About Gwendolyn Craig

Gwen is an award-winning journalist covering environmental policy for the Explorer since January 2020. She also takes photos and videos for the Explorer's magazine and website. She is a current member of the Legislative Correspondents Association of New York. Gwen has worked at various news outlets since 2015. Prior to moving to upstate New York, she worked for a D.C. Metro-area public relations firm, producing digital content for clients including the World Health Organization, the Low Income Investment Fund and Rights and Resources Initiative. She has a master's degree in journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She has bachelor's degrees in English and journalism, with a concentration in ecology and evolutionary biology, from the University of Connecticut. Gwen is also a part-time figure skating coach. Contact her at (518) 524-2902 or gwen@adirondackexplorer.org. Sign up for Gwen’s newsletter here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Boreas says

    With the number of license plates from “restricted” states I have been seeing in Essex and Clinton Counties, I would be concerned about hiking anywhere hikers are numerous and face mask protection is as lax as in the main photo.

  2. hiker says

    They are maintaining the six foot distance and some are wearing masks. Everyone I’ve seen on the trails is stepping aside to keep a distance. It’s not easy to wear a mask hiking.

  3. hiker says

    Maybe Mr. Seggos should research the Tarahumara Indians. They outperform all other long distance hikers and runners in all kinds of terrain wearing sandals. I wouldn’t do it myself, but this kind of finger pointing should be given a little more thought before publishing. Can he cite examples of sandal wearing hikers causing a rescue?

  4. toofargone says

    No surprises here. Boreas is often half right as usual with the skyrocketing number of new cases reported in Essex and Clinton Counties. Probably all related to hiking in the High Peaks. If concerned or compromised like Boreas says, then by all means, just don’t do it. Please do not die, especially here. Stay home, bushwhack, play checkers, wear a mask or buy some mace to protect yourself. Yes, the mountains will wait, but please, now more than ever, and hey, especially you outsiders, just send your solicited donations and tax dollars now more than ever, and remember, we’ll see you later. Whatever, nevermind.

  5. hiker says

    reminder to all considerate hikers, 46ers, ADK members and anyone who wants to keep your hiking “privileges” (although we do pay for it with tax money)….pick up other people’s trash, if they are too inconsiderate we will do it for them! Even if you see disgusting TP, flick it off the trail and bury it.

  6. Damian La Quay says

    The best solution to the problem is to keep all the cidiots out of the woods and off the mountains. Having grown-up and lived in the Adirondacks my entire life, I’ve witnessed countless cases of the disrespect and disregard these clowns have for the woods and those of us who live there.

  7. Boreas says

    This is the blog article by steward, Michaela Dunn, shedding sobering insight into what is going on up high this summer.


    It also shows why there is no substitute for a robust Ranger force. I hope Basil Seggos reads this blog article with his political glasses off.

    Another related point. When people are supposedly maintaining a six-foot distance, significant trail traffic can only lead to trampling more vegetation and widening of what are supposed to be single-file trails throughout the HPW. Trail crews have been working decades to concentrate trail traffic, and this is likely to be a significant setback to that program.

    Anyone else notice roadside parking is on the upswing?

  8. hiker says

    I read that article last week and it was a little surprising to see what’s going on. It’s another good example of why more Rangers are needed. People who are completely uneducated about the regulations need to know what is allowed before they set out on a camping trip. Uniformed Rangers or assistants at trailheads could help the problem. Maybe there should also be some sort of camping pass program, so that all campers know what the regulations are. But these folks are outliers, most of the hikers know the rules, I think it’s more often campers that spoil things instead of day hikers. It truly is the bad apples that are causing problems. But why does everyone have to suffer because of them? This Steward says that he didn’t report some of the rule breakers, I can understand his predicament, but was he following his protocol? I’m not sure, maybe they have discretion. About trail trampling, there’s nothing that can be done this summer. It’s an unusual situation, never happened before. It’s not the hikers fault, they can’t levitate around each other, and they are still allowed to hike.

  9. Vanessa says

    Hmm comments on this one are a bit spicy. Now that I’m paying attention to it, I’m seeing the “cidiots” epithet more and more. Really classy…

    On other forums, I have cautioned that any permit system or restrictions on use have to consider enforcement or they’re not going to be effective. Further, deterring people who are being responsible and considerate isn’t good either.

    Perhaps rather than potentially punishing everyone, can we focus more on discouraging bad behavior? A permit system is just a quota. What about giving citations in cases of clearly egregious behavior, like a campfire near a summit? If we fine people for illegal parking, I think it’s fair to fine people for environmental damage when they’re caught red-handed. Isn’t littering already a ticket-worthy offense?

  10. hiker says

    I re-read the article that Boreas posted. The steward is actually a female. (sorry Michaela, I called you a he in a previous post). Anyway, the campers who camped way too high near Marcy did not know the rules. And they stated one of them had heat exhaustion and was very dehydrated and could not continue, so in a case like this, obviously, camping is permitted, I believe so they don’t like, die or something. But, they did have a campfire which is really odd to see, since they’re not permitted at all in that area, much less above 3,500 ft. And, the young drone flyers said they didn’t know the law about drones either. I don’t know if there are any signs indicating that at trailheads, but I’ll bet a lot of people don’t know that law either. So what we have here again are isolated incidents, nothing that should be used as evidence to close parking lots and send people away. I think that is at the heart of this whole overuse issue, over-reaction to the current problems. Things need to be thought out in a fair manner for all involved. The state and local economy has a potential windfall of profits on their hand if they figure out how to balance the overuse and accommodate the “throngs” in a welcoming manner. The new ADK Director called this a good problem to have. That’s a promising comment. But unfortunately, things aren’t going our way because they want to close more parking and increase the already ridiculous parking fine (250 dollars or more). But in recent news: “President Donald Trump signed legislation Tuesday that will devote nearly $3 billion a year to conservation projects, outdoor recreation and maintenance of national parks and other public lands following its overwhelming approval by both parties in Congress.” So maybe the park can get a chunk of that money to re-vamp the trails, and spend more on conservation efforts (and build MORE parking, not less) and then we can turn things around.

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