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  • High Peaks Strategic Planning Advisory Group Interim Report

    Interim Report Recommendations Propose State and Local Actions to Promote Sustainable Recreation


    https://content.govdelivery.com/acco...letins/2920eb2


  • #2
    Total garbage.
    ADK 46/46W + MacNaughton, Grid 277/552
    Photos & Stuff

    Comment


    • #3
      Although I may disagree with some points, on the whole I think it's a good report. What, specifically, didn't you like?
      Mike

      ADK 46r #8003; 6W
      2nd round: 16
      SL6r #596
      Catskill 3500 21/39; 11W

      Comment


      • #4
        And there it is... #4. Reducing the parking capacity at AMR lots at Roaring Brook Falls to 28 vehicles and the Rooster Comb Parking Lot by 50 percent.

        Unless that shuttle system gets up and running it will be darn near impossible to ever hike on AMR property again.

        Comment


        • MTVhike
          MTVhike commented
          Editing a comment
          If I remember the wording correctly, that parking capacity reduction was for the PAUSE - Covid19 related. You had to actually read the document to discover that.

        • Makwa
          Makwa commented
          Editing a comment
          Aren't we off Pause and into NY Forward now? Or is Forward still part of Pause?

        • toeknee
          toeknee commented
          Editing a comment
          I just reread it. The reduction of parking capacity at the AMR lots explicitly stated to be "during NY on PAUSE. However the reduction of parking at Rooster Comb is not explicitly stated to be related to the PAUSE. If you scroll down the page, there's a "Why Now" section with three reasons, one reason being for reducing the exposure of local residents to COVID-19, and the other two reasons having to do with road safety and keeping momentum on enforcing the Rt.73 no parking zone. So the reason for the reduction of the parking at Rooster Comb isn't completely clear, but you could assume it's due to COVID-19.

      • #5
        I know and respect several of the people on this Advisory group. But I am saddened that I have to agree with the earlier post. After filtering this through the Albany political machine, the output is, in fact, garbage. There is nothing new; nothing worthwhile, and nothing that will address any of the current problems. It basically looks like an excuse to spend more money, get nothing done, and continue to dump the problem in the lap of the local community.

        Mike, I would turn your challenge around: What do you see on this list that is worthwhile? Here's my really brief executive summary; tell me where I'm wrong:

        1. Waste of money, excuse for a "do-nothing" group
        2. Making things worse, not better
        3. Nonsensical pandering
        4. Making things worse, not better
        5. Waste of money, no one reads signs
        6. Dumping the problem in locals' laps
        7. Nonsensical pandering

        Sorry I'm so cynical, but I am well trained, by reality and real outcomes, to be so.

        Comment


        • Groundpounder
          Groundpounder commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm not from the area, but if the state wants to dump everything upon Keene (mostly), set up a robust, reliable, shuttle system (Covid complicates things), and bank a bunch of $$$ for the community. Something more involved than Marcy Field to the Garden, run it to the AMR lands as well...and drop them off at the tennis courts for spite (that's a public road, isn't it?). And, just typing that, I wouldn't be surprised if the AMR shuts down the Lake Road to hikers and say you need to take either the east or west river trail. Ugh.

        • gebby
          gebby commented
          Editing a comment
          Groundpounder They can not prevent people from walking the Lake Road due to the easement they have with the state, though I'm sure they wish they could. The lost that right when the state bought the tops of the mountains the Ausable Club used to own.

        • Groundpounder
          Groundpounder commented
          Editing a comment
          Good point, Gebby. I think I remember reading at some point that the purchase of the peaks was commensurate with a tax break for the lands the AMR retained. I could be wrong on that though.

          Anyway, is, or is not, Ausable Road a public road? My apologies for sounding like Yoda while typing that, lol! If it is, shuttle drop off at the tennis courts would be legal.

      • #6
        Seems heavily weighted for limiting parking and access and now the shuttle will be an "E shuttle"? There should not have been limits on parking until a shuttle, any shuttle, was in place IMO. And once again, the 46ers, get short shrift in this report, not even mentioned, but the "stakeholders" involved in making this report, will have no qualms about asking the 46ers for more $$ to support planned programs and for more boots on the ground to put them in to effect.

        Comment


        • #7
          It's lack of its effectiveness in solving any High Peaks problem is only surpassed by its total lack of imagination.

