To help manage the use of popular trails on Cascade and Pitchoff Mountains over Columbus Day Weekend, the DEC and ORDA have announced that trailhead parking lots will be closed. But have no fear, hikers: you can still plan that trip to the summit! Here’s what you’ll need to know before you head out for the holiday weekend.
Shuttles to the Trailhead
From Thursday afternoon (October 4) through Columbus Day (October 8), the Cascade and Pitchoff trailhead parking lots, as well as the shoulders of State Route 73 near the trailhead, will be closed to public parking. Starting Friday morning, only shuttles carrying hikers from the Olympic Sports Complex will be allowed to enter the trailhead parking area.
“As many as 600 hundred people came through the complex [last year] and we expect more this year,” said ORDA President and CEO Mike Pratt in a statement. “We’re excited to bring people to the Complex and provide access to the trails on Cascade, Pitchoff, and Mt. Van Hoevenberg Mountains. Visitors can enjoy the incredible views from the mountains and the many amenities we have here.”
From the cross country parking lot, you can choose to hike the Mt. Van Hoevenberg trail, take a shuttle to the Cascade Mountain trail, or explore the Olympic Sports Complex. The Complex features great attractions, including mountain biking, paintball, and tours of the sliding tracks. Additionally, snacks and hiking gear will be available before you head out.
- 7 AM: Every 30 minutes, shuttles will transport hikers between the Olympic Sports Complex cross country parking lot and the Cascade trailhead.
- 3 PM: The last shuttle to the trailhead will depart. After this time, hikers will only be transported from the trailhead to the parking lot.
- 7 PM: Shuttle services end for the day.
The DEC says that the Adirondak Loj Trailhead will also fill early each day during the holiday weekend. Check the messaging board on Adirondak Loj Road for parking availability and recommended hiking spots nearby.
Protecting Visitors & the Trails
The DEC’s decision to limit parking is part of an ongoing effort to promote tourism and address public safety in the Adirondack Park. Just today, “No Parking” signs were installed near the popular Roaring Brook Falls trailhead in an effort to protect hikers and drivers on Route 73.
Over the holiday weekend, Volunteer Trailhead Stewards from the 46ers will be at the cross country parking lot. They will provide information about recreational opportunities, help hikers stay properly prepared, and educate about trail etiquette and sustainable Leave No Trace principles.
Stewards can also be found at the Cascade summit, where they will teach about the Mountain’s vegetation and how to protect it.
“DEC wants to ensure the safety of hikers and drivers this Columbus Day weekend,” said DEC Regional Director Bob Stegemann in a statement. “This plan provides for hiking opportunities while protecting the public and the sensitive alpine vegetation on the summit of Cascade Mountain.”