After complaints from residents along Ellsworth Road about the snowmobile traffic last winter, local clubs have found a new solution to connect the Warren and Washington County trail systems this year. A 1.2 mile portion of the Warren County Bike Path will be utilized to connect the two trail systems.
Supervisors heard from both sides at a public hearing earlier this week, with supporters of the snowmobile clubs largely outnumbering those who oppose the use of the bike trail. The county board voted in favor of the trail link almost unanimously.
Business owners on both sides of the connected trail system credited the link for their increase in business last winter. (I’m sure that the amount of snow we received last year also had a lot to do with the popularity of the trails). Washington County riders come to Warren County for the day, and vice versa. Snowmobilers often stop for gas, a beer, a bite to eat, or all three while out enjoying the trails. The more traffic that each trail gets, the more customers each business gets.
Many people that oppose the link in the trails brought questions about safety, noise, and trespassing to the hearing. Supervisors were asked to put up a fence to keep snowmobiles on the trail, and to enact a “sunup to sundown” curfew for riders. These requests were not granted by the county board.
Other bike paths in New York State are utilized by snowmobiles during the winter months, and why shouldn’t they be? Cyclists certainly don’t use these trails when they are covered with snow. Warren County Bike Path is closed to cyclists in the winter.
Do you use the bike path for anything in the winter? Cross country skiing, or snowshoeing? Will snowmobiles using this portion of the bike path bother you?