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DANC floats idea for nature trails connecting Lyme, Cape Vincent and Clayton

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CHAUMONT — The Development Authority of the North Country is floating the idea for two nature trails that would connect the village to the neighboring towns of Cape Vincent and Clayton.

“This is just a concept at this point,” said Thomas R. Sauter, deputy executive director for DANC.

Officials said DANC would move forward with the proposals only if the respective communities support the concept, landowners agree to grant easements and the authority secures federal funding for the work.

“Conceptually, the idea began with the need to make improvements to the western regional waterline right of way. These improvements were identified at the same time NYSDOT (the state Department of Transportation) was requesting proposals based on the availability of federal funds for trails,” DANC’s Executive Director James W. Wright said in an email to the Times.

The first 5.2-mile path would start at the village of Chaumont’s tennis courts on Old Town Springs Road, lead up to the Ashland Wildlife Preserve and end at the preserve’s access point on Burnt Rock Road in Cape Vincent.

This would be a five-year, $1.53 million project.

The second 4.7-mile trail would connect the village center, East Main Street, to the Chaumont Barrens and end near Depauville in the town of Clayton. DANC does not have a cost estimate or a timeline for the second phase, Mr. Sauter said.

“We felt that a proposal linking the NYSDEC (state Department of Environmental Conservation) Ashland Wildlife Management site and eventually the Chaumont Barrens would be both competitive and beneficial to the community,” Mr. Wright said.

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