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Adirondack Explorer

September, 2011

High Peaks trail conditions

It looks like it will be great hiking weather this weekend. If you’re planning on visiting the High Peaks region, bear in mind that conditions on the reopened trails may be dodgy in places. This might be a good time to visit another part of the Adirondack Park. Remember, we’ve got about 2.6 million acres of public Forest Preserve. If you insist on going to the High Peaks, I encourage you to check out the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s online updates of trail conditions. It contains useful information about damage and reroutes on specific trails. Some of the more >>More


September, 2011

High Peaks trails are open, but be careful

Most trails in the eastern High Peaks are now open, but state officials warn that hikers may encounter blowdown and erosion and find that footbridges are missing. “Hikers must pay close attention as there are reroutes and also a lot of new eroded drainages that people may assume are the trail,” said David Winchell, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. “Numerous trails have been rerouted,” Winchell added. “All are short minor reroutes.” One of the reroutes is below Marcy Dam on the Van Hoevenberg Trail, the most popular trail to Mount Marcy. The floods caused by Hurricane >>More


September, 2011

DEC opens most trails in High Peaks

The state Department of Environmental Conservation reopened today a number of trails in the High Peaks Wilderness and Giant Mountain Wilderness that were closed after Hurricane Irene, including trails to Mount Marcy, the state’s highest peak. Trails in the Dix Mountain Wilderness will remain closed at least until Route 73 is reopened. The storm had eroded many trails, washed out footbridges, felled trees, and triggered numerous landslides in the High Peaks region. John Million, deputy director of the Adirondack Mountain Club, commended DEC for its efforts to reopen trails. “ADK is very pleased that DEC has worked hard to open >>More


September, 2011

DEC to reopen to some trails

The state Department of Environmental Conservation expects to reopen some trails in the eastern High Peaks Wilderness before this weekend. In fact, some trails may be reopened today, according to DEC spokesman David Winchell. “We’re working on what trails can be reopened and hope to make an announcement later today,” Winchell told me this morning. Winchell said some trails will be open right away and others may open within a week, but others will remain closed for longer. Hurricane Irene caused extensive damage to trails in the High Peaks region, prompting DEC to close not only the eastern High Peaks Wilderness >>More


September, 2011

ADK plans to reopen Loj on Thursday

The Adirondack Mountain Club plans to reopen Adirondak Loj on Thursday and expects  that some trails in the eastern High Peaks Wilderneness will be available for hiking by then. Meantime, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Conservation said on Tuesday that the department is evaluating which trails may be reopened. “It will most likely be tomorrow before we have completed that task and can provide a list of open trails,” David Winchell told me. Adirondak Loj and the trails in the eastern High Peaks were closed after Hurricane Irene. Raging floodwaters collapsed a section of the road leading >>More


September, 2011

DEC stationed at trailheads

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is preparing to deal with an influx of hikers on Labor Day weekend who may be confused about where they can and cannot hike. Forest rangers and environmental conservation officers will be stationed at trailheads for the eastern High Peaks Wilderness, Giant Mountain Wilderness, and Dix Mountain Wilderness, according to DEC spokesman David Winchell. As a result of damage to trails from Tropical Storm Irene, DEC has closed all three areas indefinitely. Winchell said DEC employees will direct hikers and backpackers to nearby Forest Preserve tracts that remain open. “We also will be patrolling >>More


September, 2011

ADK hopes some trails can reopen next week

The Adirondack Mountain Club hopes that the state will reopen some trails in the eastern High Peaks early next week. “We’re aware of a number of trails that can be safely hiked at this point,” said Neil Woodworth, ADK’s executive director. Woodworth refused to identify specific trails, saying it’s up to the state Department of Environmental Conservation to determine which trails should be reopened. “We’re hoping that the closure order of the eastern High Peaks can be lifted,” he said. Woodworth said ADK and other “interested stakeholders” have urged DEC to keep closed only trails that pose a hazard or >>More


September, 2011

First photos from Duck Hole

This spring, I paddled Duck Hole, a wilderness pond surrounded by high mountains. Getting there was not easy—the trip entailed four carries totaling about two miles—but it was worth it. I wrote about my adventure for the July/August issue of the Explorer in an article titled “Portage to Paradise.” Today that trip is no longer possible. And Duck Hole is no longer a paradise—unless you’re a mosquito. Yesterday I returned to Duck Hole on foot to see firsthand what’s left of this beloved pond since its dam breached during Tropical Storm Irene. The accompanying photos tell the story: Duck Hole >>More


August, 2011

31 guests stranded at Adirondak Loj

Since Hurricane Irene drenched the High Peaks region, more than thirty guests have been stranded at Adirondak Loj, unable to leave due to a washout on the only road to the rustic inn. The Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), which owns the Loj, hopes that the road will open in a day or two, but with so much devastation around the region, nothing is certain. Neil Woodworth, executive director of the ADK, said a few guests opted to walk out, but most are waiting for the road to be repaired enough to allow them to take their cars. As of today, >>More


August, 2011

Bad news for the backcountry

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is starting to get assessments of storm damage in the backcountry in the High Peaks region, and the news is not good. “Every place we’ve looked bridges are gone, trails are eroded, and there’s lots of blowdown,” said Tom Martin, the department’s regional forester. And eroded may be an understatement. When DEC workers headed up the Van Hoevenberg Trail above Marcy Dam, Martin said, they found “a three-foot gorge where the trail used to be—it’s just gone.” The Van Hoevenberg is the most popular route up Mount Marcy, the state’s highest summit. Likewise, the >>More




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