Adirondack Forum  
Rules Membership Donations and Online Store Adkhighpeaks Foundation ADKhighpeaks Forums ADKhighpeaks Wiki Disclaimer

Go Back   Adirondack Forum > The Adirondack Forum > General Adirondack Discussion
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-21-2017, 08:08 AM   #1
AdRegion
TourPro
 
AdRegion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Plattsburgh
Posts: 318
Crowded Peaks: Hiking Cascade With 500 Other People

From Almanack by Bauer:

http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/20...00-people.html

I was just talking with HAYDK about this yesterday and there have been conversations with local stakeholders about using Cascade as a "high intensity" educational opportunity. We've already lost much of the wilderness flavor for the most popular hikes in the ADKs, so maybe we can at least make some good out of it.
AdRegion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2017, 10:52 AM   #2
TCD
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,534
Very good article by Mr. Bauer. Refreshing. Often, he and his groups have taken the "drive away all the visitors to restore the fantasy of wilderness" position, which is pointless and harmful. This is a refreshing change.

It's nice to see some of these folks are finally realizing what I and some others have been saying, loudly, for about ten years. A popular hiking trail IS NOT, and should not be expected to be, a "wilderness experience where one goes to seek solitude." Unfortunately, our State Land Master Plan is still "frozen in time" (based on Zahniser's writings from the 1940's) and fails to accommodate common sense regarding this. And many agencies are bound to follow it slavishly, even though everyone knows better. The adherence to this obsolete thinking has done a LOT of damage throughout the Adirondacks.

Other key takeaways:

"Though I realize that far fewer people hike to Bradley Pond than hike Cascade Mountain, the work that was done on Cascade showed what could be done given proper investment and resources."

>As I have been saying, it's not the number of hikers (the "carrying capacity" nonsense), it's the proper design and maintenance of the trails that makes the difference.

"What I did see was a lot of seemingly happy and friendly people...Chatter was constant, but it hardly disrupted or disturbed the beauty of the summit."

>Seeing other people is not inherently a bad thing. Unfortunately, for some bitter folks, it's too often portrayed as a bad thing.

Many of the commenters noted the same things, and agreed with the views in the article.

I have begun advocating recently for what I call the $100 Million plan. The state needs to allocate about $100 Million to support the High Peaks region. One third should go to restore the Ranger Force, which is down 50% over the last 30 years in terms of Rangers / Acre. One third should go to trail redesign and maintenance. And one third should go to adequate parking, bathrooms, and full time educators at the major trailheads.
TCD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2017, 12:21 PM   #3
Bounder45
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 285
I'm not sure an increased Ranger force is a real priority. Between the ECO's, Rangers and State Police, NYS has some of the most widespread and effective wilderness coverage for law enforcement and rescue. In fact, I think too many ADK visitors take it for granted, which results in a lot of them going out on hikes unprepared, getting into a bad spot and then calling for rescue like it's a pizza delivery service.

That aside, I do agree with most of what TCD is saying: the Park needs to invest more into trail management in these high traffic areas (maybe even add some fees during certain seasons to help cover the costs). As our population grows, so will the the #'s of people who want to visit the ADK's...we need to accept and work to accommodate that trend.

I also think the Park Commission needs to review opening up accessibility to other areas of the Park via old forest roads. The trail heads on the main paved corridors are jammed pack as soon as the weather gets warm. Give the public more options on where they can drive to and park for hiking and camping trips and the foot traffic will spread out quite a bit. That's not necessarily something applicable to all areas, but it's worth consideration.
Bounder45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2017, 12:08 AM   #4
TCD
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,534
Thanks, Bounder; I'm glad you agree with the general idea.

