While the total number of visitors is still rising, the state’s initial actions to curb overuse of the Adirondack Park’s High Peaks Wilderness Area have started to show results, according to data collected by the Adirondack Council in 2017 and 2019.
The highest weekend peak visitor traffic numbers decreased across the top three destinations in the High Peaks by 3.5 percent. That is progress. We can celebrate that while recognizing that there is still much to do to ensure Wilderness and access are preserved. » Continue Reading.
Online registration opened Sunday, January 26th, for the State’s 2020 Summer Camp season and in less than 24 hours, 90 percent of spaces were filled with 22 weeks for boys and 13 for girls already booked.
DEC’s Summer Camp program began in 1947 and today operates four residential camps for children ages 11 to 17: Camp Colby in Saranac Lake; Camp DeBruce in Livingston Manor (Sullivan County); Camp Rushford in Caneadea (Allegany County), and Pack Forest in Warrensburg.
Reservations have re-opened for the May 15th start of the camping season at DEC’s Adirondack Park Eighth Lake Campground, Inlet, Hamilton County.
Earlier this year, DEC posted alerts in the camping reservation system to notify campers that the facility would open later in 2020, to accommodate planned improvements. DEC can now accommodate reservations for the first half of the season at Eighth Lake campground. » Continue Reading.
Winter is associated with migration, hibernation, changes in animal behavior, plants becoming dormant, and humans experiencing special health concerns ranging from hypothermia to seasonal depression. Winter even invokes its own special vocabularies to describe the conditions (e.g. black ice, whiteouts, and corn snow).
Descriptions of winter camping depend on geographic location, opportunities to go camping and desire to impress your friends and relatives. There are groups from northern Canada to the Ozarks that claim winter camping experience; although I am sure their conditions and experiences are greatly different.
The 2020 application period for the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Campground Ambassador program has begun.
“In 2019, its second year, DEC’s Campground Ambassador Program more than doubled its applicants and grew to offer more than 300 fun, educational, and meaningful programs at nine participating facilities,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in an announcement sent to the press.
Many years ago my wife, our Newfoundland dog, and I paddled past what appeared to be many rather unnatural clearings on Long Pond in the St. Regis Canoe Area. Here and there, partially underwater, I saw a piece of plastic water pipe or an old rusty pipe that might have been a dock support. They are the remains of tent platform sites.
In the early 1970s, these camps on “forever wild” New York State Adirondack Forest Preserve Lands were built on leases to private individuals. There were somewhere in the vicinity of 600 individual leases throughout the Adirondacks at that time. Many tent platform leases were on Lower Saranac Lake, where there were 187 tent platforms leased in 1961, and on the various ponds that today comprise the St. Regis Canoe Area. There were also tent platform sites on such popular lakes as Forked, Seventh, Lewey, and Indian Lakes, along the Raquette River, and in many other areas. » Continue Reading.
DEC is advising the public to avoid backcountry trails and summits throughout the Adirondack region for the duration of the weekend. Heavy rain and high winds have caused major flooding in the region, which has closed many major roadways throughout the Adirondacks. You can read about that here. » Continue Reading.
Another peak hiking season has come and gone and with it another year of concern about overuse in the High Peaks. A variety of steps have been taken by the State, Essex County, The Town of Keene, environmental groups and volunteers to deal with this use, with varying degrees of effectiveness. Now it seems that the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is poised to try out a permit system in an attempt to address overuse by selectively limiting access. » Continue Reading.
Credit goes to the Department of Environmental Conservation and its Region 5 facilitators for including a “break-out” session on Permits at its late July High Peaks-Route 73 stakeholder meeting at the Keene Central School. After all, the very word “permit” has been an electrified “third rail” (hazardous, indeed) topic for years.
That was not always the case, however. In 1978, the first draft of a High Peaks Unit Management Plan included a section on “individual user controls” with eight alternatives along a spectrum ranging from mandatory registration and reservation permit systems, to no controls at all. Alternative C, reservation or permit systems, stated that “through past experience the U.S. Forest Service has found that a permit system is one of the best ways of gathering user information concerning an individual management area.”
The 1978 draft UMP went on to recommend that a “free permit system should be initiated in the eastern High Peaks with no effort to limit numbers of people using the area for at least three years. Data will be analyzed. If at some time in the future it is determined that numbers of people using the area will have to be controlled, even just for certain high use weekends, the mechanism will already be in place to do so.” » Continue Reading.
This weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks is compiled each Thursday afternoon and updated on Friday.
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Learn and practice the seven Leave No Trace principles. Carry out what you have carried in. Do not leave gear, food, or other items at lean-tos and campsites. Do not litter. Take the free online Leave No Trace course here.
BE PREPARED! Start slow, gain experience. Carry proper safety equipment and weather protection and bring plenty of water and lights, and a map. When on the trail, stay together, monitor the time, and be prepared to turn back. Accidents happen to the most experienced people. Be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods in cold temperatures. Always carry food, a space blanket, emergency whistle, first aid kit, fire making tools, extra clothing layers and socks, a map and compass, and the knowledge to use them. Inform someone of your itinerary and before entering the backcountry or launching a boat check the National Weather Service watches, warnings, and advisories here. Follow Adirondack weather forecasts at Burlington and Albany and consult the High Elevation, Recreation, or Lake Champlain forecasts.
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