2017 : Recreation


For Back Country Usage Showing Growth

Back Country Usage Showing Growth

Outdoor recreation is growing. 46'ers in record numbers. A new back country skiing group has formed. The Governor is promoting the region's resources.

Influenced Scenarios



Hiker Counts See Major Drop in 2021

Hiker numbers dropped by 1/3 in 2021.  ADK Mtn Club data shows Marcy down -35%, Algonquin down -38%.  Their summit steward program hiker contacts dropped 30%.  COVID issues were in play.

Read the news story here.

Visitor Management Wins $600k in NYS Budget for 2022

The $600k budget will be used in both the Adirondacks and Catskills to manage usage of popular areas on the Forest Preserve.  One step is to hire a DEC staff person to manage the effort.

Read about the budget here.
Read about use management here.
Read about new leaders of the work here

NYS Campgrounds See Record Use in 2021

The 2021 camping season resulted in record breaking usage of NYS campgrounds.

But also notable is a fall off of day hikers in the High Peaks.

Read the news story here.

Rt 73 Hiker Shuttle Finally Operating

Essex County has begun a pilot operation of a hiker shuttle running from Marcy Field south to Chapel Pond and the Giant/Dix trail heads.  It begins August 21 thru Oct 11 on weekends and holidays.

Read the details here.

Hiker Shuttle Study Released by DOT

The Federal DOT research group in Cambridge Mass released a report proposing three models for a route 73 hiker shuttle. 

Read the report here

Essex Cty Gets $800k to Operate Hiker Shuttle System

The Route 73 corridor will have a new shuttle system.   Details of stops and schedules are still being worked out.  Divers are already hired and vaccinated.

In addition more front country people will be hired to greet hiker, teach LNT etc. Signs and online information efforts are funded as well.

Read the news story here.

High Peask Advisory Report Released

The group was set up to advise DEC on how to manage growing use in the Park.  Adoption of National Park Visitor Use plan process is a big part of it.  There is also a pilot for permits to be conducted on AMR land in Keene.  Focusing on heavy use areas instead of spreading use around is a theme.

An article summarizing the report is here
Download the actual report here.

Hiker Data for 2020 Shows Lots of Novices

The Canadian Border was closed so halting what is typically 30% of visitors.  The total number grew some but the big change was in growth of novice hikers. 

Read the news story here.

Ausable Club Shrinks Parking at AMR Trailhead

The Club announced a limit of 28 cars.  This is in response to the COVID19 pandemic.

Read the news story here.

Essex Cty Wins $1.2m to Buy and Operate Hiker Buses

The state funds will be used to purchase and operate 4 buses for hikers.  Two routes will start at Marcy Field.  One route will run south on Rt 73, the other north as far as the Bobsled Run parking area.  The plan is not affected by the COVID outbreak.   Keene will stop running it's hiker shuttle.

Read the April 2020 article here.
Read about the Keene shuttle decision here.

Hiker Limiting Efforts Worked on Rt 73, Other Areas Grew

The summer of 2019 included closed parking along Rt 73 and the Garden.  Consequently hikers declined by 3%.  Other popular areas continue to increase.  Some call it surging useage.

Read the news story here.

Keene Wins $89k Grant for Hiker Programs

The grant will help with parking at Marcy Field, the nearby Town Trial, and front country stewards to speak with and help hikers on arrival.

Read more about the grant here.

Essex Cty to Run Trailhead Shuttles from Marcy Field

NYS will pay Essex Cty $1.2m to run four 24 passenger buses, 16 hours/day, passing all Rt 73 tail heads every half hour.  They will be free. 

Read the news story here.

Study Shows Young Hikers OK With Crowding

The issues around increasing numbers of hikers splits with age group.  Older hikers seek the solitude they found in their youth.  Younger hikers feel like seeing more people means hiking is safer.  The trails are fine, they think. 

Read the news story here.

ADK Heart Lake Improvements Coming

Heart Lake hiker facilities will see $66k in improvements, but no additional parking.

Read the news article here.

DEC Runs a Hiker Shuttle from LP to Wilmington

The shuttle stops at various trails along the way, but only on a peak fall weekend.  The idea is to divert people to place outside the high peaks.

Read the news story here.

DEC Launches High Peaks Strategic Planning Effort

A group has been appointed to address increased use of the high peaks and come up with a framework for making decisions to address crowds and parking in the Rt73 corridor.

Read the DEC announcement here.

Front Country Stewards Popping Up at Rt 73 Trailheads

This summer, 2019, front country stewards are showing up at trailheads all along the Rt 73 corridor.  It's a new program timed to help with parking changes.

Read the news story here.

