DEC okays snowmobile, recreational improvements for Tug Hill

Expanded recreational activities will be offered at the Tug Hill North Unit under the final Unit Management Plan (UMP) released on July 31 by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Marc Gerstman.

“The Tug Hill North UMP has been well-received locally and in particular by those who enjoy snowmobiling, mountain biking, hunting, fishing, trapping, cross-country skiing, hiking, and other outdoor activities,” Gerstman said. 

The UMP launches a series of actions including to:

• Build three new snowmobile trails that will eliminate the need for snowmobiling on plowed town roads. Snowmobiling is one of the major economic recreational uses of the Tug Hill area.

The improvements will allow safer more enjoyable snowmobiling.

• Develop a new “single track” mountain bike trail system. Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing outdoor pursuits. The system will be developed through a partnership with a group of avid cyclists from Watertown under a Volunteer Stewardship Agreement (VSA) agreement with DEC.

• Improve public access to state lands by maintaining existing Public Forest Access Roads. This access is for hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and other activities.

• Improve the Barnes Corners Ski Trail system with new ski trail bridges and a universally accessible trail to the rim of Inman Gulf. This trail system is heavily used for skiing, snow shoeing, hiking and some mountain biking. Improvements will enhance visitor’s enjoyment of the system.

• Improve habitats to provide additional opportunities for hunting and trapping.

The unit is a patchwork of state-owned parcels located west of Lowville, south of Copenhagen and east of Adams in Lewis and Jefferson counties.

Recreationists can use the developed multi-use trails; 54.6 miles of foot trails, 48.2 miles of cross-country ski trails, 39.6 miles of bike trails, 18.1 miles of equestrian trails and 120.6 miles of snowmobile trails.

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