Board to review plan for 3,400-foot zip line at Lake George
LAKE GEORGE What would be the longest zip line in the Adirondacks — on a prominent mountain just south of Lake George village — is now under review by the Adirondack Park Agency.
The proposed “Bear Pond Zip Flyer” would be a tourist attraction that includes four lines running about 3,400 feet down the side of French Mountain, ending at the Wild West Ranch on Bloody Pond Road in Queensbury, also known as Bear Pond Ranch.
The project, first proposed in 2012 by landowner Ralph Macchio of Deer Park, is located in the towns of both Lake George and Queensbury, on the mountain visible from the Northway as visitors approach Lake George.
The planning boards in both towns have approved the project despite some public opposition, with supporters citing its potential to bring younger recreational visitors to the Lake George area.
Opponents — including the Lake George waterkeeper and a neighboring campground owner — have been critical of the visual and environmental impacts. Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky has said the project will use a rough road going up the mountain that was initially designated a logging road and never properly reviewed, and which hasn’t been approved for commercial use.
Michael O’Connor of Glens Falls, the attorney for the project, didn’t return a call seeking comment last week.
Because four people could use the ride simultaneously, there’s the potential for several hundred people a day to use it, according to information on the tourist potential the applicant supplied to the town of Lake George.
Zip lines have been an increasingly popular form of thrill recreation in recent years. A zip line generally goes down a mountain or other slope at some height above the ground, and users travel down the line harnessed and attached to a free-moving pulley. There are zip lines at the Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course in Bolton Landing, but they are much shorter than what is proposed on French Mountain.
If the attraction was built, riders would launch and end their trips at two new 34-foot towers, one at the top of the mountain and one at the base of mountain on Bear Pond Ranch property.
Operations are proposed to be year-round, but only during daylight hours.
The park agency is taking public comments on the application through Thursday at its offices in Ray Brook.
APA spokesman Keith McKeever said a timetable for reviewing and making decisions about the application won’t be determined until after the public comment period ends.