Is a diminutive, soft-voiced recent college grad really the answer to the over-crowding problem in the Adirondack High Peaks?
She might be part of it. Naomi Hodgson is one of the new, home-grown “front country stewards” stationed at critical spots on busy hiking weekends. Their job is to direct hikers to right-sized hikes for their experience and skill level, recommend necessary gear and preparation, and provide critical pointers and friendly advice.
“I don’t get so many flip flops here,” she said. “Just sneakers, which is not so bad, really. I haven’t seen a person with flip flops in a while. “
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 colors are coming soon, and hiking is one of the best ways to experience fall foliage in the Adirondacks. Enjoy the hikes and views without the hassle of driving and parking. No-cost shuttles will run during peak foliage weekends on Oct. 1 and 2 and again over Indigenous Peoples’/Columbus Day weekend on Oct. 8, 9, and 10 from the Frontier Town Gateway to the Giant Mountain, Roaring Brook Falls, and Rooster Comb trailheads and the Marcy Field Parking Area. These are the same drop-off locations currently offered by the Route 73 Hiker Shuttle (PDF) from Marcy Field, but from an alternate starting point.
The October shuttle will operate in a loop from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Seating is available on a first-come-first-served basis. Dogs are not permitted on the shuttle, and masks are required. The gateway shuttle stop is conveniently located near the DEC Frontier Town Campground, Equestrian, and Day Use Area.
For more information on planning fall foliage hikes in the Adirondacks, including a list of family-friendly trails ideal for hiking in the spring, summer, and fall, click here. Due to their lower elevation, these hikes are great alternatives during transitions between seasons like mud season in the spring and colder, shorter days in the fall.
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.
DEC, Essex County, and the Town of Keene are working together to implement a shuttle pilot system this summer that will explore how shuttles may help manage sustainable visitation along the Route 73 corridor and in the High Peaks.
Some important details remain, including hiring necessary and properly certified shuttle operators and trail stewards, as well as finalizing route information, but we are continuing to collaborate and reach out to our partners to help make the shuttle successful. Qualified individuals interested in the hiring opportunities available can contact the Town of Keene, and additional information will be made available as the shuttle system details are finalized.
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Discussion time: Hiking permits, parking and shuttles
The Adirondack Mountain Reserve hiking permit system closes for the season on Oct. 31. Did you use it this summer or plan to make a reservation before the end of the month? Did you take one of the fall foliage shuttles the state started trying this year?
In your opinion, what are some creative ideas the state and/or local communities should be considering to move people from parking lots to trailheads?