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  • Cascde Mountain - New Trail Update

    This article contains detailed information about the new trail up Cascade Mountain.

    https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2...struction.html

  • #2
    Ought to be done in about 300 years.

    Comment


    • #3
      Laughable.

      "The crowds hiking in the High Peaks are at an all-time high. The current dismal state of many of the hiking trails does not seem to be a major deterrent to the throngs of people eager to hike one of the High Peaks."

      So tell me again why we are doing this?

      If the amount of work that has gone into this trail so far (and it's years from completion) had been put into the existing Cascade trail, the existing trail would be bombproof, and we'd be done here.

      This is just a science fair project. The visitors have already voted with their feet.

      Comment


      • moosebeware
        moosebeware commented
        Editing a comment
        I think they're doing this more for the parking than the trail itself.

      • tcd
        tcd commented
        Editing a comment
        Actually, there is an excellent parking solution already developed by Tony Goodwin that the state is failing to consider.

        I think they are doing this for show, to appease a certain constituency (big money NYC green donors). Follow the money. My guess is that this trail never gets completed.

        I feel bad for the hard workers who are good heartedly building a product that the end users will not want. But unfortunately, just because you work hard on a product and it's beautiful does not mean that the users want that product.

      • Adirondackiteer
        Adirondackiteer commented
        Editing a comment
        I hiked Cascade a few months ago, first time in 25 years to revisit it. I thought it was one of the better condition trails in the high peaks. I kind of figured the overuse and terrible trail conditions had been over-hyped, but I was somewhat surprised how good of condition it was really (continuing on to Porter, not so much). Of course I don't know how 'nice' this new trail will be (hopefully better parking conditions at least) but I feel bad so much work has been done to abandon a perfectly good trail (if it ever happens).

    • #4
      Originally posted by tcd View Post
      ... The visitors have already voted with their feet.
      Well said! Hopefully someone in charge will land on their feet too.

      8000m 0/14

      Comment


      • #5
        Anybody want to venture a guess of how much traffic the new Cascade trail will get? A 9-10 mile round trip with more cumulative ele gain than the Rte 73 approach will not be an appealing tourist or family hike. I know we have been more focused on when the trail will be finished but what will be its usefulness once complete? A well-built trail that nobody uses is a giant waste of time and money. The hiker traffic will go elsewhere even if the Olympic Center has ample parking and facilities.

        My uneducated guess is Cascade will see maybe 1/3 of the hikers it currently does. Maybe less. And even with a smaller crowd I predict we will see a dramatic rise in the number of rescues on that mountain - most being the stuck out after dark with no light variety due to the longer mileage. I just don't see that people will change their habits as far as preparedness and start time no matter how long that trail is.

        Final question... where will all the people who used to hike Cascade go? The closest mountain with comparable parking, difficulty, and view would be Hurricane I think. What's the plan there (or other new hot spots) once the new Cascade trail opens? I'm guessing the state and the DEC believe that people will disperse all over the park. I think that is wishful thinking. There will be a new gathering spot whether that be Hurricane or some other mountain.

        Comment


        • #6
          I have done the analysis as to where the users will go. Many of the users are seeking the "easiest, first high peak." Some other users are seeking "a nice moderate mountain hike with a great summit."

          The "easiest first high peak" hikers will look instead to Phelps, Wright, Giant and Big Slide. Phelps and Wright have their own parking problems, with limited parking at ADK Loj, and the state ticketing people on the road. Of course the parking at Giant is a catastrophe. So this brings them to Big Slide, where they will be parking on my neighbors lawns and driveways in Keene Valley. Thank you, Albany. The solution for this is the long-discussed parking lot, visitor center and enhanced shuttle at Marcy Field. This is important and needs everyone's support, so it can be in place prior to the Cascade disaster, if that's ever actually implemented.

          The "a nice moderate mountain hike with a great summit" hikers will go to Hurricane. To that end, I have written a proposal and plan that calls for greatly improving the parking and bathrooms at Hurricane (from 9N), and putting in place a full-time, paid Front Country Steward. This proposal is with the DEC, but I am only one voice. Maybe a few additional letters would help?

          Comment


          • tcd
            tcd commented
            Editing a comment
            Don't know the proportions, and there are other population segments as well, such as locals looking for a quick workout.

            Regardless, Albany is not doing anything to address any of these user segments. We try here in Town, but of course we have virtually no money or people...if Albany doesn't address it, it will not get done.

          • Makwa
            Makwa commented
            Editing a comment
            Agree.

