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Cornell students complete Lake Placid walking trail guide

June 1, 2017
By ANTONIO OLIVERO - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - After a multi-year process, a batch of Cornell University students have completed their work to create a guide to the local trails in this village and the town of North Elba.

The students presented their guide to eight selected hikes and walks in the Lake Placid and North Elba vicinity at the Conference Center at Lake Placid on Monday, May 22. The trails they mapped are Cobble Hill, Henry's Woods, Heaven Hill Trails, John Brown Farm, the Peninsula Trails, Owen, Copperas and Winch Ponds, the McKenzie Pond Trail and the walkway around Mirror Lake.

The students said the focus of the project was to create a user-friendly guide that is easily understandable for novice hikers who are locals who would like to easily-access them throughout the year or for tourists who may be visiting the area. As such, the description for each trail includes short descriptions of different loops on each of the trails and suggestions for if the trails are ideal for the family, leashed dogs, mountain biking or cross-country skiing.

Article Photos

Cornell students Zihan Wang, right, Zixian Liu, second from right, and Shujun Zhng, completed a walking guide for eight trails in Lake Placid and North Elba with the help of Community Development Commission Chairman Dean Dietrich and community members Jen Jubin and Alissa Rafferty.
(News photo — Antonio Olivero)

The three students who completed the project are Shujun Zhng, a Cornell graduate student from Shenzen, China, Zixian Liu, a graduate student from Beijing, China, and Zihan Wang of Shenyan, China.

The project was completed in conjunction with the Lake Placid/North Elba Community Development Commission, as the commission's chair Dean Dietrich and community members such as Jen Jubin and Alissa Rafferty helped the students throughout the process. The students visited Lake Placid this winter to hike the trails and to map them using a geographic information system (GIS) data system. The students explained during their Monday presentation that they studied the Champlain Area Trail System and Hike Ontario while conducting their project.

This was the third consecutive spring semester where Cornell students worked on creating the user-friendly consumer maps. The concept behind the trail project was to make it easier for visitors to find trails with the level of difficulty and characteristics they are looking for, and it was originally planned to be completed by last May.

A PDF version of the guide will be available for download on the Park District section of the town of North of Elba's website, on the village of Lake Placid's website and at



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