Voluntary May-June Ban on Climbing Marcy and Other Adirondack High Peaks


The New York Department of Environmental Conseravaiton each May and June asks for a voluntary ban on hiking Marcy and hiking other High Peaks in the Adirondacks to prevent damaging soggy trails from snow melt.

Here’s the 2005 press release.

News from The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
For more information: David Winchell, (518) 897-1211

DEC Alerts Hikers to Muddy Trail Conditions in the High Peaks

Hikers Should Temporarily Avoid High Elevation Trails in the Adirondacks

ALBANY, NY — (05/16/2005; 1500)(EIS) — New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan today urged hikers to the Adirondack High Peaks to be cautious during trips into the area and postpone taking hikes on trails above 3,000 feet until otherwise advised.

“During the warm and wet spring weather, many of the trails in the higher and steeper portions of the Adirondacks can be become hazardous to hikers,” Commissioner Sheehan said. “In the current muddy conditions, the trails and plants that surround them are also particularly sensitive to human disturbance. Anyone setting out to enjoy the trails of the Adirondacks this spring should use extra caution to protect themselves, the trails and our natural resources. This will avoid injury and eliminate the need to perform costly repairs to the trails this summer.”

To avoid damaging natural resources and promote safety, hikers are advised to only use trails at lower elevations during the spring mud season. Lower trails are usually dry soon after snowmelt and are on less erosive soils than the higher peaks. DEC is asking hikers to avoid the following trails until muddy conditions have subsided:

– High Peaks Wilderness Area – all trails above 3,000 feet; wet, muddy snow conditions still prevail, specifically at: Algonquin, Colden, Feldspar, Gothics, Indian Pass, Lake Arnold Cross-Over, Marcy, