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SAVOR THE SEASON: Adirondack cuisine trails remain in infancy

June 21, 2019
By ELIZABETH IZZO - Staff Writer (eizzo@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Lake Placid News

KEESEVILLE - More than eight months after the state of New York launched six new cuisine trails in the Adirondack region, those trails remain in development.

Local, regional and state officials unveiled these intangible tethers between local farms, food and drink producers and restaurants around the region, dubbed the "Adirondack Cuisine Trails," at three locations on Oct. 5, one each in Essex, Franklin and Clinton counties. The goal of the trails is to strengthen agritourism in the region.

As part of the launch, simple trail maps were released on the state-run Taste NY website. On the maps, blue dots with numbers showed where participating businesses are located, and the names of the businesses are listed at the bottom. But there's no exact address provided, no hours of operation and no information about the type of business. Other food and drink trails listed on the Taste NY website connect people with links to websites for each of those trails. The Adirondack Cuisine Trails are not yet linked to a website, but trail officials say that is coming.

Article Photos

North Country Creamery in Keeseville operates the Clover Mead Cafe and Farm Store on its property.
(News photo — Elizabeth Izzo)

Some local farmers say they haven't noticed much new business yet as a result of the cuisine trail system and cited the existing maps as a possible reason why.

"I'm pumped about it," Kleinhammer said. "But I don't think the awareness is there yet. We haven't seen increased traffic from it yet," said Ashlee Kleinhammer, co-owner of North Country Creamery in Keeseville. As she spoke, a herd of dairy cows meandered through a field across the street. Inside the creamery's Clover Mead Cafe and Farm Store behind her, a couple eyed a tub of fresh yogurt and jars of homemade cookies.

Kleinhammer said for farms like hers that are off the main roads, advertising can be a challenge. Despite a lack of awareness about the trails, Kleinhammer is still optimistic about the network's potential.

That's a feeling shared by the co-owners of Asgaard Farm & Dairy, a goat dairy near AuSable Forks.

"This will be a great resource," said David Brunner, co-owner of Asgaard Farm. "I think it's in a stage of development."

Shannon Oborne, president of the Adirondack Cuisine Trail Network, said the board is working with the Lake Placid-based Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism to create an interactive map with more information.

The network's board oversees the six local trails, and representatives of each trail are tasked with planning programming and communicating with the vendors along their route.

Oborne said the map isn't ready to be unveiled and more information would be forthcoming.

A lot of the progress in developing the trails since the launch has happened behind the scenes.

"The organization and formation of (the Adirondack Cuisine Trail Network board) has taken up most of that time," Oborne said, adding that at the time the trails were announced, the destinations "had not been actively engaged in the project."

"There really was a lot of leg work done to reactivate interest in the trail," she said. "We have almost 75 participating businesses, many of whom are seasonal."

The network has also since achieved nonprofit status, which took two years to finalize.

As for plans to connect the Adirondack Cuisine Trails to new trails in Vermont, Quebec and Ontario, they're still working on the details. How to market the trail remains one of the main questions.

"There has been a cross-border dialogue," she said. "That dialogue has been making progress in the background."

The six cuisine trails in the Adirondack region are the Adirondack Lakes Trail in southern Franklin County; North Country Trail and Champ's Trail in Clinton County; and Boquet Valley Trail, Champlain Valley Trail and Ausable Valley Trail in Essex County.

The maps showing the agritourism destinations can be found online at taste.ny.gov/cuisine-and-beverage-trails.

 
 

 

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