            As we've pointed out in similar discussions over the past few years, the state is just shifting the parking issues to other locations. Unless they address the infrastructure issues we'll just be discussing the parking issues at Hurricane, some of the Saranac 6 peaks, or others in the area come next year (but of course the parking problems will be labeled "overuse" and the hiker bashing will resume yet again). Remove the crowds from the Route 73 corridor and other areas are affected. But that crowd will only continue to come until they either don't feel welcome anymore or the hassle of visiting the area becomes so big that it isn't worth the effort any longer. Fine line to walk. But once that new Cascade trail opens they better be ready at other trailheads in the area for increased traffic. My fear is that they will not be prepared.

          • Learning The Trails
            Learning The Trails commented
            Editing a comment
            Someone in DEC really needs to start pushing that Whiteface is the easiest High Peak.
            - it has the infrastructure.
            - No scrambles.
            - Option of walking the road.
            - Opportunity to hitch a ride if the person is too tired.
            - Great views

        • #7
          Supervised by the DEC? I feel so much better now...

          Comment


          • #8
            What does this mean?

            "For many people hiking a mountain like a High Peak is no sure thing and is, and should be, a challenge."

            It sounds like something that would preface an argument against rebuilding all the trails as graded walks. Is it a non-sequitur? Is he anti-fitness? If crowd management is such an issue and hiking is just a "slog" for so many people, why should they be encouraged to do something they really don't want to be doing?

            Baxter State Park compiled SAR data over many years and "fatigue" was a contributing factor in the vast majority of rescues.

            Comment


            • #9
              "The new contour trail up Cascade Mountain will be longer than the current trail that runs straight up the mountainside from Route 73 by a considerable distance, but the architects of the new trail believe it will be much easier to hike, which they argue will make the mountain more accessible."

              This one statement is so out of touch it makes it difficult to take anything else in the article seriously. As others have stated this new trail will significantly curtail Cascade traffic. Sounds like less accessible to me.

              Comment


              • #10
                I think you guys are dramatically underestimating the "easiest high peak" numbers. I think a ton of tourists who visit for a week, weekend, or even a day want to knock off a high peak. Makwa refers to the appeal of the easiest "first" high peak but I think for even more people it might be the the one and only high peak they intend to do. I think "easy high peak" might account for up to half of Cascades numbers. Maybe a Cascasde steward can chime in.

                I've personally hiked Cascade with 3 people that never intend to climb another high peak.

                We visited the high peaks area for a family vacation in the fall of 2016. We're 4 1/2 hours away and it was intended as a one time visit.

                Day 1: Owls head off 73 - It was mid afternoon by the time we arrived, close to our campground, seemed like a good introduction
                Day 2: Mount Adams - wanted to experience a fire tower hike, can't remember why we settled on Adams as it was a bit of a drive from our campground
                Day 3: Mount Jo - iconic hike and wanted to experience the Loj
                Day 4,5: Hike through Avalanche Pass to camp at Lake Colden - wanted to see Avalanche Pass, wanted to experience a lean-to and the inventory around Colden meant our chances were good
                Day 6: Cascade, Porter - definitely wanted to "bag" a High Peak, had never even considered the 46er challenge but we got to the Porter junction and I introduced the idea to the boys. We ended up doing the out and back to Porter before summiting Cascade. The thought was "why not, you never know"
                Day 7: Mount Van Hoevenburg - nice view, Olympic bob sled history, and we could get dropped off on South meadows and do a traverse back to our campground on 73
                Day 8: Tenderfoot pools - was researching waterfalls and was immediately hooked when I read the description

                Anyway, all that to give a little insight as to how a one time visitor might put a plan together. I think a lot of people planning a visit to the region will include a high peak in the itinerary. And Cascade has always been "right there". It will be interesting to see how much traffic declines and where it disperses to.

                That decision to include Porter on our Cascade hike was a good one. We've been back 3 or 4 times each year since that first visit. I understand the critique of "list" hikers but that's unabashedly who we are. We're currently working on the Triad, the 6er, the 9er, the 46er, and every other summit that has a patch.

                Comment


                • #11
                  Originally posted by AvalanchePass View Post
                  I think you guys are dramatically underestimating the "easiest high peak" numbers. I think a ton of tourists who visit for a week, weekend, or even a day want to knock off a high peak. Makwa refers to the appeal of the easiest "first" high peak but I think for even more people it might be the the one and only high peak they intend to do. I think "easy high peak" might account for up to half of Cascades numbers. Maybe a Cascasde steward can chime in.
                  Makes sense. I sorta painted all tourists with the same brush but if you say they are their own category under the "tourist" group I won't argue. Important part is we both agree the number of hikers at Casacde will fall off. If your group of "one and only High Peak" hikers is big enough then some added traffic problems at the peaks tcd mentioned will occur. Cascade took a lot of heat off the Garden, Loj, and trailheads for Giant. Will be interesting to see where the traffic moves.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    I too have hiked Cascade with someone who made it their only High Peak. And there's nothing wrong with that. If the NY tourist department is whipping people to come here, we should accommodate that.

