Trail closed to snomobiles

The trail along the CSX tracks that was recently paved for the Links Trail has been closed to snowmobilers. After the train derailment last year, the village received around $30,000 from CSX and paved the walking trail that runs parallel to the tracks. This walking path is part of the North County Trail Association's Links Trail that runs through Canastota. Last month, the village entered into a Landowner Easement Agreement with the Tri-Valley Riders Inc. snowmobile club to allow snowmobiles access to the left of the Links Trail. Snowmobilers were asked to stay off the paved surface, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

The club posted 25 mph speed limit signs and a sign was erected asking snowmobilers to stay to the left of the Links Trail and off the pavement.

The problem seemed to be twofold. As of Jan. 20, the Tri-Valley Riders shut the trail down because they had lost a portion of the trail that runs through the town of Lincoln. Anytime a portion of the trail is lost, the entire trail is closed, according to Larry Carpenter, village administrator. The closing of the trail nullified the club's agreement with the village. If the trail remained open any liability would now fall on the village.

Police Chief James Zophy said there recently was a serious accident on the trail. A snowmobile was traveling at a high rate of speed, didn't make the curve and ended up at the bottom of the retention pond behind the industrial park. The person was injured.

Adding fuel to the fire was Al Larmann, member of the Central New York Chapter of the NCTA. Larmann attended the village board meeting Jan. 21 to express his disapproval with snowmobiles using the trail. Larmann had photos he took of snowmobile tracks on the pavement and up on the embankment.

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