MapGuide to Tell the Region’s Authentic Story

GLENS FALLS, NY (September 30, 2011) — Congressman Paul Tonko was on hand at the Lakes to Locks Passage Annual Meeting to launch the exciting collaboration with National Geographic to highlight the world-class historic, natural, recreational and cultural attractions along New York’s only All-American Road in the collection of America’s Byways. This project has created a co-branded website to promote Geotourism: tourism that contributes to the economic health of communities by enhancing the geographical character of a place — its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents.

From the Lakes to Locks Passage Geotourism website you can pinpoint the region’s history, unique points of interest, ongoing events, and outdoor activities along the waterways. The website encourages national and international travelers to choose sustainable tourism experiences that are distinctive to the region. The National Geographic brand attracts visitors seeking the authenticity of people and places, traveling to several attractions throughout a vacation to truly experience a destination. Through this collaboration, Lakes to Locks Passage links established attractions to the special places hidden away in small communities.

“It was a tremendous opportunity to join with the Board and staff of the Lakes to Locks Passage
and discuss common interests and goals,” said Congressman Paul Tonko, NY-21 District. “Over the past decade, Lakes to Locks Passage has worked tirelessly to connect communities through their collective heritage, identity and geography. Bringing in a new partner with the esteem and prestige of National Geographic is a tremendous achievement for Lakes to Locks, and will certainly help to usher in a new dimension of heritage tourism and sustainable development.”

Joan McDonald, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation, said “this type of partnership is a prime example of the innovative efforts that have made New York State’s Scenic Byways so successful.” Commissioner McDonald also stated “this significant collaborative effort will enhance the region’s economic viability through advanced resource and tourism management efforts and public participation, and will serve as a State and National model as scenic byways and byway communities strive for sustainability.”

“Participation by local residents is critical to the program’s success,” said Janet Kennedy, Executive Director of Lakes to Locks Passage. “The local nominations have identified the things people love best, those “must see” places that lead the visitor to authentic experiences.” Local residents and visitors are invited to continue nominating the landmarks, attractions, activities, events and local foods that define the region’s character and distinctive appeal. Online nominations at are reviewed by National Geographic and representatives from the Lakes to Locks Passage prior to publication.

“The National Geographic Maps Division is pleased to have the opportunity to spotlight this region and, in doing so, support and sustain it as one of the world’s treasured natural places,” said James Dion, business development associate, National Geographic Maps. “The online MapGuide celebrates the area’s abundant scenic, cultural and historical attributes from the unique vantage point of those who live there.”

Lakes to Locks Passage encompasses the communities from the confluence of the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers through the interconnected waterway of the Upper Hudson River, Champlain Canal, Lake George, Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River. This project has been funded through a Federal Highway Administration National Scenic Byway Program, with matching funds provided by the NYS Department of Transportation. The community networks of Lakes to Locks Passage represent an assortment of geotourism perspectives, including community leadership, historic preservation, natural resources, public lands management, traditional and local arts, agriculture, tourism promotion and local business development.

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