In the past, Keene Supervisor Joe Pete Wilson has referred to the hiker parking along Route 73 as a “55-mile-per-hour parking lot.”
That certainly seemed to be case on Saturday, September 12, as people looked for parking along the highway and at the lot at the Roaring Brook trailhead for Giant Mountain outside of Keene Valley. In less than an hour, I witnessed several near accidents as vehicles came to a halt after coming down the hill at 55 miles per hour or more from the direction of Chapel Hill.
Drivers seemed to be confused about where to park, and the number of people interested in parking outnumbered the number of legal parking spots.
Meanwhile there were about 20 vehicles parked illegally alongside 73 next to the Giant Mountain parking lot across from Ausable Road. All of the vehicles were perpendicular to the road, meaning most would have to back onto the highway when they left.
There was also a fairly regular stream of hikers walking along the highway in places where the shoulder was tight, forcing passing vehicles to cross the middle yellow line as they went by.
The above images were ones I took from along that stretch of Route 73 and of hikers entering the nearby trailhead for the Adirondack Mountain Reserve trailhead during the time period described.