Opinion: More recreational trails would stimulate economy, says Brasher Falls man
Friday, January 4, 2019 - 5:47 am

I hear a lot about what we should do to promote tourism in NY and St. Lawrence County. How about registering UTVs opening more trails?

West Virginia has the Hatfield McCoy trail system, which is several trail systems connected to make up almost 1500 miles of trails! The economic impact in 2014 was over $20 million. Just look up TrailsHaven.com economic impact. All the information is laid out in this study.

New Hampshire has Ride the Wilds New Hampshire. These trails total around 1200 miles with trails connecting Vermont to the west and Maine trails to the east. I can’t nail down the economic impact for this but I would say it is in the many millions as is West Virginia. It just keeps growing.

If they don't want it in the Adirondacks, who cares? That is a tiny piece of NY. We had trails everywhere in NY in the early 2000s. Then overbearing NY state said we rode the sides of the roads too much and didn't stay on the hard packed dirt roads in the forest.

Now they have us riding the sides of paved roads and through the woods where they didn't want us before and it’s ok because some politician got what he wanted!

UTVs are more popular now then ever and the state is missing out on major revenue in registration of the machines alone. New Hampshire is only four hours away and all this revenue is going there . We cant rely on snowmobile revenue anymore because we don't get the snow we used to. Snowmobilers are traveling out of state to ride too.

Steven Wilson

Brasher Falls