By MIKE LYNCH
A key gateway to the High Peaks will reopen to motor vehicles on Friday.
The popular Garden parking lot in Keene Valley has been closed since the spring due to a bridge replacement project on Johns Brook Lane.
Keene Supervisor Joe Pete Wilson told the Explorer in an email that the bridge will be open Thursday and the parking lot will follow on Friday.
Hikers looking to use the Garden trailhead this summer have been limited to a Town of Keene shuttle bus that takes hikers between the Marcy Field parking lot and the Garden.
The $10 shuttle, which has been in operation for years, will continue to run through the fall foliage hiking season on Saturdays and Sundays to handle overflow parking.
Wilson previously told the Explorer the parking lot closure has had an 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.”