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Want to hike some of the most popular Adirondack trails this summer? You'll need a reservation

 


Reprinted with permission from NCPR.

Mar 29, 2021. One of the most popular trailheads in the Adirondacks will require a reservation ahead of time to park and hike the surrounding peaks.

From May 1 through Oct. 31, 2021 hikers who want to access the trail system from the Ausable Mountain Reserve (AMR) will need to make a reservation in advance. Popular trails from AMR lead to Indian Head, Noonmark, Gothics and Pyramid, and Rainbow Falls, among others.

The Adirondack Mountain Reserve and the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation announced the new pilot reservation system for the 70-space parking lot on Monday.

Reservations will be available for cars or vans carrying up to 15 people. Each of the day’s 70 reservation spots can be for up to 6 people in a hiking party, so the DEC says larger groups will need to make more than one reservation.

“With the increasing number of visitors to trailheads accessed through AMR,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement, exacerbated in 2020 by New Yorkers looking for a nature break as a respite from COVID-19, DEC and AMR are working together to promote sustainable recreation and protect public safety.”

Seggos added that the DEC was “excited to announce this unique pilot reservation system, which will help protect visitors and our natural resources, while also ensuring equitable access and educating visitors about sustainable use.”

Joe Pete Wilson, the supervisor for Keene, said in a statement the town supports the pilot reservation system. “This reservation system helps to address public safety and protection of the environment,” calling it an “effective strategy for a private landowner to manage the high levels of use their easement attracts.”

Last summer was one of the busiest in recent memories, sparking a debate over how to manage overcrowding in the Adirondacks. Hiker permits are still being discussed, and are among the recommendations put forward by the High Peaks Advisory Group.

The Adirondack Mountain Reserve is a 7,000-acre land tract privately owned by the Ausable Club, with a foot traffic easement for public use. The Club said last year it may test out a reservation system, but this summer will be the first test of limit hiker access.

In previous years, when the AMR lot has surpassed capacity, hikers have parked along the busy Rt. 73, sometimes walking a mile or more to the trailhead. That will not be permitted this year, as walk-ins will not be allowed without a reservation. Hikers getting dropped off or arriving by bus or bike must also make a reservation in advance.

The new Hiker Reservation web portal, hikeamr.org, will go live on April 15, with reservations beginning May 1.

 

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