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Forty years ago, youngsters could descend a spiral staircase on a rocky Hudson River island, landing in the cave where characters in James Fenimore Cooper's 1826 classic "The Last of the Mohicans" hid out.

With reconstruction of a Hudson River crossing near, a move is underfoot to once again make Cooper's Cave -- some 45 miles north of Albany -- a destination for the imaginative.

"There's a concerted emphasis to try to make access," Moreau Supervisor Harry G. Gutheil Jr. said. "I think it's a tourist attraction."

The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors last week joined a list of local governments, including the Glens Falls City Council and Warren County supervisors in urging the state Department of Transportation to include an approach to the cave in its bridge project. Local towns, the Chamber of Commerce and others have also signed on.

The Glens Falls Industrial Development Agency is providing $4,700 for a study by Schoder Rivers Associates of Lake George to determine how access could be granted while meeting historic preservation and handicapped-access requirements.

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