Photo by Carl Heilman II

KEENE, N.Y. — The Adirondack Land Trust has received a $10,000 grant from the Cloudsplitter Foundation toward the creation of universally accessible trails at Glenview Preserve in Harrietstown, an award that was leveraged to secure an additional $100,000 grant from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program for infrastructure that will welcome people of all abilities. 

“The vision for Glenview Preserve is a place where anyone, including people who use a wheelchair, walker, or stroller for mobility, can move safely through a wild landscape,” said Adirondack Land Trust Stewardship & GIS Manager Becca Halter and project lead. “These generous awards from the Cloudsplitter Foundation and New York State move us closer to the day when people can visit Glenview and experience the benefits of conservation firsthand.” 

The Adirondack Land Trust purchased Glenview, a 238-acre Franklin County property with views of Whiteface Mountain and the McKenzie Range, in 2016. The land is managed for the conservation of field, forest, and boreal habitats, as well as wildlife and water quality protection. Future public access will allow visitors to meander through these habitats and learn about the plants, birds, and animals that inhabit them.  

Today, the premier Adirondack destination for accessible recreation is John Dillon Park, which offers 3.5 miles of wildland accessible trails outside of Long Lake. Glenview’s planned 2.25-mile trail network will bring accessible trails to the more densely populated Tri-Lakes area. The trailhead will include a parking area with accessible spaces, an informational kiosk, and a restroom. Trails will feature a firm and stable surface of crushed stone with a maximum grade of five percent. 

“There are few accessible outdoor venues in the Adirondacks,” said Nick Friedman, president and executive director of Accessible Adirondack Tourism, Inc.  “This infrastructure would build toward critical mass to attract new outdoor visitors to the region and provide the health benefits of nature to a broad array of underserved people with disabilities.” 

Knowing what to expect in terms of parking and trail characteristics will help people make informed decisions about visiting the preserve. This is especially important for people with mobility challenges interested in having a wildland trail experience on their own or with family and friends.

The Adirondack Land Trust was among 44 nonprofit land trusts across the state on the receiving end of the New York State Conservation Partnership Program’s (NYSCPP) disbursement of $3.075 million in total grant funding announced on May 7. NYSCPP grants are administered by the Land Trust Alliance in coordination with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and financed by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF). Created in 1993, the EPF is funded by real estate transfer taxes to support capital projects for environmental protection and community enhancement.