SARANAC LAKE — The log-cabin community lodge at Dewey Mountain is sinking into the ground.
But a project to build anew at the Harrietstown-owned mountain recreation center is rising with both public and private support .
Dewey Mountain was established for the purpose here in 1980 and grew to encompass 20 kilometers of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails in winter that are used for mountain biking and hiking in the summer.
Mary Thill, chairwoman of Dewey Mountain Friends, said a draft design of a new proposed lodge was presented to the Harrietstown Town Council.
And councilors gave Dewey Friends the go-ahead to apply for grant funding with help from the Saranac Lake Rotary Club Foundation through the North Country Economic Development Council.
“We’re working on the application right now,” Thill said.
“The project will cost nearly $600,000, and Dewey Mountain Friends will raise our share of that privately. We’re not asking the Economic Development Council for the whole amount, which includes trail improvement and funding to replace and expand the capacity of the lodge.”
SUMMER SKI JAM
North Woods Engineering, based in Saranac Lake, drafted schematics for the energy-efficient building.
“We hope to have funds raised in one year,” Thill said, “and the building completed in two. That’s our goal.”
The lodge will be built to accommodate youth, school and community programs, as well as to introduce regional visitors to mountain sports.
Dewey Friends members have watched nearby use of the Henry’s Woods trail complex in Lake Placid grow in recent years.
“We credit Henry’s Woods for opening our eyes as to how important it is to link trails to community,” Thill said.
July 29, Dewey Friends is throwing a Summer Ski Jam & Barbecue to kick off the effort and unveil the lodge design.
The idea for a summer night of music and a cook-out originated among local musicians who perform at Dewey in the winter.
“Performers include the Barn Cats, Big Slyde, Blind Owl Band, Celia Evans, Steve Langdon and Roadside Mystic,” Thill said. “The Summer Ski Jam & Barbecue also features Doty’s signature marinated beef and chicken.The community-supper atmosphere will welcome families as well as summer guests.”
WARM WEATHER TWIST
The Ski Jam will bring a warm weather twist to several highly celebrated “Winter Games.”
USA Luge is giving wheeled Luge rides, there will be an an ice-ball relay and “bocce curling,” among other events.
U.S. Olympians Billy Demong, Tim Burke, Lowell Bailey and Annelies Cook are working with Dewey Friends to invent new kinds of summer fun.
They all competed in Dewey youth ski programs, and Burke is now an honorary trustee of Dewey Mountain.
“This was a place I could come not only to ski but to be with friends, meet new people and live a healthy, active lifestyle,” he said in announcing the Summer Ski Jam.
“That was really important to my childhood, and I’d like to see other kids have that opportunity as well.”
Demong’s company, Demong Designs, is spearheading the effort to reconfigure the trail system and improve signage, Thill said.
Dewey Mountain’s recreation center has 14 kilometers of Nordic ski trails, 6 kilometers of snowshoe trails and is about to open 5.6 kilometers of mountain bike trails.
All terrain is open for hiking in summer.
The Summer Ski Jam will take place at Mount Pisgah to allow more space for the kickoff celebration.
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