Part 4 of 4 I believe that it is important to know the history of Adirondack trails in order to participate in the public process of creating plans for the units of the park. So, I have written this to give perspective to those who will do the planning.
Part 3 of 4 Here this account takes on a new perspective, because I view what happened during the past quarter century as one who was actively involved. In the early 70s I completed my graduate work, started hiking again, and became an advocate for trails. As an advocate for dispersing hikers throughout the Park, I was frustrated from the start in ways I never expected.
Part 2 of 4 The Laws of 1895 authorized the state to lay out paths in the newly created Adirondack Park. There is little evidence that anything was done at that time. In 1909 Governor Hughes advocated trails and roads to give greater access to the “mountain pleasure grounds.” As it turned out, recreational trail building by the state began a few years later, not because of Hughes’ plans, but in a rather circuitous way.
Part 1 of 4 Hindsight is wonderful! With what we know about the Adirondacks today and what we know about building trails, we could devise the most wonderful trail network, one that would protect the fragile slopes of the High Peaks, take hikers to mountaintops all around the Park, and ameliorate problems of overuse and under-use.