The Garden Parking Lot at the Garden Trailhead – one of the main access points to the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness and the nearest trailhead to Johns Brook Lodge – will be closed to public motor vehicles during the spring and summer of 2019 due to the replacement of the Johns Brook Bridge.
Construction of the replacement bridge, located in Keene Valley, Essex County, is expected to begin as soon as weather and road conditions allow and is expected to last through the summer, according to Town Supervisor Joe Pete Wilson. No vehicles or pedestrians will be able to pass the bridge once construction is started through completion of the project.
Hikers and backpackers may gain access to the Garden Trailhead by parking at Marcy Field Parking Lot and using the Town of Keene Shuttle. The bus will transport hikers between the Marcy Field parking lot and the Garden Trailhead, using a detour across private land. This will be the only means for accessing the Garden Trailhead during the closure period. Public use of the private detour is prohibited.
The Town of Keene plans to operate the Shuttle from 7 am to 7 pm seven days a week. The cost will be $10 round-trip per person ($13 Canadian). However, due to the current lack of bus drivers this schedule may be reduced, Wilson said. The town’s website will have the most up to date shuttle schedule.
The Town is working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Adirondack Mountain Club to help inform hikers and provide them with information about the closure, the shuttle, and alternative hikes in the area.
“The Town recognizes that this is a major disruption during the nicest hiking weather,” an announcement of the closure sent by the Town said, “but the bridge replacement is a critical public safety issue. The current bridge is in such poor shape that plow trucks, fire trucks, and ambulances cannot use it.”
Town officials and wild lands stewards are encouraging people to respect the closure, no parking signs, and private property. Do not park or walk on private property to gain access. There will be posted No Parking areas along Adirondack and Market Streets, and Johns Brook Road. Illegally parked cars will be towed the announcement said.
DEC spokesperson David Winchell said Forest Rangers will assist other law enforcement agencies in patrolling the area, and violators will be ticketed and towed. “Public use of the detour across private land is prohibited — driving, biking, or walking on the road or adjoining property is trespassing,” Winchell said.
Map of Garden Parking Lot closure locations courtesy Adirondack Atlas.