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Old 06-04-2017, 10:14 AM   #1
l33tHoneyBadger
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Changes to Avalanche, Flowed Lands, and Marcy Dam

I didn't see this posted yet so I thought I would put it up. If it has been posted and I missed it, please disregard. Sounds like it might be a bit of a change for campers this summer!

"DEC Dedicates Five-Person Trail Crew to High Peak Wilderness to Celebrate National Trails Day

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the creation of a five-person trail crew dedicated to improving the High Peaks Wilderness in the Adirondack Park to celebrate National Trails Day.

"The Adirondack Park is turning 125 years old this year, and what better way to pay tribute to this momentous milestone than to bolster DEC's efforts to protect, preserve, and promote its vast beauty," Commissioner Seggos said. "These planned projects will improve existing facilities to enhance the outdoor experience and ensure the safety of visitors to the High Peaks."

The High Peaks Wilderness is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the state and continues to see the number of users increase every year. Dedicating a trail crew to maintain and improve these areas will protect this spectacular natural resource, improve public safety, and enhance outdoor experiences for tens of thousands of New Yorkers to enjoy.

National Trails Day is organized by the American Hiking Society and is the only nationally coordinated event that unites muscle-powered trail activities with the goal of connecting more people to trails.

This crew will complete the following projects in the High Peaks Wilderness:

Avalanche Pass Trail and Bridge/Ladder Replacement
Trail Hardening (Turnpiking), Drainage Replacement, Replacement of ~15 ladders, ~10 small bridges and various Bog Bridges along the length of trail from Avalanche Camp to Lake Colden.
Lake Colden- Flowed Lands Campsite Relocations
Permanent relocation of ~9 campsites in the Lake Colden/Flowed Lands area. Sites will be established with earthen tent pads, signage and new privies. Old sites will be fully restored, brushed in and planted.
Marcy Dam Campsite Relocations
Permanent relocation of ~4 campsites in the Marcy Dam. Sites will be established with earthen tent pads, signage and new privies. Old sites will be fully restored, brushed in and planted.

"The long-term stewardship of trails in the High Peaks Wilderness is critical to the preservation of wilderness values, the protection of natural resources, and the enjoyment of the recreating public. The new DEC Trail Crew will add great value to the work being done by volunteer and professional trail crews from Barkeater Trails Alliance, Adirondack Mountain Club and other organizations in the greater High Peaks region. This is truly great news for all of us who share a common interest in Adirondack trails," said Josh Wilson, Executive Director of the Barkeater Trails Alliance."
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Old 06-04-2017, 11:14 AM   #2
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http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/110373.html

Welcome news! The campsite relocation is new (to me) but the trail-hardening, not so much. They started renovating it (Avalanche Camp to Lake Colden) last year. Here are pics from July 2016:


Major reno underway.


Instructional marker for the trail-crew.


Stakes indicate the projected route.

Last year, I mapped all the designated campsites from Flowed Lands to Marcy Dam. Sounds like I'll need to revisit the area in the fall to discover which ones were closed and where their replacements are located.

http://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=18...95159&layers=N

I like the addition of an earthen tentpad. It not only improves drainage but clearly identifies where the tent ought to be pitched. It minimizes the expansion created by campers when they choose new spots to pitch their tent (often due to the primary spot being waterlogged).
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Old 06-04-2017, 03:20 PM   #3
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Welcome news indeed! I was just chatting with some fellow hikers about the need for the state to restore funding to the trail maintenance function. So this is welcome.

Of course this is a baby step, and also only restores trail crew staffing to a fraction of what it used to be. So it's like celebrating when the robber gives you back part of what he stole...

And I am interested in seeing how the campsite relocation goes. Depending on who's in charge, sometimes it goes well, but sometimes they relocate campsites and leantos into uselessness. I hope for the best!
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:18 AM   #4
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Although I won't be visiting these sites until later this summer I assumed they were in the condition that most are in. So I was kind of excited that they were giving them a make over. Plus a sand pad is always welcome to those of us still tent camping. I am changing over to the hammock but for hikes with friends, I am the gear supplier so a tent remains the main source of shelter. I travel that area a lot so I am looking forward to watching the progress! I also used your map for planning Trail Boss which was a great help but now I guess you will be "forced" to go back and update it. lol
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:48 AM   #5
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If you "travel that area a lot" then I encourage you to record the designated campsite's new location and update OpenStreetmap (OSM). It's a "crowd-sourced" map so anyone with a desire to help keep it up-to-date is welcome. FWIW, I've been updating the High Peaks area in OSM for over a year and a record of my edits is visible here:
https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/TarasD/history

The last time I camped in the High Peaks was about 15 years ago. Obviously the location of campsites doesn't figure into my style of hiking. However, I took on the task of doing an inventory of all lean-tos, campsites, privies, etc (and entering the data into OSM) as a way of "giving back" something to the High Peaks. I figured it would help others get more "bang for their buck" when planning a trip. In the field, it's useful to know your options should you discover your first choice of campsite is occupied.
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:49 AM   #6
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Didn't they used to use prisoners for trail maintenance?
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:50 AM   #7
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Has someone been watching Cool Hand Luke?
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trail Boss View Post
Has someone been watching Cool Hand Luke?
Ha! No, I just remember hiking into Newcomb Lake a few times and seeing uniformed guys with guns watching over trail crews that were raking and trimming over the road to the great camp. I wasn't sure if that was (or used to be?) more widespread.

Last edited by JohnnyVirgil; 06-05-2017 at 03:22 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 06-05-2017, 01:59 PM   #9
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I'm also in favor of the earthen pads for tents at the most heavily impacted designated sites. While they do constitute an "improvement" that on the surface would seem to conflict with wilderness values, they go a long way in helping to keep those sites that are most heavily used from becoming overly degraded and expanding as subsequent groups pitch their tents in ever widening rings around the site to avoid the muddy centers.

I do wish that they would find a way to build the pads that didn't involve dredging gravel from streams, though. (I don't think that all of the already-constructed pads were built this way, but some of them were.)
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Old 06-06-2017, 11:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Didn't they used to use prisoners for trail maintenance?
I'm not sure about trail maintenance, but prisoners from Moriah Shock Prison do work duty and we saw them a few years back the DEC's Roger's Rock campground cleaning up after a tropical storm.
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:06 AM   #11
l33tHoneyBadger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trail Boss View Post
If you "travel that area a lot" then I encourage you to record the designated campsite's new location and update OpenStreetmap (OSM). It's a "crowd-sourced" map so anyone with a desire to help keep it up-to-date is welcome. FWIW, I've been updating the High Peaks area in OSM for over a year and a record of my edits is visible here:
https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/TarasD/history
Yes, I have used your map in the past to plan trips and I am entering the mapping arena as well. My CL50 trip was delayed but we are planning it for later this month. I did some marking of sites and privys on a day hike up there. I ran into a DEC officer up there and she said a couple new sites were added to Cranberry Lake and the DEC never put them on the map or their site. We stayed at one on Brandy Brook Flow so I will have to go through and map the new locations.

I also agree it is too bad that the sites have to be built up by using gravel and such but in the end I think it will do more good than harm. We found a couple designated sites that just were not great to pitch a tent on. So what happened? People made two new sites right next to the designated one. The other two sites offered shelter and seclusion whereas the designated one did not. A more developed site might have stopped this from occurring. I hope anyway.
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