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Cutting the ribbon on October 13 to officially open the Red Sandstone Trail at the Hannawa Falls entrance are Ron Johnson, Adirondack Mountain Club Laurentian chapter chair: Tom Ortmeyer, Adirondack Mountain Club Laurentian chapter vice chair; Tom Wheeler, Adirondack Mountain Club President; Sandy Hildreth, Adirondack Mountain Club director; John Omohundro, trail coordinator; Tom Smith, Brascan Power; Nathan Brouwer, Boy Scouts; Daniel Brower, Boy Scouts; and Sheila Cerwonka, Girl Scouts.

River Trail Officially Opens

The completion of the Red Sandstone Trail was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the southern terminus on Wednesday, October 13, at 2:30 p.m. The trail is a footpath along the west bank of the Raquette River from Hannawa Falls to Sugar Island, just south of Potsdam Village.

On hand for the ribbon-cutting were the partners in this cooperative recreational effort: Brascan Power N.Y./Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P, which owns the property; Laurentian Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club, which designed and coordinates the trail; St. Lawrence County Youth Conservation Corps, which helps build and maintain the trail, and area Boy Scouts, including Eagle Scout Nathan Brouwer, who erected the interpretive signs.

The Red Sandstone Trail is one of several recreational improvements agreed to by the hydroelectric corporation to secure public support for federal renewal of its Middle Raquette license, which began in February, 2002.

The trail begins on Mill St. in Hannawa Falls across from the fire station and continues without interruption for three and a half miles to the northern tip of Sugar Island. It is intended to be a four-season trail. The Sugar Island portion of the trail represents over two miles of cross-country ski trails.

Historic highlights of the trail include the Hannawa and Sugar Island dams and powerhouses, the extinct and working sandstone quarries, log boom anchors, and remnants of the Hannawa-Potsdam Railroad.

Natural highlights of the trail include the Hannawa gorge with its Class Four rapids, the quiet Sugar Island Flow, majestic pines and hemlocks, and an abundant stand of blue beeches.

Spotted from the trail in just the last few years have been wood ducks, minks, otters, owls, fishers, turkey vultures, blue herons, and signs of coyote.

Parking lots for trail users are provided at the southern terminus at Mill St. and at the northern terminus, off County Route 59 (“Back Hannawa Road”) across from Sweeney Road.

Canoe landings, whitewater put-ins, barbeque grills, picnic tables, interpretive signs, and a footbridge over the pipeline have been provided by Brascan Power N.Y./Erie Boulevard Hydropower, L.P., in consultation with the Laurentian Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club.

A map of the trail appears on each of the twelve interpretive posts along the route and at Red Sandstone Trail Map.