Adirondack Mountain Club partners with DackMap to offer information in real-time
By Mike Lynch
The Adirondack Mountain Club is doubling down on its efforts to educate backcountry users.
ADK released a new edition of High Peaks Trails guidebook for hikers this past winter, and now the organization is partnering with the creators of the DackMap app to provide educational info to people interested in recreating.
DackMap is an app that provides users with information about tourism resources, such as businesses, but also trail information. It covers the entire Adirondack Park.
ADK is providing marketing support for the app and educational resources to help people recreate in a way that protects themselves and the environment. In other words, promoting Leave No Trace ethics.
ADK spokesman Ben Brosseau said the goal of his organization is to reach people before they arrive in the Adirondacks, which they do its guidebooks and maps, educational videos and other educational material.
ADK is also working to verify trail information in the app, as it does in its guidebooks, to ensure the resources provided are accurate.
One advantage of DackMap, is that it is used not only by people planning their trips at home, but also people staying at hotels looking to do spur-of-the-moment excursions into the woods.
The DackMap was created by brothers Nicholas and Luke LaScala last spring when they were quarantining in Indian Lake. So far, it has attracted 5,000 users, said Nicholas, who is a former Adirondack Council intern and currently serves on the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce Board.
A basic version of the app is free and a more advanced version can be purchased for a nominal fee.
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High Peaks guidebook
In addition to the app, ADK released the 15th edition of its High Peaks Trails guidebook this past winter. Edited by Tony Goodwin, the book includes much of the same info from past editions.
Some changes include information on the former Dix Wilderness that is now part of the High Peaks Wilderness and a chapter on Champlain Valley Trails, which has a growing trail network due to the work of the nonprofit Champlain Area Trails.
There is also a new Northwestern section to the book that includes trails like Lyon Mountain formerly found in the ADK’s Northern Region guidebook that is now discontinued. (The trails are in the northwestern-most section of the northeastern part of the park.) ADKs Adirondack guidebooks divide the park into five sections.
Sections on Boreas Ponds and a hike to Wolf Pond are also new.
“It opens up another camping possibility with a short approach, which is probably not going to be too overcrowded immediately, if ever,” Goodwin said about Wolf Pond.
Goodman said many of the changes were simply wordsmithing to make the book smaller. ADK is now promoting the book as one that is easier to take on a hiking trip.
Brosseau said the strength of the book is that, unlike some info on the internet and other places, it’s known to be accurate.
“This is completely verified information,” Brosseau said. “There is a lot of research that goes into this, a lot of vetting with not only the editor and the author but with external sources bouncing it back and forth, including DEC sources to make sure everything is up to date.”