The reason I included the Ranger force in the proposal is because Ranger coverage, in terms of Rangers per Acre, is down 50% from 1970. Tony Goodwin has explained (in a recent article in ADK Magazine) that the Rangers have been reduced to a "rapid response" force. They sit in their trucks and wait for a rescue call. There aren't enough Rangers to actually "range" to the places where they could do Education and Enforcement, which is what is needed. Yes, they do a great job on the high profile rescues, but restoring the proper force level would allow them to be proactive, which would be a lot better.
TCD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2017, 09:02 AM   #5
AvalanchePass
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 240
Agree with sentiments in the article and this thread. You simply can't choose to hike Cascade and then complain about crowds. Many thanks to the volunteers and staff that have made it into what appears to be a sustainable experience.

Oddly the article references parking at other trail heads but not Cascade. IMO the biggest issue with Cascade is safety concerns surrounding parking. People are backing out of spaces onto a twisty highway with a 55 mph speed limit. There are also pedestrians crossing the highway. Sooner or later ...

Has there been any talk of reducing that stretch to 35 mph? That's the speed limit down the road in Keene.

It's so easy to be zipping along 73 and forget that you are approaching "Cascade alley". Please be vigilante.
AvalanchePass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2017, 07:49 PM   #6
gebbyfish
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 115
We interacted with 579 people on Saturday and around 300 on Sunday as Trailhead Stewards at Cascade this weekend! The parking yesterday in the area was horrible! Going home yesterday, I saw cars parked for Giant all the way down to the Ausable Club sign on 73! I don't think I've seen that before!
gebbyfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2017, 08:57 PM   #7
Hear the Footsteps
Member
 
Hear the Footsteps's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Saratoga County, NY
Posts: 103
Quote:
Originally Posted by gebbyfish View Post
We interacted with 579 people on Saturday and around 300 on Sunday as Trailhead Stewards at Cascade this weekend! The parking yesterday in the area was horrible! Going home yesterday, I saw cars parked for Giant all the way down to the Ausable Club sign on 73! I don't think I've seen that before!
On Saturday on the Upper Works Road. The Upper Works, Allen, and Santanoni trailhead parking were overflowed. Cars were parked on the road. I've rarely seen cars overflowing the parking areas there.

It seems to have been a very busy Saturday many places.

Don
Hear the Footsteps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2017, 11:33 PM   #8
JohnnyVirgil
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Porter Corners, NY
Posts: 526
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvalanchePass View Post

It's so easy to be zipping along 73 and forget that you are approaching "Cascade alley". Please be vigilante.
That freudian slip made me laugh.
JohnnyVirgil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2017, 09:58 AM   #9
AvalanchePass
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyVirgil View Post
That freudian slip made me laugh.
LOL.

I had to read it 10 times before I realized what I had done.
AvalanchePass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2017, 10:00 AM   #10
TCD
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,534
Yes, I liked that too. Think "Death Race 2000."

Seriously, it's a good point that there is an increasing risk of a collision in several areas. This reinforces the need for properly designed, adequate parking at several of the trailheads. The Master Plan seeks to limit hiker usage by deliberately providing inadequate parking. Everyone knows better that this does not work, and just pisses people off and creates a big inconvenience. But this misguided policy has now progressed to the point that it is a safety hazard. (If you proposed parking like this for ANY facility or attraction that was governed by a real planning process like a municipal planning board, it would be immediately rejected on the grounds of being obviously unsafe. And yet we go on and on with it.)

This is why it will take $30 Million to fix the parking - it's not a small project. Just at the Cascade trailhead, for example, here's what is needed:

>A paved, striped parking lot for 200 cars, adjacent to Route 73, in the large relatively flat area just west of the Cascade trail.

>Clear and obvious signage that this is the parking for Cascade.

>A second, smaller paved, striped parking lot for perhaps 30 cars, across the street.

>Clear and obvious signage that this is the parking for Pitchoff.

>2-up Forest Service style bathroom buildings at each parking lot.

>Full time, paid trailhead stewards at both lots, every day from May 1 - November 1 at least.

>An unlimited supply of simplified paper maps and small penlights for the trailhead stewards to hand out as needed.

