We haven’t really had any substantial snowfall yet this winter. However, when we do finally get dumped on (face it, it’s coming) area snowmobilers will not be able to make the connection to the Thurman Trail as they could in past seasons.
The portion of the trail that used to connect the Thurman system to the lower Warren County trail system in the past ran along the railroad tracks that are now being used by the Saratoga & North Creek Railway. With no immediate solution, snowmobilers will have to trailer their machines up to Thurman in order to access the Speculator, Old Forge, and Hamilton County trails.
There are several snowmobile clubs in Warren County that help maintain the trails: the Thurman Connection, the South Warren Snowmobile Club, the North Warren Snowmobile Club, and the Hague Snowblowers.
The clubs were hopeful last month when the Thurman Town Board voted to allow them to use a half-mile portion of Bowen Hill Road to make the connection. However, several property owners have now backed out of the deal, which would have allowed snowmobiles to use private property to get from one trail to another. To make the connection now, the town would have to open up their highways to more widespread use, which they are not willing to do.
It is really too bad that an agreement can’t be reached over this, as snowmobile riders bring quite a bit of business to the north country (when there is snow). I’m interested to see how this break in the trail system will affect local businesses, and what will be done to fix it next season.
Until then.. cross your fingers for some snowfall, and ride where you can!