Private Landowner Wins Suit by Paddlers

The long running law suit has been resolved in favor of the land owner, maintaining their right to ban paddlers from a small waterway with no commercial use.  The paddler had argued that simply paddling was a commercial use, but they lost.

Read the news story here.

NYS Bans Some Roadside Parking at Roaring Brook Falls

NYS has closed a lot of unsafe roadside parking at Roaring Brook Falls.  This is a trail head for Giant and all the AMR trails.  Parking has been overwhelmed and unsafe.  

Read the news story here.

DEC Opens New My Van Ho Trail

The new trail shares parking with the VanHo complex where hikers park on crowded weekends.  It takes some pressure of Cascade by offering a shorter and beautiful hike from the same beginning point.

Read the news story here.

DEC Tries Shuttle Bus for Cascade in October 2018

Hikers were parked at Mt Van Hovenberg and taken by shuttle to the Cascade trail.  DEC says it was successful.

Read the news story here.

ROOST Begins Workshop to Inform Hikers

ROOST has conducted its first workshop for first line tourism workers about how to properly advise hikers.  Hotels workers and retail shop people are the first to attend.  The idea is to make it easy for visitors to get good advice from people they are likely to encounter.

Read the news story here.

Illegal Parking Will Bring Fines and Towing

NYS has marked trailhead parking.  Soon NYS will begin ticketing and towing of illegally parked cars along Route 73.

Read the news story here.

Weekend Cascade Trail Reroute Works

Moving all Cascade trail parking to the Mt Vanhovenberg area worked well.  Trail head stewards were a big part of the solution.

Read the news story here.

Multiple Efforts Underway to Manage High Peaks Crowds

High Peaks crowds along Route 73 from I-87 exit 30 to the Ski Jumps have caused all sorts of problems and multiple efforts are underway to handle it.

Read the news story here.

46er's Start Trailhead Steward Program

The 46er's have started a new program manning stations at the beginning of popular trails like Cascade.  The give people trash bags, inform them of waste disposal, trail conditions, etc.  It is like the summit steward program, but at the beginning rather than the end of a hike.  Great idea!

Read about the program here.

Social Media Boosting 46er Numbers

It appears that social media like Facebook and Instagram are boosting the number of 46er's hiking the Park summits.

Read the news story here.

High Peaks Crowded on Perfect Labor Day Weekend

Perfect weather on 2016 Labor Day weekend brought peak crowds to some of the high peaks like Cascade.  

Read the news story here.

Group of 67 Hikers Ticketed

The group arrived in 2 bus loads and headed up Algonquin.  Rangers ticketed the group.

Read the news story here.

46ers Group Continues to Grow

The club added 6.5% to its membership in 2015.  

Read the news story here.

High Peaks Hiking Growing Some

It depends what years you pick but since 1998, for example, Heart Lake hikers registers show a 14% increase over 18 years..  But since 2005, the increase is around 60% in the 11 years since.  Some growth, not a lot.

Read the news story here.

Cycle Adirondacks, First Cycling Touring Trip in Park

Cycle Adirondacks, a non-profit project by the Wildlife Conservation Society guides hundreds of cyclists throughout the Adirondack Park on a week-long cycling tour that showcases the unique wildlife as well as hamlets and towns the park has to offer. 

Read the news story here

Snowmobile Registrations Grow 22.5% in 2012-13

Snowmobile registrations in 2012-13 increased 26,300 to 116,725.  That is a 22.5% increase in one year!

Read the news article here.

Outdoor Recreation is a Large Growing Industry

More than 300,000 of New Yorkers are directly employed in the outdoor recreation industry.

The national report is shown here.  You will see a national map - click on New York for state specific information.

Some Back Country Snowmobile Trails Abandoned

Last winter, back country snowmobile trails in the Moose River Plains were abandoned.  Now, the 2013 Adk Council State of the Park report offers this statement:

"The DEC’s newest Unit Management Plans continue to show promise in their systematic removal of unused, dead-end and redundant snowmobile trails. The department is attempting to relocate snowmobile trails away from the interior of Forest Preserve parcels and off of lakes and rivers to make them safer and more environmentally friendly."

Backcountry Powder Skiing Association Formed

This back country glade skiing sport is getting organized in the region.  They hope to have their needs recognized as appropriate and legal.  In the meantime, their numbers are growing, they are having a good time and they bring winter business to the region.

Here is a link to the Adirondack Powder Skiing Association web site.

Bouldering is a growing sport

With the publication of a guide, bouldering is taking off.

Read the news story about it here.

46er Registrations are exploding

With 700 members, they added 412 new people in 2012 alone.  It was so much work that the volunteer managers gave up.

Read the news story here.

For Back Country Usage Showing Growth


Casino Not Coming to the Park