So that's a few million right there, just for Cascade. The same approach is needed for:

>a large overflow parking lot in Keene Valley to support the Garden (challenging due to the need for a full time, updated shuttle service)

>The AMR trailheads (challenging due to private land)

>The Giant trailheads (challenging due to lack of flat land, and wetlands)

>Elk Lake (challenging due to private land)

>Upper Works

>Coreys.

So to fix the trailheads right is at least a $30 Million project.

(But have no fear - the money is there. In the time since I got up two hours ago, NY State government has spent $30 Million. We just have to get some of it to flow here.)
TCD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2017, 10:41 AM   #11
AvalanchePass
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 240
Let's assume the adequate parking solution will not be implemented immediately ...

In the interim would there be any support for a 35 mph speed limit over a one mile stretch?
AvalanchePass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2017, 11:20 AM   #12
Hoser
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 25
Ask Andy to move the gondi from the Syr fairgrounds to a route starting with parking at the LP fairgrounds and the terminating end at the Cascade trailhead.
Hoser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2017, 11:38 AM   #13
greatexpectations
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvalanchePass View Post
It's so easy to be zipping along 73 and forget that you are approaching "Cascade alley". Please be vigilante.
you also have to consider 'AMR alley'. driving through this weekend i made sure to slow to 15-20mph coming down the hill from chapel pond. this was a good move on my part, as there was a group walking *within the lines* along 73. people on the shoulder hugging the cars makes me uncomfortable, but this took it to a whole new level. tired and inattentive hikers plus that long downhill for the drivers is a recipe for disaster perhaps even worse than the cascade mess.

as for the garden parking situation i am still surprised the town hasn't come up with a way to leverage the school parking lot better in the summer and weekends. i remember tgoodwin mentioning it used to be done on occasion but that cars would stay in the lot into the week. i feel you could easily include the lot on the shuttle loop, though imo it is close enough to just walk the road. emphasize that it is for day use hikers only, charge a small fee, place a few signs, and liberally tow cars for broken rules.
greatexpectations is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2017, 12:51 PM   #14
RipVanWinkle
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 29
I wonder the percentage of people now avoiding the high peaks all together now with how crowded it gets.
I know I'm not interested in "sharing a peak with 500 people"
RipVanWinkle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2017, 01:26 PM   #15
AvalanchePass
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 240
No one goes there anymore, it's too crowded.
AvalanchePass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2017, 01:43 PM   #16
RipVanWinkle
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvalanchePass View Post
No one goes there anymore, it's too crowded.
haha yeah exatly.
More people are on the trails because they saw it on a buzzfeed list and less of the types who pick trails off of a map.
RipVanWinkle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2017, 10:30 AM   #17
nyestreet
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by RipVanWinkle View Post
I wonder the percentage of people now avoiding the high peaks all together now with how crowded it gets.
I know I'm not interested in "sharing a peak with 500 people"
Me, for one. I may visit the high peaks again to get Macnaughton in winter, probably an overnighter at this point, or some paddling near upper works. I've had way too much fun exploring the relatively uncrowded rest of the park. I wish I had spent more time doing this in the past. John Nye #1902W
nyestreet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2017, 05:59 PM   #18
AvalanchePass
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 240
DEC to Temporarily Relocate Trailheads for Cascade, Porter and Pitchoff (West)

Deleted, decided to start new thread
AvalanchePass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-29-2017, 01:39 PM   #19
Blackjackdavey
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by nyestreet View Post
Me, for one. I may visit the high peaks again to get Macnaughton in winter, probably an overnighter at this point, or some paddling near upper works. I've had way too much fun exploring the relatively uncrowded rest of the park. I wish I had spent more time doing this in the past. John Nye #1902W
Ditto. I'm a year round resident and have never even considered heading to the High Peaks. It's a big park.
Blackjackdavey is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

DISCLAIMER: Use of these forums, and information found herein, is at your own risk. Use of this site by members and non-members alike is only granted by the adkhighpeak.com administration provided the terms and conditions found in the FULL DISCLAIMER have been read. Continued use of this site implies that you have read, understood and agree to the terms and conditions of this site. Any questions can be directed to the Administrator of this site.