The DEC has just sent out a bulletin informing the public that effective immediately, the trail to the summit of Owls Head in Keene is closed to public use and access on weekends, and will be completely closed for public use at the end of this hiking season.
The DEC states the trail to the summit of Owls Head is neither an official DEC trail, nor do they have an easement for public use of the trail. This means the landowner has simply been allowing the public to use the trail on land they own – private land. In fact, the trailhead and all but the last 0.1 mile of the trail are located on private lands.
Further, the DEC states that during Memorial Day weekend, a large number of vehicles parked on the private road, blocking access for private landowners. Because of this, the landowners are prohibiting the public to to park on the private road between 4 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Monday. You’ll see posted signs along the road that reflect this.
Is There Anything DEC Can Do?
They are currently identifying an alternate trail route on Forest Preserve lands and will pursue an amendment to the High Peaks Wilderness Unit Management Plan in order to facilitate construction of a new trailhead and trail.