October Shuttle Promotes Public Safety by Providing Free, Convenient Access from North Hudson to Popular Adirondack High Peaks Trailheads
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reminds visitors to the Adirondacks of the new fall foliage shuttle program starting in October from Frontier Town Gateway in North Hudson to popular trailheads in the High Peaks region. To accommodate visitors seeking fall foliage hikes and views, no-cost shuttles will run the first two weekends in October from the Frontier Town Gateway to the Giant Mountain, Roaring Brook Falls, and Rooster Comb trailheads, as well as the Marcy Field Parking Area.
First announced in July, the new program is a partnership between DEC, Essex County, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), the towns of Keene and North Hudson, and the private owner of Frontier Town Gateway. The shuttle offers hikers the opportunity to experience fall foliage from its best vantage point – on the trail – without the hassle of driving to and parking at busy trailheads.
The fall foliage shuttle stops at the same drop off locations as the Route 73 Hiker Shuttle from Marcy Field, but the route provides increased access for visitors to further alleviate unsafe and illegal parking in the Route 73 corridor. The October shuttle will operate on a loop Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2, and Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, October 8, 9, and 10 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dogs are not permitted. Each shuttle can accommodate 20 riders and seating is available on a first come, first served basis.
The fall foliage shuttle program is an expansion of the Route 73 Hiker Shuttle program first piloted in 2021, which provides a no-cost option for hikers unable to find parking at their desired trailhead or who wish to simplify their experience by parking and riding to their destination. The Route 73 Hiker Shuttle operates Saturdays, Sundays, and holiday Mondays through Columbus Day Weekend from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. No reservations are needed. Dogs are not permitted and masks are required. Stewards are stationed at Marcy Field to help hikers navigate the shuttle system and educate on responsible recreation, including preparedness, hiking safety, and Leave No Trace™ principles. Learn more about the shuttle program and find a route map and shuttle schedule on the DEC website.
The Route 73 Hiker Shuttle system complements a long-standing service provided by the town of Keene that provides transportation to and from the town-owned Garden Trailhead from the Marcy Field parking area. The town shuttle runs in conjunction with the Route 73 shuttle system from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays when the Garden parking lot is full. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are permitted on the town shuttle.
The shuttle system was among recommendations in the High Peaks Advisory Group’s (HPAG) final report on promoting sustainable recreation in the Adirondack Park. Comprised of stakeholders with expertise in local government, recreation, natural resource protection, business, and tourism. In 2019, HPAG was tasked with providing DEC with recommendations on how to address critical issues associated with increased public use of High Peaks resources in order to protect these areas in the short and long term, as well as for future generations. Visit the DEC website to read the report.
New York State lands belong to all of us, and we all have a responsibility to protect them. Love Our New York Lands this summer and fall by recreating sustainably, visiting trails less traveled, always practicing Leave No TraceTM, and giving back through volunteer work and stewardship.
Photo at top: Fall foliage in the Adirondacks. Photo courtesy of the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), Almanack archive photo, 2019.