No commentary. No words. Just images of places in the Adirondacks where the only forces at work are natural ones.
ne of the issues AWA is working on is dispersal: the strategy of redirecting hikers from busier to lesser-used trailheads. We started with an informal survey sent to our supporters, to help us gain additional perspective on hikers’ views of dispersal. We learned quite a bit from…
If there is one time of the year that I wish would last much longer, it’s the period from mid-September through mid-October. The lack of bugs, the cool days and cooler nights, the brilliant sunshine and the crisp moonlit forests — these are all the things that form the roots of life’s deepest pleasures.
What made these new lands different from most others, though, was undoubtedly the fact they were already occupied by hundreds of hunting camps. This was not simply opening up vast acreages of forest that had been previously denied to the public-at-large, but driving out the leaseholders who were already there. One can rightly argue that as public lands they will serve more people and provide all sorts of wilderness-based benefits, but I’m sure it still stings for the minority who find themselves at the losing end of the equation.
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.
When I moved to Upstate New York in 2013, acquaintances kept telling me about the Adirondacks, how magical they are, with their steep-sided mountains and layers of forest, mirror-calm lakes and clear-flowing creeks; bears, moose, loons. Having lived most of my adult life in the West and coming to New York from interior Alaska, I was skeptical, but hopeful. Could there really be such a large protected area in the Eastern U.S.?
To figure out solutions to protecting the High Peaks Wilderness, first we need to fully understand what is threatening it on an ecological and social basis. Those threats might include some aspects of high use, such as improper disposal of human waste and trail erosion in sensitive habitats, but if we choose to only focus on these impacts we run the risk of fixing a leak in a dam that is about to burst.