"The name "Adirondacks" is an Anglicized version of the Mohawk 'ratirontaks', meaning "they eat trees", a derogatory name which the Mohawk historically applied to neighboring Algonquian-speaking tribes; when food was scarce, the Algonquians would eat the buds and bark of trees" (Donaldson, Alfred L., A History of the Adirondacks, New York: Century, 1921. pp. 34-35)
"Ski good or eat wood" -unknown
Welcome and thanks for visiting the Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA) website! BETA is united by a common interest in great trails. While we all share a common love of mountain biking, we also share a common interest in the communities we live in, and feel that trails should play an integral role in defining our communities as healthy places to live and recreate. Our area is truly a special one- The landscape of the Adirondacks has long been known for its rugged beauty, rural character, ecological diversity, and world class recreation opportunities. As one of the most well protected natural landscapes in the world, the Adirondack Park requires that those who would have an influence on recreational access here be prepared to collaborate with lots of different interests and influences. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Adirondack Park Agency, not-for-profit environmental groups, towns, villages, and private landowners just to name a few. To fulfill our mission of creating and maintaining a first class multi-use trail system, we must not only hold ourselves to the highest standards of trail building, but also be ready to collaborate with lots of different trail users. In that spirit, we joined forces with the non-profit Adirondack Ski Touring Council in February 2011. As a project of the ASTC, BETA is well positioned to expand the opportunities for mountain biking in the Tri Lakes region, while lending strength to the ongoing efforts of the ski touring council. In forming this alliance, both efforts have been strengthened.
Historically, the Adirondacks have been considered an incredible potential resource for mountain biking opportunities- almost a frontier if you will- if it could be done right. However, the scale of the park is daunting, and one wonders where to even start. Speaking of scale, Vermont is approximately the same size as the Adirondack Park with 5 times as many people... and most folks would consider Vermont a rural state (Thanks Bill McKibben). To carry the comparison a step further, the Vermont Mountain Bike Association, (within which there are currently 17 active chapters- they love to ride local!), operates in the same area.
So where does that leave us here on the other side of the lake? With a whole lot of deep woods and very few people... just how we like it! Seriously though, the tri-lakes area is primed to accommodate the type of first class multi-use trail system that we all dream of, and we're working to make it happen. In fact, with the work already begun, our efforts are now bearing fruit. Whether you are a visitor, seasonal resident, or year-round local, we ask that you consider supporting our ongoing efforts and encourage you to take advantage of the awesome diversity of trails our area has to offer.
See you on the trail!
BETA founder and trailbuilder