Bicycle Shops

Touring Routes

Mountain Bike Atlas

Recreational Paths

Bicycling Centers


Maps & Books

Safe Bicycling

. . . . . . . . . .

Unit Management Plans

Paths Being Developed

Mountain Bike Initiative

Organizations & Advocacy

Tourism Information

. . . . . . . . . .




Overview of Mountain Biking Regulation in the Adirondacks
In 1992, the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) signed a joint memorandum of agreement that permitted mountain biking on all Wild Forest classified lands, while prohibiting mountain biking on all Wilderness classified lands in the Adirondack Park.  The memorandum was in response to the tourism, bicycling, and regional planning interests which identified the economic and recreational potential for mountain bicycling in the Adirondack Park.  In light of the delays in completing the Unit Management Plans, the memorandum opened a window of opportunity for bicycling on Wild Forest Lands unless prohibited on a specific trail because of special conditions or other uses.  That window permitted the identification and inventory of popular mountain bicycling trails which was then undertaken through a joint effort of the Adirondack North Country Association, the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the LA Group.  Their joint effort resulted in the Adirondack Park Mountain Bike Preliminary Trail and Route Guide that was published by the Adirondack Mountain Club in 1995 and lists over 100 popular mountain biking routes. Since the preliminary listing, some counties, such as Franklin and Essex, have identified other routes at the local level and additional routes continue to be identified through the Adirondack Park Mountain Bike Initiative.

Since the early 1990s, few trails have been closed to mountain biking, with most interested parties waiting for the Unit Management Planning process to provide the forum for discussing and studying which trails are most popular and appropriate for mountain biking.  That time has now arrived.  Over the next two years (2002-2004), a Unit Management Plan (UMP) is going to be completed for every Wild Forest Unit in the Adirondack Park, 29 plans in all.  As of March 2002, only two UMPs are complete, eight are in progress, and new plans will begin on a monthly basis.  Access to trails popular among recreational mountain bikers could be limited or prohibited in a Unit Management Plan unless advocates and participants make their preferences known during the planning and public comment periods

Importance of Public Participation
Public comments are one of the major planning tools being used to make decisions on appropriate and inappropriate recreational use of specific trails in a unit.  It remains unclear whether mountain biking will be allowed on all Wild Forest trails except for trails where it is specifically prohibited, or whether mountain biking will be prohibited on all trails unless signed as opened to mountain biking.  At this time, it is best to assume that if the public speaks up in favor of specific trails, those trails have a better chance of being designated for mountain biking.  Members of the public have been speaking up against mountain biking in UMP public comment meetings, at times requesting blanket closure of all trials in a unit to mountain biking, rather than targeting specific trails.

The remainder of this page provides information on how you can participate, has links to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's website on UMPs, lists local contacts knowledgeable on mountain biking, and provides background information and research.  We encourage all interested parties to educate themselves on mountain biking and to participate in the public comment process by attending meetings, writing letters, sending emails, etc.  If you plan to attend a public meeting or submit comments in support of mountain biking, we encourage you to be as specific as possible in your references to trails and locations.


 Learn about the UMP Planning Process and Schedule

October 1999 Press Release Announcing Governor Pataki's Forest Preserve Planning Initiative

What is a Unit Management Plan?

How to Comment on Unit Management Plans

Map of Adirondack Park with Unit Management Boundaries

Schedule of UMP Meetings and Comment Periods  (click on Getting Involved with Unit Management Plans)

Attend Upcoming UMP Meetings and Submit your Comments

Generally, public comment on a draft Unit Management Plan can be made in writing, by telephone, fax and email up to 30 days after the public meeting.  To comment on a specific UMP or to find out whom you should contact about a specific UMP, click on Unit Management Plan, scroll down to the list of units, and click on the specific unit in which you are interested.

Here are a few UMP meetings that are coming up soon:

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest, March 20 at the High School in Saranac Lake, 6 - 9PM

White Hill Wild Forest UMP  (St. Lawrence County)Parishville-Hopkinton Central School, Parishville: March 21, 2002, from 5-8 pm

Resources and Research

Local Mountain Biking Contacts & Sources of Information

Park-wide Information:Gary Thomann
Inlet Area: Ted Christodaro

Wilmington Area: Bert Yost

Saranac Lake Area: Paul Capone

Speculator Area: Dean Nervik

Adirondack Park Mountain Bike Preliminary Trail & Route Listing  (online purchase)

Mountain Biking and the Adirondack Park Wild Forest Areas  (by Gary Thomann;  an article intended to encourage a positive, productive dialogue)

Advocacy Information

IMBA Action Alert! - New York State Cyclists Urged to Respond to Proposed Trail Closures

Stand and Be Counted  - The Ride Magazine (scroll down to NY State section)

Let's Build Trails, Not Walls - John Viehman: Executive Editor, Backpacker Magazine

Research on Economic and Environmental Considerations

Off-Road Impacts of Mountain Bikes ‚ G. R. Cessford, New Zealand Dept of Conservation

Research on Mountain Biking at Southern Kettle Moraine, Wisconsin

Trail Shock: Studies Weigh Mountain Biking & Hiking Impacts

Designing Multiple-Use Trails by Kurt Loheit, IMBA Trails Resource Director

Share the Trail: Guide to Responsible Riding (NEMBA pamphlet)

IMBA Trail Building Resources

Short Summary of the Economic Impacts of Mountain Biking in Utah


Mountain Biking Planning Activities in Other States and Regions

Mountain Biking in Michigan Parks and Recreation Areas: A Trails Program Needs Analysis

Mountain Biking in the Chequamegon Area of Northern Wisconsin and Implications for Regional Development




The Adirondack Region | Our Sponsors | Contact Us

Initiated and maintained in the Adirondacks by Holmes & Associates, Saranac Lake
Design and development by In the Woods Design Studio, Lake Placid
Hosting provided by NorthNet, Canton

© 2005 Bike Adirondacks   All rights reserved.