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.