5 Responses

  1. Great article!
    I say incentives should be given to the tour companies that bring bus loads of would be explorers from down state and other areas. Push them to help spread the knowledge that Forty-Sixers and the SDK Club used to be able to spread by themselves!!

  2. Richard Maxwell says:

    This is an excellent article. I enjoy hiking and I love the Adirondacks. Luckily for me and my work schedule my days off are on Monday and Tuesdays so I normally hike when there are no crowds which I like. I made the sad mistake of hiking Hadley Mountain one year on Memorial Day, and I will NEVER hike on a holiday again. People on their phones, kids screaming and yelling (don’t get me wrong I am glad to see kids out hiking, but the parents need to teach some manners). I have seen groups of kids hiking with one bottle of water, wearing jeans and flip flops. I have seen young kids dragging a cooler up Black Mountain and drinking on the trail. I’m not saying don’t enjoy the hike, but people have to be smart. The article talks about people not having a map, or proper gear. If you want to keep the numbers down and help preserve the land one thing I think needs to happen is to have a DEC officer at every major trail head, have him/her at the register, and if people aren’t properly prepared then TURN THEM AWAY. Make people become responsible and it will cut down on search and rescue cost. I am not saying have them at every trail head, just the ones that are becoming more popular and easy to get to. Even when I go on my day hikes I have a map of the area, compass, chem lights, head lamp, change of clothes, extra food, survival knife, waterproof matches…etc. It may seem like overkill, and thank god I have never been in a situation where I needed to rely on my survival skills, but if the day ever comes then I will be ready. At the minimum hikers should be wearing a good pair of hiking boots, they should NOT be wearing anything cotton, they should have a map of the area and a compass AND KNOW HOW TO USE IT!!!! BE PREPARED and BE SAFE. If you haven’t read “AT THE MERCY OF THE MOUNTAINS” then I would suggest that for all you novice hikers out there.

  3. Bob Stern says:

    I climbed Marcy and a few other high peaks in the mid to late 70s. I remember waiting in a line at the summit and there was barely room to sit. The camping area at marcy dam was like being in a DEC campsite in Lake George. I remember having trouble parking near Giant Mtn trailhead. I wore cotton shirts, jean shorts and work boots!

    I had kids and got into other things and hadn’t hiked in high Peaks in 30 years. Started up again this summer and although parking was very crowded did one day hikes to Big Slide and one to Algonquin. Hard to do now at 60 and there were some crowds but I started layer in day and summit visits were peaceful. I drove past Cascade parking each time it looked crazy.

  4. Penny Fairhurst says:

    My husband and I climbed Cascade Mt. It was surprisingly clean. Considering the number of people I saw on the trail it was Saturday 8/27/16. We have been hiking together for at least 51 years, and we have never seen the trails so crowed. Hiking is very good for the health, but something has to be done about the crowds. I usually hike during the week. We especially like hiking the Long Path. No we have not finished it we only have about 10 miles more, but we must camp overnight and can’t do that anymore. Wish it was easier to climb Cornell Mt.

  5. Kristin says:

    Glad to see the state is thinking about more even development of access in the Park, I think that’s a huge part of it. The only places with real tourism infrastructure and access are Lake Placid and Lake George, which leads to overuse of those areas and economic deprivation in a lot of the rest of the region. The summit trail on Lyon Mountain is as lovely as anything in the 46, but the only people who use it are locals in the north area of the park and people coming down from Canada.

    I think the shorter-term solution would be not relying on community transmission of outdoor knowledge about proper gear and survival – which is exclusive, and parks are for everyone. Instead, it seems like the APA/DEC should develop and investing in new trailhead signage for the the most popular routes that explains the risks and rules. I was lucky enough to learn about hiking and outdoor survival within my family and at summer camp. I “earned” my first real pair of hiking boots after successfully hiking Giant, Algonquin, and Marcy with my dad and sister, and learned the 10 essentials and how to build a fire etc. with an outdoor educator on backpacking trips near Lake George. But we can’t blame people for a lack of knowledge if they’ve never had access to similar experiences. Having a literal gate-keeper at trailheads to turn people away like a bouncer is also exclusive, but it seems to me that well-designed and placed signs stating the nature of certain trails, the gear recommended before hiking, and rules – not littering, not pooping near water sources or without burying it and WHY, as well as alternate routes if something less challenging is available – would be a great place to start.

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