Hunters, hikers collide on Cheney Mountain

Moriah may close new trail during hunting season

Colvin Chapman of Ticonderoga takes a break from clearing trail to enjoy the view from Cheney Mountain.

Colvin Chapman of Ticonderoga takes a break from clearing trail to enjoy the view from Cheney Mountain.

— There are safety concerns with the new Cheney Mountain Trail in Moriah.

The new recreation trail opened last month. It starts by the town’s former landfill on Pelfershire Road and follows an old logging road to the summit of Cheney Mountain, affording views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains.

“It’s been utilized by a lot of people from all over the area, which is a good thing,” Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said. “The problem is hunting.”

Moriah allows hunting on town property. Adjacent land owners also allow hunting on their property.

“People (hikers) are leaving the trail and town property,” Scozzafava said. “The adjacent property owners have expressed concerns. Can you imagine sitting in a tree stand all day waiting for a deer and all the sudden a group of hikers walk past?”

The supervisor said he will recommend to the town board that the Cheney Mountain Trail be closed during deer hunting season, from mid-October to the first week of December.

“For the safety of the people utilizing the trail I think it should be closed during hunting season,” Scozzafava said.

October is a favorite time for many hikers who enjoy the changing fall colors.

“I realize that,” Scozzafava said, “but this is a safety issue. I knew when they first started talking about this (trail) there could be problems.”

The supervisor said signs urging people to stay on the trail will also be erected.

The Cheney Mountain Trail had been discussed for several years. This summer and fall it was cleared with the assistance of Champlain Area Trails, Inc.

CATS is located in Westport. It’s a non-profit organization whose purpose is to develop hiking/skiing trails that link Champlain Valley communities, connect people with nature, promote economic vitality and protect natural areas, farmland, and scenic vistas.

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