By MIKE LYNCH
The Garden parking lot in Keene Valley will remain closed until at least late September.
The parking lot, which is one of the major access points for High Peaks hikers, has been closed this summer while crews replace a bridge over Johns Brook. The work has closed down the end of Johns Brook Lane to the public. The road provides the only public access to the parking lot.
Keene Supervisor Joe Pete Wilson said workers will be setting the bridge beams on Wednesday, August 21, and the bridge work should be done 30 days after that work is finished.
“It’s going to be the end of September before it’s open,” he said.
That’s a few weeks later than the date currently listed on the town of Keene website.
Wilson said the crews had to dynamite some large boulders, causing a delay in the work. The crew did that in order to find secure ground for the pilings.
Hikers who want to use the Garden trailheads can park at Marcy Field, where the town of Keene runs a shuttle to the parking lot. A schedule is posted on the Keene website.
Wilson said the parking lot closure has had a definite impact on the number of people using the Garden trailhead, which has trails to Johns Brook Valley, Big Slide, the Brothers, Mount Marcy, and the Great Range.
“People have been scared away,” he said. “We’re seeing less hiker traffic.”
He said he’s looking forward to having the construction completed.
“I’ll be so relieved when the bridge is open again,” he said.
Roger J Jette says
Fewer hikers equals less impact. Close it permanently and keep the shuttle from Marcy Field. Handicap parking only.
This is not even a remotely realistic option. It will do nothing to actually alleviate the overuse problem just push it elsewhere (see: Loj Road all summer, with lines of cars stretching over two miles from the HPIC on Labor Day). Additionally, you’re asking a town that basically exists because of hiker business to scare away the hikers. Ask any of the restaurants, the lodging, or the Mountaineer how business has been this summer. I bet they’ll all say it’s been down and they couldn’t afford to do this every summer.
Garden Trailhead Parking Lot Closed (Until Lake September 2019): The Garden Parking Lot at the Garden Trailhead – one of the main access points to the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness and the nearest trailhead to Johns Brook Lodge is closed to replace the Johns Brook Bridge, construction is expected to be completed in early September. No vehicles or pedestrians are able to cross the bridge. Hikers and backpackers should gain access to the Garden Trailhead by parking at Marcy Field Parking Lot and using the Town of Keene Shuttle between the Marcy Field Parking Lot and the Garden Trailhead. This will be the only means for accessing the Garden Trailhead during the closure. Public use of the private detour is prohibited. The Town of Keene plans to operate the Shuttle from 7 am to 7 pm, weekends only. The cost will be $10 round-trip per person ($13 Canadian). However, due to the current lack of bus drivers this schedule may be reduced. The town s website has the most up to date shuttle schedule. More information about the closure can be found HERE .