In September I had a chance to try out the Adirondack Mountain Reserve’s reservation system. The Monday Dave and I went, it was pouring and there were a handful of cars in the parking lot and no people. Not exactly a good start for a journalist looking to chat with folks about how they liked the new system.
We sat in the car for a bit, and sure enough a car drove up and based on the amount of time it was parked near the parking attendant shelter, it looked like they might not have a permit. I secured my raincoat, grabbed my recorder and dashed to the vehicle in case it was about to turn around and head out to Route 73. Instead, the car drove into the parking lot and the couple that got out were equally eager to talk to me. They asked if they could jump on my hiking permit as they did not have one. One free permit can be good for up to eight people.
I interviewed the pair from Rochester before they set off on their hike to Indian Head. It showed that despite the efforts of the AMR and the state Department of Environmental Conservation, there are still people who do not know they needed a reservation. It will be interesting to see if next year the AMR and DEC allow for some same-day reservations, or allow for no-shows or cancellations to be opened to same-day visitors.
Also in September I took a drive down to the Peekamoose Blue Hole in the Catskills, the Adirondacks’ sister forest preserve. For a few years now the DEC has run a permit system for the popular swimming hole, however this season the DEC charged $10 per vehicle for access to the whole Peekamoose Valley. I was struck by the number of signs, over two dozen, in a short area warning guests of various regulations including needing a permit.
In our November/December issue I wrote about the two different permits in the forest preserve and how they’ve fared thus far. You can read that story online here.
Editor’s note: This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly “Adirondack Report” newsletter. Click here to sign up.