Posts Tagged ‘High Peaks’

Friday, April 2, 2021

Mud season advisory: Stay off high-elevation trails

mudNYS DEC has released an early season muddy trails advisory urging hikers to postpone hikes on trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened. As snow and ice continue to melt at high elevations, steep trails can pose a danger due to thick ice and deep, rotten snow. Thin soils are susceptible to erosion and sensitive alpine vegetation can be easily damaged.

Despite recent warm weather, high elevation trails are still covered in slowly melting ice and snow. The remaining compacted ice and snow on trails is rotten, slippery, and will not reliably support weight. These conditions, known as “monorails,” are difficult to hike and the adjacent rotten snow is particularly prone to postholing.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, March 29, 2021

HPAG Report: The Visitor Experience

This is the third article in a series examining the ideas in the final report of the High Peaks Strategic Planning Group (HPAG) that outlines a plan to build a new and improved management program for the High Peaks Wilderness Complex (HPWC). This article focuses on recommendations and ideas in the “Visitor Experience” section of the report.

HPAG’s recommendations will require a significant investment in state resources on an ongoing basis and additional staffing to improve the management of the HPWC by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). HPAG recommends a long-term, broad-based advisory group to help coordinate management reforms. Without greater funding, enhanced staffing, and a management committee to lead the process, many of the HPAG report ideas will rust.

The Visitor Experience section is a big part of the HPAG report. I count 35 separate recommendations, some that try to breathe new life into dormant actions from existing Unit Management Plans (UMPs), others that spotlight ideas that have been in the wind for a while, and others that try to introduce new and different management options.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, March 15, 2021

Discussion topic: High Peaks use

Now that the High Peaks Advisory Group’s final report is out, have you had a chance to read through it?

Me either, ha ha. But here’s the Cliff Notes rundown from the DEC about the highlights:

Many of the report’s specific recommendations support DEC efforts that are currently underway with State and local partners to improve public safety and sustainably manage use of some of the High Peaks’ busiest trailheads, including:

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Adirondack 46ers support crucial high peaks stewardship programs

adk mountain club logoThe Adirondack 46ers have increased their support of critical stewardship programs in the High Peaks Wilderness after another busy year in the Adirondacks. Last week they announced a $41,000 commitment to the ADK’s (The Adirondack Mountain Club’s) professional trail crew. This pledge was the second from the 46ers, announced shortly after a pledge of $75,000 to be distributed over three years from 46ers, effectively doubling down on their efforts to support the ADK Mountain Club’s stewardship program. The Stewardship Program is managed in partnership with the NYS DEC, and the Adirondack Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.

Over the last 20 years, the 46ers have donated nearly $350,000 to the ADK’s trails program, $298,000 of which in the last 8 years alone, when visitor use has reached its peak.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, October 31, 2020

Hiker data shows impacts from pandemic, increase in novice hikers

More parking issues, more rescues, and an over-reliance on mobile apps

Due to the pandemic, this summer saw a surge in outdoor recreational pursuits this summer at the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Heart Lake Program Center, according to a press release from the ADK Mountain Club.

As a result of this major increase in hiking traffic (from unprepared novice recreationists), there was a rise in illegal camping, discarded trash, unburied human waste, and in increase in conflicts between humans and wildlife. ADK has continued its efforts to educate visitors to minimize their impact on the environment, there has been several emerging trends that make doing so challenging. Data collected through the Adirondack High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program, the Recreational User Experience and Perspectives: Adirondack Park survey (RUEADK), and a partnership between ADK, the Adirondack Council, and SUNY-ESF sheds light on some of these trends below.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, October 16, 2020

DEC is Capable of Testing Limited Entry for High Peaks in 2021

route 73On this 2020 Columbus Day weekend, peak use of parts of the High Peaks and Giant Mountain Wilderness areas in the Adirondack Park were again exceeded. Now is the time to consider a permit reservation or limited entry system for key points of entry into these wilderness areas as necessary, helpful, practical, and practicable.

Adirondack Wild is concerned with a spate of recent comments made to North Country Public Radio that our NYS DEC is not ready to launch a limited entry or permit reservation system. Of course, DEC is not ready right now. They have not been given any direction from the Governor and the DEC Commissioner to get and be ready. Given such a direction and expectation, DEC could be ready in summer and fall of 2021. DEC is fully capable of studying, gaining public input, designing, and implementing with partners a fair and effective limited entry pilot program next year.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 5, 2020

High Peaks hiking can be rough, but rewarding

Hello from my apartment, where I am enjoying sitting after 17 miles of hiking on Sunday. I’m looking at my boots caked in mud. They’re airing out on my porch.