          No money will be spent. No one will be inconvenienced or encouraged by a set of guiding principles or values on how and who gets to use the resource.
          Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
          ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

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          • #8
            The 'best' part...a phased in pilot program for the AMR to limit hiker access... anyone who thought that this would end any other way is truly blind.
            1. On an applicable private lands site that permits public access on private lands or provide access to high use backcountry areas, institute a three (3) year pilot program that places limits on use to help protect the natural resources, provide for public safety, and ensure the long-term preservation of the wilderness character of the site.
            #8335W, Solo Winter 46
            ADK Grid 309/552
            Catskill 35 (SSW) #1235
            ADK Quest #119
            NE 111 113/115

            One list may be done, but the journey is far from over...
            Half Dome, 2009

            Comment


            • Groundpounder
              Groundpounder commented
              Editing a comment
              Doesn't the state have a permanent easement through AMR lands? As I mentioned above, access to Lake Road could go away, but the trails would still be legal for we mortals to traverse, I think? I work with regulations every day, for the "applicable private lands" part I would need to see a definition. The AMR lands might not fit under that definition, and it would be more focused on things like Owl's Head.

            • greatexpectations
              greatexpectations commented
              Editing a comment
              good call on owl's head. elk lake is another big easement for high peaks access. fwiw, while i don't think this is the case, i could envision ADK trying a pilot program like this from the HPIC.

              as for the AMR, i don't know if the full legal details of the easement are public but the AMR was intended for land conservation and i have read a few times that the deal was contingent upon the state keeping the land in its 'natural condition'. perhaps they have put forth a case that hiker volumes / behaviors have meant the state isn't holding up its end? perhaps the AMR has more say in the easement than we think? i can envision a handful of tradeoffs between the AMR and DEC that could better explain a pilot program of this sort on the AMR.

              or of course maybe the AMR simply doesn't want anybody to ever be able to get to nippletop again.

            • Makwa
              Makwa commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes... the easement is permanent but the deed states the Ausable Club only has to provide 20 parking spots. That's it.. 20. NYS did not have the foresight way back when to ask for more. At the time it was probably way more than enough. Who knew an explosion in the number of hikers would occur decades later?

              The bottom line here is that people will use the pull-offs up the hill on Rte 73 as overflow parking and risk the road walk to get to AMR property. It's legal but not an optimal solution giving the safety issue. Until a shuttle system is operational AMR will be a lonely place. As I've stated before in other threads on the topic, the AMR parking area services over a dozen different mountains, miles and miles of trails, and several other waterfalls, viewpoints (such as Indian Head), and other attractions. 1000 people a day on that property is not crowded anywhere but the parking area if the hikers are fairly evenly distributed. I don't even blame the Ausable Club. This has been a failure by NYS over the last several decades to address infrastructure issues along the Route 73 corridor. The increased hiker volume over the last several years saw everything come to a head and the state's inane solution was to put up no parking signs along miles of the highway rather than address the parking issue. And then just when it appeared as though some headway was being made and the state would be making some effort and investment in the region the pandemic slams the state creating a horrific health crisis. To add insult to injury it also created a budget crisis that may forestall the investment in the region that was promised. Bad timing.

          • #9
            Yeah I don’t see how reducing parking is going to solve anything

            Comment


            • gebby
              gebby commented
              Editing a comment
              So far, it hasn't solved anything.

          • #10
            Originally posted by moosebeware View Post
            The 'best' part...a phased in pilot program for the AMR to limit hiker access... anyone who thought that this would end any other way is truly blind.
            1. On an applicable private lands site that permits public access on private lands or provide access to high use backcountry areas, institute a three (3) year pilot program that places limits on use to help protect the natural resources, provide for public safety, and ensure the long-term preservation of the wilderness character of the site.
            I used to enjoy hearing stories about people getting rides on the AMR buses back before my hiking days. In a couple years people are going to enjoy hearing about my time where I was able to walk on Lake Road at all. Good luck getting to Nippletop everyone.
            ADK 46/46W + MacNaughton, Grid 277/552
            Photos & Stuff

            Comment


            • Peakbagr
              Peakbagr commented
              Editing a comment
              The AMR used to allow non members to get on the Lake Road bus at the AMR main bldg. It was something like a $5 ticket and they'd drop you anywhere along the road and pick up hikers on the way back out. During the last hiker 'boomlet', non-members of the AMR would crowd onto the bus ahead of members, forcing the members to wait for the next round trip. The bus service was then discontinued for anyone not a member or guest. I remember riding the bus with my kids and chatting with AMR members on their way to hike, or pick up a guide boat at the Lower Lake. It's a shame the rudeness and lack of courtesy spoiled the ride for so many. With the mobs crowding the trails now, can't imagine a scenario where the bus would work for non members now.

