trails to develop the Nichols Hill Island hiking trails. This will ensure protection of the island’s natural environment along the St. Lawrence River.
Tahawus Trails LLC is a member of the National Professional Trails Builders Association and has a proven record of trail design and construction spanning more than 25 years. In 2012, the company was hired by NYPA to construct stairs at the Niagara River Gorge in Niagara Falls State Park, earning the Power Authority the Outstanding Stewardship of American Waters award in 2013 and Tahawus Trails the Trail Project of the Year by the National Professional Trail Builders Association.