Just before 7 a.m., my boyfriend and I arrived in Keene to hike two more High Peaks, Dial and Nippletop.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

DEC Reminds Hikers to Follow Common Sense Rules of the Outdoors

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation would like to remind hikers, and all who enjoy outdoor recreation to follow the “common sense rules of the outdoors,” such as preparing for arduous conditions, avoiding sensitive ecology, picking up your trash, and respecting your fellow visitors and those working to protect our wilderness.

We are currently experiencing a boom in outdoor recreation, with areas of the Adirondack park and the Catskill Parks reaching record numbers of visitors. Issues of littering, trash, and unprepared hikers affecting natural resources have increased in proportion to these record numbers, and it is essential to reinforce these common sense rules in order to protect both the safety of the public and the integrity of the sensitive plants and wildlife.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 6, 2020

Adirondack 46ers contribute to Summit Stewardship Program

Amidst the global pandemic, and the resulting shortage of NYS funding, the Adirondack 46ers, (A group of people who have hiked all 46 mountains in the Adirondacks) have stepped up to provide financial support for the Adirondack High Peaks Summit Stewardship Program.

They have given $10,000 in 2020 and made a commitment to providing $75,000 of additional support over the next three years. The 46ers have been long time supporters of the stewardship program and have donated a total of $45,000 over the last three years as part of a joint commitment with the ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club).

 

» Continue Reading.


Monday, May 25, 2020

The American Marten in the Adirondacks

Rolling into the summer months, the High Peak wilderness experiences a sharp expansion of its wildlife community.

Insects adapted for survival in an often cool, high-elevation environment emerge from their long winter dormancy and are engaged in eating and breeding. Various species of birds have traveled to our upper elevation slopes to mate and nest, and numerous mammals that reside in this harsh climatic zone are now busy rearing infants which can temporarily double their populations.

One predator that is occasionally seen by people who pass through this region and whose young are currently developing to the stage at which they are leaving their mother’s den for the first time is the American marten (Martes Americana), a creature that symbolizes the great North woods character of the Central Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 25, 2020

Keene Limits Parking to Combat COVID-19

The Town of Keene is prohibiting spill-over hiking parking, in order to reduce health risks during the governor’s “New York State on PAUSE” directive. Access to the Garden, a jumping off point for all major trails into John’s Brook Valley and the Great Range, will remain open to local hikers and visitors, but once the 46-car lot is full, no more parking will be allowed. There will be signs and barricades to mark where it has been made illegal to park and violators of the new restrictions will have their vehicles towed.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 26, 2020

Adirondack conditions (3/26): Stay close to home

This weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks sent out from the NYS DEC.

Contribute Your Knowledge: Add a comment below, or send your observations, corrections, updates, and suggestions to [email protected]

Emergency Situations: If you get lost or injured; keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service, call 911 or the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch, 518-891-0235.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, March 23, 2020

Cancel Your Hiking Trip to the Adirondacks

coronavirusAt 8 pm on Sunday evening, March 22, 2020, the State of New York began its official “pause” of most commercial and public activities in an attempt to halt the spread of COVID-19.

Under the Governor’s executive order, all non-essential businesses are to close, and all state residents are to remain in their homes. Click here for a list of “essential businesses.” » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 19, 2020

Skiing Ended: Current Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (March 19)

adirondack atlasThis weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks is compiled each Thursday afternoon and updated on Friday.

Contribute Your Knowledge: Add a comment below, or send your observations, corrections, updates, and suggestions to [email protected]

Learn and practice the seven Leave No Trace principles. Plan ahead and prepare. Carry out what you have carried in. Do not leave gear, food, or other items at lean-tos and campsites. 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. Be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods in cold temperatures. Accidents happen to the most experienced people. 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.

March 19th, 2020 – SPECIAL NOTICES » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 16, 2020

High Peaks Shuttles: Visitor Needs and Resource Protection

Blueberry Mountain Trail signPeter Bauer’s recent article arguing that the State is facilitating unlimited access to the High Peaks raised some interesting points. Among those points was the idea that shuttle buses for hikers will result in potentially unprecedented usage levels of already popular hiking trails. This jibes with concerns I have heard from others that shuttles will lead to even greater activity in the High Peaks, when instead we should be limiting access to protect the Wilderness. » Continue Reading.



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