About Gwendolyn Craig

Gwen covers environmental policy in the Adirondacks. Contact her at (518) 524-2902 or [email protected] You can also follow her on Twitter, @gwendolynnn1.

Reader Interactions


  1. Boreas says

    The trails on AMR property have long been extremely well-maintained with the “toll gate” offering a very good screening of hikers, including assessing if the hikers will be able to get back out before dark, since they don’t allow camping along the trails. This screening can also assist hikers in letting them know their planned destination may be too ambition for the time of day. I believe all stakeholders can benefit by listening to the AMR and the solutions they may enact on their easement trails.

  2. Carl Heilman says

    I respect the private land / public easement issues facing the AMR. However I am against permits elsewhere. Properly built sections of trail on the most heavily used trails in the peaks stand up to the constant foot traffic. Safe parking is definitely an issue, as is dropped trash and garbage and unburied human waste and unprepared hikers. But a well built trail can hold up to the current level of traffic (and beyond). Sections of the trail on Cascade are as sturdy and secure now as they were when rebuilt in the 1980’s. The issues are where nothing has been done. People need to connect with nature and where better to do it than an open summit with easy access. I would happily share the summit with a hundred others who are ecstatic with the experience than limit it to a select few who manage to get a permit. We need trail maintenance, education, more rangers, and safe parking – not permits to limit access. I don’t mind helping to fund trail building or better access through a hiking license, but I do not support a trail access permit to limit use. Hikers have free access in the Smokies, Blue Ridge, Acadia and many other locations. Trails there are maintained and in fine shape. We need to put the same efforts into trail maintenance here in the Adirondacks and Catskills. It’s not the numbers as much as it is the lack of maintenance and loss of environmental officers relative to increased use in recent decades. The state built up and supported tourism to bring people here, but then dropped the ball on maintaining the infrastructure of what people enjoy doing once they are here.

  3. Dana says

    If you have 100 people standing on a swinging bridge designed for 10 and it collapses, is it too many people or too little maintenance??

  4. Jeanne says

    There are way too many people. Perhaps morehikers would like to donate some time and muscle to help with trail maintenance.

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