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. Bob says

    If you truly want a “hiker shuttle” it needs to run 20 or 24 hrs a day. If you’re only operating 7-7 or 8-8 then what you are operating is a “tourist shuttle”.

    • Bill Keller says

      “What also peeves DeVivo is how much is spent tending to hikers and how little they spend in return.

      “The old joke is they show up with a $20 bill, and they leave with the same $20 bill,” DeVivo said.

      Are hikers willing to pay for a 24 hour shuttle? Probably not.

    • K says

      Agreed! I would not feel comfortable gaveling to haul ass up any of our high peaks just to catch a shuttle with unrealistic hours. I also feel that does not really promote safety- preparedness and experience does not equal speed. People should be able to hike at a pace that is safe and realistic for them. There have been times where I have left the Loj or other trail heads very late depending on the route we did that day. So yes – unless the shuttle has very extended hours I do not see how this will work. Our landscape, terrain and general layout of the park should not be compared to Acadia

  2. JB says

    This article illustrates well the important point that there needs to be some kind of holistic mechanism for limiting use of these fragile resources (and what could possibly be holistic than the Adirondack Park?). More public transportation and more parking infrastructure can never be a solution to the problem, and neither can building new attractions and diverting people elsewhere. It is interesting that conservation managers outside of the Adirondack Park–and away from the strictness of “Forever Wild”–seem to be more clear-eyed about that reality (at least in theory). NYS, however, seems to be putting on a brave public face that things will sort themselves out. (Case in point: the lack of decisiveness in the Visitor Use Management Plan, and the classic political diversionism of “we need more data”.) But the thing about boom-bust cycles–the tourism economy emphatically included–is that things *never* sort themselves out. The more scarce “wilderness character” becomes, the more valuable, and hence, exploited, the resource becomes. Data and checklists only help if they lead to definitive action.

  3. TrailOgre says

    There should be no shuttle and no roadside parking……………
    people can park in the the lots………
    and hike TRAILS(yes I think I read that somewhere….WE ARE HIKERS!!!!!!!)to the start of your climb

    If you have to hike 2 3 miles to get to the start of your trail
    you may be less likely need a helicopter rescue
    because your phone died
    and your toes are cold

  4. TooFarGone says

    It’s called investment for public works on public lands. Pretty simple concept. The park is not an elitist playground only for members of the Ausable Club, privileged guests of Elk Lake LLC, Lake Placid Club, etc. What’s needed are more parking lots, public improvements and trail improvements to accommodate the public demand for the use of the park. Another simple concept. It’s a matter of public policy and priorities that have resulted in the State’s investment of significant public funds and tax breaks for casinos, sports, art and culture, cinema, the bottle and cheese museum, the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, more public lands and trusts that the public can’t use or access, and just about anything else the politicians decide to fund or pork barrel. So why not make public investments in public accommodations for public lands? Public demand will surely not diminish, and the associated problems will only worsen without the necessary investment for public accommodation. The public deserves access to public lands and should demand nothing less.

  5. Loki says

    How many thousands did the county waste for 85 riders? Oy! And hiker numbers are trending down now? I think that should be the focus of the article, not trying to shove a maintenance and cost-heavy round peg in a square hole that few actually prefer.

    Build parking lots where they are needed and let’s move forward. On the one or three days a year these adequate lots run out of space — find somewhere else to go. The ongoing cost here is absurd compared to some gravel — and once built, the ongoing cost is negligible. They do not have to be at the base of current trailheads — Cascade is moving 2 miles away. A bit on the long side, but not terribly unreasonable.

    Same for Loj Road — the UMP already approved the building of new lots. Build them and so we can focus on actual problems like trail hardening efforts. Early worms get the best lots, later still get to hike, but with an extra 15 or 30 minutes each way on gentle terrain.

    Shuttles can have a place — but primary transportation to “solve” a parking problem is not one of them. Solve the actual problem, not shift to new ones.

  6. Andrew says

    If AMR parking restrictions were implemented due to traffic concerns, there is no reason a shuttle should not be going there.

    • TooFarGone says

      A shuttle is not going there because traffic safety is just a pretext by AMR to limit public use of the recreational easement, and DEC and its inbred stakeholders couldn’t be more pleased with themselves to restrict usage. Many traffic safety alternatives exist to address safety, including a shuttle, if that was the true concern. Dirty rotten scoundrels.

  7. Zephyr says

    No thanks. I go hiking to get away from it all, and taking a bus and being tied to a bus schedule is not part of an enjoyable wilderness trip, even if it was safe to ride in a small enclosed space with a bunch of other people, which it is not right now. I’ll go elsewhere, and there are still plenty of elsewheres in the Adirondacks.

  8. Bill Keller says

    1.1 million visitors to the Adirondack park in 2021, a new record, and I did not see a soul in the forest that I didn’t know. No parking worries, no buses to catch, no annoying people to deal with, no litter to see (except one Mylar balloon that’s no longer litter) and no toilet paper or human scat to be found. Only deer, fisher, coyote and ruffed grouse. Please build the parking lots and provide shuttles, pave the trails if you must, just keep the masses there. (s)

  9. Vanessa B says

    Shuttles are a good and green investment. My money is on hiker numbers recovering this summer. Book your VRBO now, or work on legislation now to get them regulated if you’re a neighbor not-so-enthused.

    But in the meantime, as I’ve said before, we loved the Keene shuttle and have used multiple years. One driver commented that he prefers to vacation in cape cod. Hope he made it there

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *