The state Department of Environmental Conservation has created a new 5-person trail crew for the High Peaks.
According to DEC spokesman Delamater Benning, this is the DEC’s “first five-person trail crew in more than 20 years, and they are going to focus on high priority High Peak projects.”
Benning said the new trail crew was created after DEC Region 5 staff said there was a need to upgrade some high priority trails in the High Peaks.
The DEC also uses trails crews from the Adirondack Mountain Club, Adirondack 46ers, Student Conservation Association and other organizations to perform trail work in the Adirondacks, including the High Peaks region.
The announcement of the new trail crew came on Friday, June 2, one day before National Trails Day, which is dedicated to performing stewardship on hiking trails.
The DEC announcement said the High Peaks is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the state and sees an increase in users every year. The increase in hiker traffic and need for more DEC trail crews has been written about previously on the Almanack. The DEC statement said the new trail crew will help maintain and improve these areas, which will improve public safety and enhance outdoor experiences for its users.
“The long-term stewardship of trails in the High Peaks Wilderness is critical to the preservation of wilderness values, the protection of natural resources, and the enjoyment of the recreating public,” said Josh Wilson, Executive Director of the Barkeater Trails Alliance, in a press release about the new crew. “The new DEC Trail Crew will add great value to the work being done by volunteer and professional trail crews from Barkeater Trails Alliance, Adirondack Mountain Club and other organizations in the greater High Peaks region. This is truly great news for all of us who share a common interest in Adirondack trails.”
The trail crew will be assigned the following projects this summer:
- Avalanche Pass Trail and Bridge/Ladder Replacement
Trail Hardening (Turnpiking), Drainage Replacement, Replacement of 15 ladders, 10 small bridges and various Bog Bridges along the length of trail from Avalanche Camp to Lake Colden.
- Lake Colden-Flowed Lands Campsite Relocations
Permanent relocation of ~9 campsites in the Lake Colden/Flowed Lands area. Sites will be established with earthen tent pads, signage and new privies. Old sites will be fully restored, brushed in and planted.
- Marcy Dam Campsite Relocations
Permanent relocation of four campsites in the Marcy Dam. Sites will be established with earthen tent pads, signage and new privies. Old sites will be fully restored, brushed in and planted.
DEC is currently accepting applications from individuals interested in becoming a member of a trail crew. To learn more on how you can get involved, visit DEC’s website.
Photo by Phil Brown: View of the High Peaks from Mount Van Hoevenberg.