Coming to a trailhead near you ...

The roughly $1.2 million in state funding will be used to purchase four new, 24-passenger buses, expected to cost no more than $400,000. It will also fund the operation of those shuttles daily from around July through Labor Day, according to Keene town Supervisor Joe Pete Wilson Jr.

The buses will run 16 hours a day and stop at all major trailheads on Route 73 during that summer period, according to Gillilland. In the fall, the shuttle system may be pared down to weekends and holidays.

The shuttles will likely work in two cycles: One will run from Marcy Field in Keene Valley north to the Olympic Sports Complex at Mount Van Hoevenberg, in the town of North Elba. The other will run from Marcy Field south toward trailheads where hikers can access the High Peaks and Giant Mountain wilderness areas.

At the Essex County Board of Supervisors’ organizational meeting Monday, St. Armand town Supervisor Davina Winemiller asked if hikers would be asked to pay a fee to ride the shuttles. Gillilland said he wasn’t sure, but the discussions the county has had with the state so far indicate that it’ll be a “no pay” system.