          • #11
            I agree completely I was going to climb nippletop later this summer

            Comment


            • #12
              There are several high peaks I'd like to revisit now that I've finished, and I'm wondering if I will get the chance to do so....Dial, Nippletop, and Sawteeth (Scenic Trail) among them. The last few years I've become secure enough in my job that I've been able to take a week off and go hiking. There were days I saw hardly anyone, and even on my most recent trip, I only saw, at most, a dozen people over an entire day. I know it's worse on weekends though. In the spring of 2018 I camped below Roaring Brook Falls and I was the only one there for 3 nights. I'm not sure what to expect in the "new High Peaks" moving forward. Except for a bad decision to climb Cascade during a Columbus Day weekend, I've never thought the trails were over-crowded.

              Comment


              • #13
                Also, to add, as many of you all would surely corroborate, most "trails" up the peaks are trash....not because of overuse, but because they go straight up the mountain. I'm not sure how cutting down on hiker numbers now is going to fix anything. Dirt isn't going to magically appear and fill in all of the gaps between roots and boulders.

                Comment


                • moosebeware
                  moosebeware commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Exactly. They are focused on the wrong problem. You know how I know this...go hike in NH, or Maine. Their trails are, with some exceptions, well built. NH gets far more foot traffic than the High Peaks. There are also more access points and trails for peaks, so more people are dispersed. There are just over a dozen trailheads for the Adk High Peaks, and only half of them service more than one hiking range/area.

                • toeknee
                  toeknee commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Groundpounder and moosbeware, agreed. The trails in the High Peaks are, as a whole, not even close to best practices for trail building. There are a number of well-accepted quantitative standards for well-built trails, and even the DEC staff will tell you generally the trails don't meet the standards; or at least they've said that about the current Cascade trail. The good news is that (eventually) the new Cascade trail will be built according to best practices, and there will be plenty of parking and bathrooms. One trail fixed. 100 to go.

                • Groundpounder
                  Groundpounder commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Toeknee, the saddest part about all of that was that, as crowded as it was on a major hiking holiday weekend, the Cascade trail was one of the most nicely constructed trails of any of the high peaks. If there was one trail that did NOT need to be reconstructed, that was probably the one.

                  I realize that the reality of large-scale re-routes aren't going to happen within my lifetime. I'd be thrilled with adequate bog-bridging where needed.

              • #14
                For Dial and Nippletop, Gravestone Brook is your new best friend. It's already a pretty easy route, and there is something of a path. I'm sure with these parking problems, that path will only become more visible in the next couple years. Go explore that and get to know it; it's a nice area.

                For Blake, use Pinnacle ridge.

                Colvin and Sawteeth are the two peaks for which access is the most impacted if you can't get in through AMR.

                Comment


                • toeknee
                  toeknee commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Gravestone Brook is a good way to do Dial and Nippletop, especially if you want to take your dog. Agreed parking is already insufficient. I did it last November and again recently. Unfortunately we know how it's going to end up - an eroded gully of a herd path straight up the drainage. I wish there was a way to layout a sustainable trail and get ahead of the situation.

                • tcd
                  tcd commented
                  Editing a comment
                  There is certainly a way to do that. But unfortunately it would be illegal. And the state will never do it. So plan on the eroded gully, like in lots of other places that Albany "manages."

                  There is always the "just do it and don't tell anyone you did it" school of thought. Of course no one can recommend that, but it's been talked about in the past for the Lake Arnold / Feldspar mess. I think Gravestone would actually be a lot easier; it's not as remote, the woods are a lot more open, and there is no big swamp...but I am not going to do it.

                • Groundpounder
                  Groundpounder commented
                  Editing a comment
                  TCD, on ALL of my trips in the high peaks I've avoided the Feldspar/Lake Arnold stretch.....just because I didn't want to be dunked during a multi-day trip. It's one of the few areas I've never visited in the HP. I just didn't want to take the chance to shave a couple of miles. I know years ago that TrailBoss proposed a good solution. Maybe it has been beaten-down into a herd path by now?

              • #15
                Could you get to Bear Den Mtn from Noonmark Mtn easily?
                Leave No Trace! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXO1uY0MvmQ
                ThereAndBack http://www.hikesafe.com/

                Comment


                • Bunchberry
                  Bunchberry commented
                  Editing a comment
                  You could get off before it gets rocky.

                • Makwa
                  Makwa commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I assume you are coming from the Round Pond side is this hypothetical? In theory you could do anything in a bushwhack. Gravestone Brook just sounds/looks easier to me. I could be totally wrong though as I've never been through there.

                • moosebeware
                  moosebeware commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That shoulder of Noonmark is thick...but you let us know how it goes...lol.
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