                    Of course the much longer trail is not as accessible. Suggesting anything else is just plain stupid. People have already voted with their feet, as I said earlier. I listened to someone last week who I think was involved in the work on the new trail, and I felt bad for them. The person was insistent that we should be able to talk people into preferring something that they DO NOT prefer. Sorry, the real world doesn't work that way.

                    Comment


                    • Makwa
                      Makwa commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I'm trying to think of any mountain in the Adirondacks that is in the 8+ mile range that would be visited by tourists or casual hikers. There aren't too many lesser peaks with that mileage that are near highways or tourist centers. Pharaoh Mountain outside Schroon Lake? That's 10 miles and the few times I've been there it was all backpackers and other serious hiker types. Woodhull Mountain outside Old Forge is 15 miles and I cannot imagine anybody but those folks working on the Fire Tower Challenge ever attempting that hike. The loop of the Lower Tongue on Lake George is 13 miles and it doesn't exactly lend itself to being an easy tourist outing especially with another dozen or peaks nearby that are tourist friendly. There's probably many more that I'm missing but I guess my point is each area kinda has it's touristy hikes that people naturally select and they all tend to be relatively short... Cascade near LP, Buck or Prospect around Lake George, Bald up near Old Forge, Blue in the Blue Mt Lake/ Indian Lake area come to mind. Big crowds tend to naturally funnel there. But once the mileage increases the foot traffic decreases. And the further a mountain is from a spot where tourists are the fewer you see. Cascade will be the first test case (that I can recall) where a once-popular gathering spot has a new trail that is of the 8+ mile variety. Will be interesting to see if people even attempt it with so many other shorter options nearby.

                  • #13
                    I am going to go out and have a contrary opinion on the new trail up Cascade and Porter. If it really follows the ideals proposed in the article it will be 5 or 6 miles but this will not be "Adirondack Miles" that we are all used to.

                    I think the new trail will be easier for the average person off the street.

                    There will be less lifting of the feet on the way up and pounding to the legs on the way down.

                    Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
                    ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

                    Comment


                    • Makwa
                      Makwa commented
                      Editing a comment
                      5-6 miles round-trip? Or one direction? I don't know the exact number but it's easily over 8 miles round-trip, maybe 9.

                      Here's my observations over on the sister forum... "I'll concede that that the new trail will be easier to walk on given the standards to which it is being built but the extra mileage will make it a non-starter for a lot of people. An unsophisticated tourist knows nothing of trail design (and probably not too much about ele gain) so the round-trip mileage will most likely end up being their selection criteria."

                      There is no way that a tourist on a lark is choosing a 8 or 9 mile hike with so many other shorter options in the area. Just will not happen. Will the trail be "easier" by hiker standards... sure but the majority of folks won't ever get to experience it nor would they know the difference if they did. The once highly recommended Cascade will drop from the conversation. As I noted in post #12.1 above... name a mountain of 8+ miles round-trip where you see hundreds of tourists on any given day. They don't exist. Maybe a few intrepid visitors here and there on some of the more challenging peaks but not the crowds that Cascade got. And if the state pushes and promotes the new trail like I suspect they will they are unnecessarily leading lambs to the slaughter. A 8-10 mile hike for people who are not used to it is just shy of sadistic.

                  • #14
                    By my calculation, the round-trip distance will be 11-12 miles, depending on exactly where the parking area ends up relative to the actual trailhead.

                    Comment


                    • TFR
                      TFR commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Is that with and without Porter?

                    • tgoodwin
                      tgoodwin commented
                      Editing a comment
                      That's without Porter. Adding Porter is one mile roundtrip from the col where the proposed new trail joins the existing trail.

                  • #15
                    I went sniffing around in there a few weeks back, wanting to see what progress had been made and maybe get a few feet up the new route. A nice construction worker told me there was no access because they were blasting. Da hell? Blasting????

                    Comment


                    • tgoodwin
                      tgoodwin commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I am sure the blasting was for the mountain coaster that is being built next to the bob/luge run - not on the hiking trail.

                    • Fat Man Hiking
                      Fat Man Hiking commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Perhaps they are trying to get a head start on the trail widening and erosion complaints?

                      :-)

                    • Charlene 2.0
                      Charlene 2.0 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Okay, Fat Man, that’s pretty darn funny right there...
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