About Tim Rowland

Tim Rowland is a columnist, author and outdoors writer living in Jay.

Reader Interactions


  1. Boreas says

    Call me an old curmudgeon, but I feel this is a disaster waiting to happen. While I understand the knee-jerk reasoning to work around parking limitations, I can’t believe DEC is allowing it without an impact study. My personal concerns:

    1. This essentially takes ALL limits off of trail usage in already heavily used areas. We should be protecting this rare resource, not exploiting it. What is DEC thinking??

    2. Now even kiddies too young to drive can add to the Rangers’ S&R workload. Will adult supervision be required?

    3. Free?? The only way I would advise making it free is after purchasing a seasonal pass that also requires basic knowledge of backcountry safety and LNT principles.

    4. Since this will encourage spur-of-the-moment hike decisions, there should be a time cut-off where taking outgoing hikers would stop. In other words, is it a good idea to be dropping people off at trailheads at 6pm?

    5. This plan also effectively ignores the hiking group limits. Groups of people arriving at a trailhead en masse

    6. Will these buses be used solely for hikers or will they also be used as an ad hoc free shuttle for sightseers and residents? Another good reason to require a seasonal pass.

    I am sure Essex Co. is working out the details as I write, but I hope the above concerns are adequately addressed prior to instituting this significant change to backcountry access in the already busy HPW.

    • Tom Lyng says

      1) Why do you assume that heavily used areas is a negative? And why would you define it as heavy use? Yes, the numbers are larger, but who defines the numbers as heavy usage? That can only be an opinion. We (or they, or us, however you want to define it) are protecting the area, it has been protected since it’s inception. The protection is usually thought of as not allowing road, housing, etc. in certain areas. This issue does not encroach on that aspect. That was the intent of “forever wild”; people enjoying recreation according to the rules are part of the forever wild plan. If we don’t allow people to use it, there is no sense of protecting it, unless there is some extremely endangered resource that needs protecting.
      2) So you want to discriminate by age? They’re not serving liquor on the bus. Adult supervision is the parents responsibility.
      3) It is free of charge, but we are indirectly paying for it from our payroll taxes, sales tax, etc. There is no need for passes, there never has been. And the state and volunteer organizations have educational programs online, and with kiosks and signage, at trailheads and even on the summits.
      4) Yeah, it is a good idea to drop people off at trailheads at 6pm. That way they can get to their car, or start their overnight trip, or moonlight hike. There is no law against any of these activities.
      5) That makes no sense. They split up into their original groups after departing the bus. Do you think they are all going to hike together since they road the bus together?
      6) I don’t think anyone sees that as being a problem. In any case, the cost would be the same.

  2. John says

    How about a second system linking the Frontier Town complex with the string of destinations on the way to Newcomb — Hoffman Mt., Boreas Ponds, Santanoni, the Newcomb campsite, to name a few.

  3. Chris says

    Seems like something that is a no-brainer to try, and to learn from.

    Certainly it’ll be a learning experiment to see if it reduces friction (therefore crowding) or adds friction (and reduces usage.

    It could very well be that it increases usage, but one can’t know without trying it.

  4. Tom Lyng says

    Wow! What a surprise! Kudos to the NYSDEC and Essex County for making a sensible plan. This is great news. And upping the time to 16 hrs is a big bonus.

  5. Julia Koski says

    Is this shuttle going to be in operation 7/3/20 through 7/5/20? I thought it was shutdown due to Covid-19

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