Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Long Distance, Single Use Foot Trail

OutdoorBlips: vote it up!
if you like this article, click the Blip chiclet!
by Bill Coffin: condensed from the Finger Lakes Trail News, Fall 2009

Single-track trail mileage limited to hikers is the backbone of the Finger Lakes Trail, and it needs better protection from mechanical impact. Last year there was a proposal in Albany for a statewide multiple use trail system, which would be a disappointment to hikers since it fails to recognize the value of single use hiking trails. Something must be fundamentally wrong if conservation does not encompass saving a continuous track solely for the foot traveler.

Seeing nature at its very best, which is a major purpose of hiking, requires a foot trail with a wilderness character. To often the hiking experience gets lumped with other types of trail usage. It is wrong to believe that the woods should look the same to everyone and that multiple use trails are the answer. Wilderness is the experience hikers seek.

The heaviest and fastest trail usage determines the final shape and appearance of a multiple use trail and also dominates the experience of other when they are on the trail. Unfortunately, on multiple use trails the hiking experience comes last.

The FLT [and great portions of the North Country Trail] is a long distance, single track hiking trail, reflecting the only kind of long-distance land travel that existed in North America 500 years ago. The Finger Lakes Trail brings back a semblance of wilderness pre-history. It is a highly valuable conservation and recreation resource that merits protection as a single-use footpath.

Finger Lakes Trail

No comments: