The DEC and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation have joined forces once more to promote the ‘Love Our New York Lands’ campaign, which encourages all visitors to enjoy responsible and respectful recreation on state lands.
Visitors from around the globe head to the Adirondack mountains each year, many to enjoy hiking the High Peaks and surrounding mountains. While this is great for local economies and encourages people to experience and enjoy the outdoors, heavy usage has required the DEC and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to enact certain Adirondack visitor policies so as to keep these lands beautiful for generations to come.
Here are some of the policies being enacted in the Adirondacks:
Protecting Public Safety
The DEC and local law enforcement will be working closely together to address illegal parking and pedestrian traffic. Free weekend shuttle services in the High Peaks region will increase, the parking reservation system will be used once more, and new speed signs and message boards will be deployed across the region to keep visitors aware of local conditions and parking availability.
Visitor Use Management
19 Assistant Forest Rangers have been added to the team to maintain trails, ensure visitor safety, and encourage good hiking practices and environmental care in high use areas.
More camping and parking sites will be expanded for visitor use, local towns are being contracted to increase trash collection from parking areas and trailheads, and more portable toilets are being placed to reduce human waste in the environment.
The ‘Love Our New York Lands’ campaign will continue to teach visitors the importance of recreating in a responsible way. The Hiker Information Station program—which provides information on parking, alternative hiking locations, rules and regulations, and more—will be expanded.
Hiker Information Stations are currently available at the High Peaks and Beekmantown Rest Areas. Education Assistants will be stationed at key points in the High Peaks region in order to provide information about safety and preparedness, and the Leave No Trace campaign will continue to educate hikers on proper visitor etiquette whilst on the trails.
Sustainable Trail Development
The DEC has decided to double the size of their contract with Tahawus Trails, the company that performs sustainable trail work in the Adirondacks. The goal is to improve public lands through maintenance and stewardship activities and encourage responsible use of state land and waters.
This year, Tahawus Trails will work on Cascade and Mt. Hoevenberg trails and build several new footbridges in the Independence River Wild Forest.