Sunday, November 29, 2009

HEAD TO THE HILLTOWNS


Waterfall on Fox Creek
Nov. 2009, Charles Sloger

 

I have spent most of the last few days updating the main page of Albany Hilltowns wiki site. I have broadened the purpose of the site from history and genealogy to include the preservation of historic buildings, farmland preservation and the encouragement of low impact tourism to benefit the local economy. Barb Husek suggested a possible theme "Head to the Hilltowns." 





 Upcoming events:

  • The Knox Historical Society usually meets the first Tuesday of each month at the Knox Town hall. Our next meeting will be Tuesday, December 1, at 7:00 pm. Everyone is welcome. Check out our display of the Cassidy Castle at the Altamont Town Library.
  • Rensselaerville Library Annual Greenery Sale - 10:00AM Saturday, December 5th: Come buy your holiday trees, wreaths & roping! Crafts vendors inside the Library, roasted chestnuts, apple cider, and cookie decorating for the kids!
  • The town of Berne is updating its comprehensive plan. The Comprehensive Plan committee meets on December 2 at the Berne Town Hall. While they already have a full agenda, they do allow time for public comment. Here are proposals for them to consider:
Whereas Eco-tourism is a low impact way to encourage tourism in the town and would be a benefit to the economy of the town:
  • The planning and construction of scenic trails for use by hikers, bikers, horseback riding, fisherman, photographers, cross country runners, etc is encouraged. In the fall they might be used by hunters; in the winter by cross country skiers and snow mobiles.
  • Landowners whose land a trail crosses or who live within 1000 feet of a trail are encouraged to build facilities along such trails to benefit users of the trails and to charge for their use: tent camping sites, toilet facilities, picnic tables, fire pits.
  • In any district of the town a home owner may operate a Guest House. The definition of a Guest House is a home owner who makes extra bedrooms available in their home for occasional guests. The Guest House is not a business but rather a way to earn extra money for the home owner from time to time.
  • With special permits, landowners in agricultural districts may build up to five cabins to rent to tourists, and to build facilities for use by up to five recreation vehicle campers.

HEAD TO THE HILLTOWNS

Encouraging low impact tourism in the hill towns would be a great way to bring money into the local economy. The hill towns have a lot to offer in the way of natural beauty and on the farms.

Outdoor Recreation

Make people aware of what the hill towns already have to offer in the numerous natural areas already set aside for preservation.

Trails

Make the hill towns known for its great variety of trails. Add new trails to connect existing natural reservations. Advertise the natural beauty of the hill towns and the outdoor recreation opportunities. Attract tourists interested in hiking, fishing, history, and photography.

Agro-Tourism

  • Farmers Markets - publicize all the local Farmer's Markets in as many print and electronic media as we can. Encourage producers to distribute their brochures in as many venues as possible.
  • Corn Mazes - encourage farmers to build corn mazes for the fall season
  • Farm Demonstrations - cider pressing, sugaring, sheep shearing
  • Farm tours.
  • Petting Zoos.
  • Hay rides during summer events, etc.
  • Horse back lessons and trail rides
  • Cut some walking and X-country ski trails on the farm.
  • Weed walks
  • Forestry demonstrations/classes
  • Plant sales, especially if for responsibly acquired Heritage varieties.
  • Holiday marts featuring locally produced items.
  • Christmas Tree Farms

Low Impact Tourism

Head to the Hilltowns for more ideas on low impact tourism.

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