Show your support for continuing the prohibition on motorized uses of the "Old Mountain Road" section of the
​Jackrabbit Ski Trail 


March 12, 2018

Dear Friends of BETA and the Jackrabbit Ski Trail,

You've likely seen the news over the past week or so about the most recent court decision on the "Old Mountain Road" section of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail between Lake Placid and Keene.  If not, click here to get up to speed.  

BETA is pleased that the long-standing “battle” over the status of the Old Mountain Road appears to have ended with the recent decision by the Appellate court, which ruled that the Old Mountain Road was not legally abandoned as a town road. The court's decision once again places management authority in the hands of the towns of North Elba and Keene.  It is now up to both towns to determine future use of the road within their respective borders.

For a variety of practical reasons detailed HERE and HERE​​​, the Barkeater Trails Alliance (formerly the Adirondack Ski Touring Council) is strongly urging the Towns of North Elba and Keene to maintain the prohibition on motorized use of the Old Mountain Road by snowmobiles and other motor vehicles.  It is BETA’s position that continued non-motorized management of the road as a key segment of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail in winter, and as a foot trail during the rest of the year, is the safest and most practical path forward. 

Since 1986, ASTC-BETA have maintained the 3.5-mile route along the Old Mountain Road for non-motorized public use as part of the 34-mile Jackrabbit Ski Trail, primarily with the help of volunteers who have dedicated countless hours to its establishment and ongoing stewardship.  We hope both towns will take steps to preserve for future generations the 32-year legacy of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail, a highly-popular recreational asset that is unparalleled in the Adirondack Park.

Your Voice is Important...Here is What YOU Can Do:

1. Contact the Town Supervisors and Town Council members of North Elba and Keene to share your views about how the Old Mountain Road should be managed now that the Towns have the authority to determine allowable recreational uses.  In doing so, it is helpful to share your experience as a user of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail, and if you happen to be a resident of either town, make sure to let them know.  Email is best, but of course you can also make a phone call or mail a letter.

CLICK HERE for contact information for the Town of North Elba

CLICK HERE for contact information for the Town of Keene

2.  We know its short notice, but both towns have public Board meetings tomorrow night - Tuesday, March 13 at 7:00pm - at their respective town halls.  If you are a resident of either town, please consider attending the meeting and voicing your thoughts during the public comment session (typically held at the start of each meeting, so make sure to get there a few minutes early). 

Of course we'd love it if you shared BETA's position on how best to manage the Old Mountain Road section of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail, but more importantly we value public participation in trails-related land use decisions at the local and state level, and seek to encourage people with all points of view to participate in the democratic process afforded to us as citizens of the State of New York.   


Ski tracks on the Old Mountain Road section of the Jackrabbit Trail, Winter 2017


Section of the Old Mountain Road flooded by beaver dams, Fall 2016

The mission of the Barkeater Trails Alliance is advocate for, build and maintain a world-class system of trails for ski touring, mountain biking and other human-powered activities in the eastern High Peaks region of the Adirondack Park.

Efforts to fulfill this mission are coordinated by a full-time Executive Director and driven by a passionate network of local volunteers (and since 2017, a paid seasonal trail crew) who collectively dedicate thousands of hours each year to maintaining and supporting the trail systems.

Simply put, we're working hard every day to build and maintain the amazing trails you enjoy...trails that connect our communities to the local woods and the wilder backcountry, whether by skis, bike or foot, for generations to come. 

All of this is possible because our members remain committed to the cause, and we are adding new members almost daily. Your support allows BETA to continue to engage decision makers, and key community partners in a joint effort to improve, expand and promote opportunities for ski touring and mountain biking in the region.  Thank you for keeping us rolling!