Photo by John DiGiacomo

About Glenview

The Adirondack Land Trust purchased this 238-acre property in 2016 to preserve a beloved scenic vista, conserve forest and bog habitats for plants and wildlife, and secure an opportunity for future public access. Glenview is owned and managed by the land trust as a permanent nature preserve.

The vision for public access

When completed, Glenview’s accessible wildland trail system will provide no-cost opportunities for underserved residents and visitors with disabilities, as well as people of all ages and abilities, to experience nature via meandering trails through distinct habitats and enjoy stunning vistas without needing to climb to a mountaintop.

Why the trail network is important

The proposed accessible wildland trail network at Glenview, combined with a similar proposed system at the Adirondack Land Trust’s nature preserve in Lake Placid, will fill a need for accessible trails close to the population centers and visitor hubs of Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. Within an hour’s drive of Saranac Lake there are more than 300 miles of traditional foot trails available for hiking (many leading to open summits and inspiring views) but only 14 miles of free trails accessible to people who require wheelchairs. Families with strollers, a growing population of people age 65 and older, and others facing mobility challenges all will benefit from the new trail system.

Frequently Asked Questions

The proposed 2.25 miles of trail will go through different habitat types to accommodate broad interests such as birdwatching, photography, painting, enjoying the views, wheel-based hiking, walking, and cross-country skiing. It will have a firm and stable surface suitable for wheelchairs and strollers and will likely not exceed a five percent grade.

The parking area will drop down from State Route 86 at a location providing the longest sightlines for drivers. It will be below the level of the highway and screened by vegetation. The surface will be crushed stone for 13 parking spaces, paved for three accessible spaces, and sized to allow a school bus to loop around. The trailhead will include a restroom, pavilion, and informational kiosk.

Starting with the parking area, it is important for visitors to be able to discern upon arrival what they can expect, to help determine if conditions are compatible with their needs. A clear description of trail length, slope, and surface material enables visitors to embark on excursions within their comfort level.

Absolutely. Wheel-based hiking is one of the fastest growing adaptive sports, according to the Kelly Brush Foundation, which provides funding for adaptive outdoor recreational equipment. Trails at Glenview would help to create a “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,” according to Nick Friedman, the president and executive director of Accessible Adirondack Tourism, Inc.

If someone who uses a wheelchair is starting in Saranac Lake, say, and looking for a free opportunity to get outside on a wildland trail, they would have to travel more than one hour to Willsboro, where there is a 1.5-mile accessible trail, or one hour to Long Lake, where there are 3.5 miles of accessible trails at John Dillon Park. (Interior trails at the Paul Smith’s Visitor Interpretive Center are not accessible for wheelchair users.) By contrast, anyone looking for a traditional hiking trail in the woods has a multitude of opportunities to choose from well within an hour’s drive.

Yes, the rail trail is a wonderful community resource for lots of people, including wheelchair users. Together, the rail trail and the accessible trails at Glenview when completed will both be additive to our community and the region, just as every traditional hiking trail is. Each offers something unique and facilitates opportunity for more community members to benefit from spending time outdoors.

The timing depends on securing permits and funding. The goal is to begin work in 2025.

No. Early conceptual planning contemplated viewing platforms made of wood. The current plan calls for a trail terminus at a flat area that will provide a view across open bog to distant mountains without the need for a wooden platform.

The permitted uses must be compatible with our vision for Glenview to be a safe place where people of all ages and abilities can enjoy the scenery and connect with nature. We currently do not plan to allow bikes or horses. Dogs are under consideration as we strive to balance recreation with habitat protection.

We are submitting permit applications to the Adirondack Park Agency, the New York State Department of Transportation, and the Town of Harrietstown’s Planning Board.

We have received a $3 million grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission to establish accessible wildland trail systems at Glenview and our nature preserve in Lake Placid. Additional project support includes a $10,000 grant from the Cloudsplitter Foundation, a $100,000 grant from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program, administered by the Land Trust Alliance New York and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and funded through New York’s Environmental Protection Fund, and private donations.

The land will remain closed to the public until we can provide safe parking and access. The view remains open for all to enjoy.