LAKE PLACID, NY (July 27, 2022) – An overnight shuttle program for hikers seeking multi-day excursions in the High Peaks Wilderness region of the Adirondacks will be offered on August 8 and August 15 as part of the Essex County Route 73 Hiker Shuttle program. The multi-day shuttle allows visitors to easily hike and camp for up to four days and three nights in the High Peaks Wilderness region, without the cumbersome vehicle logistics required for a through-hike.
This special schedule gives easy access to the most popular trails in the region and allows for multi-day “through-hikes” beginning at one location and ending at another, without the need for hikers to drive their vehicle to a regional trailhead. Overnight and multi-peak excursions often require multiple trips and multiple vehicles left at trailheads so that hikers can access their vehicles at the beginning and end of their trip. The multi-day shuttle alleviates this requirement.
The shuttle transports visitors from the Frontier Town Gateway parking lot in North Hudson (Exit 29), often referred to as the ‘A-frame,’ to the Adirondak Loj in North Elba, where hikers can access some of the most popular hiking trails to the most remote peaks, including Marcy, Haystack, Colden, Panther Gorge, Wallface, and Indian Pass.
Upon completion of a multi-day or through hike, a pickup van will be dispatched to retrieve hikers, along with their gear, on the following Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from the Tahawus parking lot (Upper Works Trailhead) in Newcomb and transport them back to their vehicle at the Frontier Town Gateway.
Hikers using the shuttle service are required to register for their trip on the LoveYourAdk webpage. The registration request is delivered directly to Essex County and the Town of Keene, which coordinates the shuttle transportation schedule.
The High Peaks Wilderness lies within the area bounded largely by State Route 73 in Keene, Interstate 87 (the Northway), Blue Ridge Road, and state routes 28N/30. As its name implies, the High Peaks Wilderness is known for its mountainous terrain and contains most of New York state’s highest summits, including Mt. Marcy (5,344 feet) and Algonquin Peak (5,114 feet).
According to Joe Pete Wilson, supervisor, Town of Keene, the multi-day shuttle provides many benefits. “The shuttle helps alleviate the time and logistics required for through and multi-day hikes as there is no need to drop vehicles off at multiple trailheads – saving both time and gas, it alleviates congestion at the region’s trail heads and it provides a measure of safety as those using the service must register for a pickup day – it’s one more entity that knows about hikers’ plans, which is always a good thing.”
According to Mary Jane Lawrence, chief operating officer at the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, this multi-day shuttle option will benefit both residents and visitors to the region. “We are excited about the option of a shuttle that supports backcountry wilderness hiking trips,” she said. “This will make it much easier and less time-consuming at the beginning and end of a journey,” she said. “We are always supportive of initiatives that contribute to responsible use of the region’s natural resources and this shuttle schedule helps to accomplish that. Through-hikes reduce the stress on many trails in our region because hikers can start at one location and end at another, rather than backtracking on the original trail.”
The Frontier Town Gateway shuttle complements the Route 73 shuttle in the Town of Keene that transports hikers from Marcy Field in Keene to the most popular trailheads along Route 73, including the Rooster Comb trailhead, the Giant Mountain Ridge Trail, and Roaring Brook Falls. The shuttle system was launched in 2021 in response to safety concerns regarding parking along the busy Route 73 corridor. The shuttle service was funded by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).
It is anticipated that the Frontier Town Gateway shuttle will also transport hikers who are seeking fall foliage hikes during the first two weekends in October. Plans are underway to schedule these fall shuttle routes from Frontier Town Gateway to the Rooster Comb, Giant Mountain, and Roaring Brook Falls trailheads, along with Marcy Field in Keene.
The Frontier Town Gateway shuttle schedule is as follows:
Monday, August 8, 2022 departure from Frontier Town Gateway at 2:00 p.m. (Day 1)
- Pick-up day 2: Tuesday, August 9, 2022, at 2:00 p.m.
- Pick-up day 3: Wednesday, August 10, 2022, at 2:00 p.m.
- Pick-up day 4: Thursday, August 11, 2022, at 2:00 p.m.
Monday, August 15, 2022 departure from Frontier Town Gateway at 2:00 p.m. (Day 1)
- Pick-up day 2: Tuesday, August 16, 2022, at 2:00 p.m.
- Pick-up day 3: Wednesday, August 17, 2022, at 2:00 p.m.
- Pick-up day 4: Thursday, August 18, 2022, at 2:00 p.m.
Post-hike pick up location – Tahawus parking lot (Upper Works Trailhead) in Newcomb
The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism is the destination marketing and management organization for Hamilton and Essex counties, which includes the Lake Placid region, along with the communities of Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake, all located within the Adirondacks in New York state. ROOST is also a community member of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.
Photo at top: Upper Works Trailhead. Photo provided by Jane Hooper, communications manager for the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism.