COLTON - The new Higley Trails Lodge will be open for preview as part of the statewide I Love My Park Day organized by Parks & Trails New York and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.
The Friends of Higley Flow State Park, Inc., is hosting this local event beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday at Higley Flow State Park in South Colton. There is no charge and no entrance fee
Visitors to the open house will receive a free I Love My Parks Day t-shirt while supplies last.
The new Higley Trails Lodge, an all-season, multi-purpose facility with rest rooms, heat, shelter, classroom and display areas, is near completion and is expected to be ready for the summer season. It will serve as the new Nature Center, home to many summer programs and a seasonal naturalist.
Accessible to people with disabilities, the lodge will also provide a warm resting place for winter visitors attracted by 12 miles of groomed cross country trails as well as 3 miles of backcountry trails.
Funding for the project was made possible through generous donations to the Friends of Higley Flow State Park and a a $60,000 Environmental Protection Fund grant along with assistance from the North Country Regional Council, State Park staff and volunteers from local elementary and high schools, Clarkson University, SUNY Potsdam, and St. Lawrence University.
Participants in the I Love My Parks Day event will also be encouraged to use the Parks extensive trail network for a mid-spring hike. It is hoped that hikers will use the opportunity to clear the trails of any small debris, and to notify Park staff of any larger trail work that needs to occur prior to the summer season.
The Friends of Higley Flow State Park, Inc., sponsors many events at the park during the year, including a Century Bike Event in September and the Higley Hustle, a x-country ski event. The friends have also subsidized the production of tree and bird guides.
People interested in joining can send donations to The Friends of Higley Flow State Park, Inc., P.O. Box 249, Colton, NY 13625, or visit the Friends website, higleyfriends.org. Contributions are deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
For further information regarding the Friends group, the open house, or any other activities sponsored by the group, please contact Tom French at 265-1351, visit the website at www.higleyfriends.org. or call the park office at 315-262-2880.