About Tim Rowland

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

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Eric Avery says

    Can we dispense with the myth that crowded peaks in the Adirondacks on nice weekends are something new? The first time I summited Algonquin I had to wait a half an hour for my “turn” to touch my boot to the summit bolt. There had to be 100 people up there. That was in 1997. There’s not that many more people Now than there were 20 years ago when the weather is spectacular. The only difference is that the Adirondack Mt Club isn’t really “a thing” anymore so no one is carpooling from Glens Falls or Clifton Park. The same number of people are arriving in twice as many cars. The AllTrails app gives people directions to the trail head and a line to follow and off people go. Can we please just have more parking and maybe a few new routes from different lots?

  2. Chris says

    This is a hugely important article.

    Crazy that such a simple demographic-attitude study hasn’t been done before! With all the concern for education to not “know the customer” and how they perceive things and what they are aware of and concerned about seems a big miss. The relative Google search results is eye-opening! And the “what works/what doesn’t elsewhere” is just basic research that should preface any discussions of these topics yet I haven’t seen them before but is essential to figuring out what to do (ie. copy success!)

    Thank you and Bravo! to the Clarkson students who did this!

  3. Tony Goodwin says

    I attended the presentation by the Clarkson students and I agree that they did a great job in both describing the current situation in the ADKs and in researching how other areas are dealing with current use levels. In particular, their analysis of who is hiking now and how those hikers perceive the experience is especially important. Any educational effort must first determine who it is who needs to be educated and what it is that need to know.

    The group recognized the Franconia Notch State Park had done an excellent job of dealing with the high use levels there. It should be noted, however, that the task was easier in Franconia Notch because there was the parking area for a major ski center (Canon Mt.) within a few miles (all in the same direction) of all the popular trailheads.

    Here, even if we were to turn half of Marcy Field into a parking lot, the logistics would be much more difficult to get hikers to their chosen trailhead. So, while the solutions found in other areas can help to inform us of solutions, ultimately it will have to be a unique ADK solution to mitigate the problems created by current use levels.

    • Chris says

      Obviously every situation is different, but we – and everyone else – should have a reference catalog of what “plays” are available and how they work elsewhere.

  4. Kathy says

    “Leave no trace” is also about no littering and that is not just an Adirondack principle. People should only leave traces in their own private homes . It cannot be taught better than at home as children. It involves respect and should be a statewide principle.

  5. Margie says

    I am curious to know whether the Clarkson survey team advised the group in the photo to move their feet and belongings out of the earthen areas to protect fragile vegetation. Note the 2 prominently in the foreground. This article could also have been an opportunity to advance the “Leave No Trace” principles.

    • Boreas says

      I shudder to think where we would be without “self-appointed environmentalists” such as John Muir, Rachel Carson, Leopold, Abbey, and Roosevelt. There certainly would be no Adirondack Park, not to mention National Parks. “Everyone else” should know how their public playgrounds came to be and do their share to help preserve and protect them.

  6. Vanessa says

    Good study, many kudos to these students for talking the time!

    As a millennial, the idea about there being safety in (limited) numbers resonates with me a lot. I am not experienced enough to feel super confident when hiking alone even though I do know basic navigation. To be honest, I’ve gotten slightly lost on ADK trails more than anywhere in the country. I’ve gotten tricked by old trail markers, misjudged distances, been accidentally rerouted by alpine terrain that isn’t a trail, etc. it’s really good to have someone pass you occasionally to indicate that you are in fact on the right track.

    I know some folks definitely do not feel that way, and in my experience they tend to be older. Though I know older urban folks who grew up on ADK vacations that feel similar to locals.

    In our google maps generation, extreme confidence in old fashioned navigation is less prominent imo. I don’t think that should prohibit us from being out there.

    I know that the ADKs seem really crowded, and yes the sunny day we visited in October was pretty ridiculous. But the other two days with moderate weather on weekdays were totally tame. I strongly agree with local commenters in Keene who have observed that the overuse problem is limited to select few days.

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