In its proposed amendment to the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest management plan, the state DEC sets forth a goal of creating two networks of mountain biking trails just north of Blue Ridge Road.
Backcountry skiers have long complained that state agencies have given them short shrift when it comes to accommodating their sport in the Forest Preserve. One major complaint is that years ago the state Department of Environmental Conservation transformed part of the Wright Peak Ski Trail into a hiking trail; the subsequent narrowing and eroding of the trail has rendered it often unsuitable for skiing. In proposed changes to the High Peaks Wilderness management plan, DEC aims to address the problem by rerouting the lower part of the ski trail away from the hiking trail. The department also proposes a number >>More
The state Department of Environmental Conservation has compiled 132 pages of public comments and responses regarding its proposals in the High Peaks Wilderness and Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest. The Adirondack Park Agency is expected to vote on whether to approve DEC’s proposals this Friday. About ten pages of comments and responses pertain to concerns raised by rock and ice climbers, many of whom fear that efforts to address overflow parking along Route 73 will shut them out of popular cliffs. Below are all the climbers’ comments, with DEC’s responses in italic. We hope to post comments from other user groups later in >>More
The state Department of Environmental Conservation has finalized its proposed changes to the High Peaks Wilderness and Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest unit management plans, and the Adirondack Park Agency is expected vote on them next week.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation plans to close Gulf Brook Road, the dirt thoroughfare leading to Boreas Ponds, on weekdays so it can repair the road, which was damaged by deep frost and melting snow this past winter. The closure means people will have to hike or bike about seven miles to reach the ponds, which the state bought in 2016. Gulf Brook Road is an old logging road built by Finch, Pruyn and Company, the former owner of Boreas Ponds. When the road is open, people are allowed to drive 3.2 miles to the Fly Pond Parking Area, >>More
The Adirondack Climbers Coalition is urging its members to submit comments to the state Department of Environmental Conservation to ensure that the rock-climbing community’s voice is heard as DEC prepares changes to the High Peaks Wilderness management plan. The ACC is concerned about DEC’s plan to ban parking along the shoulders of Route 73, which passes by many of the region’s premier climbing cliffs. “Don’t reduce parking. In fact only increases in parking should be considered,” ACC President Will Roth writes in a notice posted on the group’s website. DEC is proposing to build two parking areas near Chapel Pond >>More
For the past few years, state and local officials have recognized that parking at busy trailheads on Route 73 has become a safety hazard. When the trailhead lots fill up, people park their cars along both sides of the two-lane highway and walk along the shoulders to get to the trail. It’s not uncommon to see dozens of cars parked along the road at the Cascade Mountain trailhead, Giant Mountain’s Ridge trailhead, and Giant’s Roaring Brook trailhead. As we reported earlier, the state Department of Environmental Conservation is proposing changes in the High Peaks Wilderness unit management plan (UMP) to >>More
If proposals for new state lands win approval, people could be driving most of the way to Boreas Ponds later this year. The state Department of Environmental Conservation wants to build a six-car parking area a tenth of a mile from the ponds and a ten-car parking area about a mile away. Rob Davies, director of DEC’s Division of Lands and Forests, said the department hopes to build the parking areas this year. “I think they will be ready for Columbus Day and hopefully sooner,” Davies told the Adirondack Explorer after a hearing in Albany Wednesday on various proposals for >>More
The Adirondack Park Agency board voted Thursday to fast-track a number of proposals for the High Peaks Wilderness and Vanderhacker Wild Forest, including tens of thousands of acres of newly acquired state lands. Some environmental groups contend the agency is moving too fast. Among other things, the proposals call for parking lots that would allow easy access to Boreas Ponds; new hiking, biking, ski, and equestrian trails; new campsites, canoe launches, and kiosks; and relocating the trailhead for Cascade Mountain. The APA and Department of Environmental Conservation will hold two public hearings on May 23: 10 a.m. at DEC headquarters, >>More
Several years ago we skied two High Peaks in spring with Ron Konowitz. We did a few laps in the bowl on Algonquin Peak, climbed over Wright Peak, and descended the Wright Peak Ski Trail. The Wright Peak trail is one of the few trails designed for down-mountain skiing in the Adirondacks. It was built in the 1930s, fell into disuse, and then was restored in 1980s by volunteers, including Tony Goodwin, the longtime executive director of the Adirondack Ski Touring Council. But there was a problem. After a mile or so, the ski trail converged with the Algonquin hiking >>More