APA Votes To Amend Master Plan, Allow Bikes In Essex Chain

The Adirondack Park Agency board voted 9-1 on Friday to allow the use of mountain bikes in the Essex Chain region — a move that some wild-land advocates say weakens protections for the Forest Preserve.

With one dissent, the board agreed to amend the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan to permit bicycling along nine miles of former logging roads in the Essex Chain Primitive Area and the nearby Pine Lake Primitive Area. (The two areas are expected to be combined in the future.)

The master plan will continue to prohibit bicycling in other Primitive Areas except on administrative roads.

The APA also voted to allow the state Department of Environmental Conservation to use motor vehicles to perform non-routine maintenance on the roads, which also will be open to horseback riders.