The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and its Subaru Traveling Trainer team are partnering with ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club), the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC), and other regional organizations to host community programs and education activities from August 7 to 14.
Part of the Leave No Trace In Every Park initiative, the Hot Spot seeks to raise community awareness about recreational use issues in the Eastern High Peaks, including damage to alpine plants, trail erosion, human waste, and negative human/wildlife interactions. » Continue Reading.
This weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks is compiled each Thursday afternoon and fully updated by Friday afternoon.
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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.
I recently visited the rest areas on Northway that have been hyped as information hubs for the Adirondack Park as a tourism destination and as locations that will guide the public about hiking in the Forest Preserve, especially the High Peaks. These facilities are newly built and function adequately as typical rest areas with bathrooms, vending machines, and places to stretch your legs.
Unfortunately, there is scant information about hiking in the High Peaks or the Forest Preserve. As they stand now, these centers, especially the Northway northbound “High Peaks Center” between exits 29 and 30, and the major new tourism information center on the Northway northbound lane between exits 17 and 18, are major missed opportunities. » Continue Reading.
More than half of the trail mileage in the Adirondack Park’s central High Peaks Wilderness Area is too steep to remain stable and fails to meet the modern design standards for sustainable trails that apply to other state and federal lands, according to a new analysis funded by the Adirondack Council.
“It’s well known that Adirondack foot trails are in crisis with overuse and huge crowds of people hiking on these too-steep slopes,” Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway said in a statement announcing the analysis sent to the press. “We are seeing wider paths, deeper ruts, trampled plants plus loss of wildlife habitat. Too much soil is moving downhill into streams and lakes.” » Continue Reading.
The Town of Keene, the Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI), and the Paul Smith’s College adventure guides are providing information and education to hikers in the High Peaks through a new frontcountry steward program. Stewards will be positioned in the Town of Keene along Route 73. » Continue Reading.
ADK (the Adirondack Mountain Club) has announced their free Summer Naturalist Series, hosted by their Naturalist Interns each summer will run through August. All programs are free and open to the public. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is working to create additional access and recreational infrastructure in the Boreas Ponds Tract in the High Peaks Wilderness this June and July.
Gulf Brook Road is currently closed for the spring mud season. Due to the amount of snow this winter and the amount of rain this spring, the road will not open until after Memorial Day weekend. After the road has dried and hardened, and basic maintenance has been completed, motorists will be able to access the Fly Pond Parking Area on weekends only. » Continue Reading.
The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and its Subaru Traveling Trainer team are partnering with the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), the New York State Department of Conservation (DEC), and other regional organizations to host education activities from August 7 to 14.
Focusing on the heavily visited Eastern High Peaks Wilderness Area, including the Van Hoevenberg Trailhead located at the Adirondak Loj and Heart Lake Program Center, the Hot Spot seeks to address the challenges associated with high concentrations of visitors to the region, including damage to alpine plants, trail erosion, human waste, and negative human/wildlife interactions. » Continue Reading.
The story of our use of wild places is becoming as complex as navigating Cascade Pass on a nice weekend, with cars parked on the shoulder, cyclists zipping down the hill, hikers playing “Frogger” with oncoming traffic, and motorists distracted by the jaw-dropping beauty of the roadside lakes. A wild experience, for sure, but maybe not the flavor of wildness we look for in the Adirondacks. Once parked, we might find crowded trailheads and toilet paper flowers blooming in the forest. This hardly seems like the experience promised in advertisements. » Continue Reading.
As winter shows sure signs of releasing its grip on the Adirondacks, a new hiking season in the High Peaks Wilderness is coming into view. The allure of the High Peaks is immense for hikers, which is understandable.
There is simply no other place anywhere east of the Mississippi River that provides the experience like that found on the summit of an interior High Peak surrounded by dozens of others. The views from Gothics or Colvin or Colden or Haystack mountains, or any number of other High Peaks, are simply stunning.
It’s no wonder the High Peaks Wilderness is in the midst of a major boom in the number of hikers, which has stressed the region’s management. » Continue Reading.
In 2018, state agencies combined the Dix Mountain and High Peaks Wilderness areas into one grand 275,000-acre Wilderness area, which is now celebrated as the 3rd largest Wilderness area east of the Mississippi River, behind the Florida Everglades and the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. This action certainly merits heralding as a major accomplishment in the history of the Adirondack Park and Forest Preserve.
It shines a spotlight on the High Peaks Wilderness as a world-class landscape and it begs the questions of how and when will state agencies start to put together a world-class management system that the High Peaks Wilderness deserves. » Continue Reading.
Outdoor recreation in the Adirondack Park has grown significantly in recent years, rising from an estimate of 10 million visitors in 2001 to over 12.4 million in 2018. The popularity of the park has not been inconsequential.
The High Peaks Wilderness has been ground zero for major impacts, with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) listing overcrowded trailheads, trail deterioration, undesired trails, campsite and lean-to deterioration, water pollution, and impacts to wildlife as some of the negative consequences of high public use.
Some trails and mountain peaks are seeing large crowds on weekends. It’s not unusual for Cascade Mountain to see 1,000 hikers on a weekend. Many High Peaks are seeing 30,000 to 40,000 hikers on their trails each year. » Continue Reading.
New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) has announced they are seeking two trail crew supervisors and eight trail crew laborers to work in the backcountry of the High Peaks Wilderness as part of the DEC High Peaks Trail Crews. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Region 5 Forest Rangers piloted a preventative Search and Rescue initiative during the President’s Day holiday weekend in the High Peaks Wilderness.
Staff from Adirondack Mountain Club and volunteers from Keene-Keene Valley Backcountry Rescue partnered in the effort to directly interact with hikers entering the backcountry. » Continue Reading.
Every winter there are conflicts between backcountry hikers and skiers. While skiing I try my best to educate hikers on the trail, but it isn’t a time when people tend to be very receptive.
I realize there are many hikers who are naïve to the world of backcountry skiing. While there are those who will never alter their behavior, I believe that with considerate education most will realize that there are a few simple things they can do that will improve trail use for all users.
I thought a quick summary of the backcountry downhill skiing situation in the High Peaks Wilderness in particular might be helpful. » Continue Reading.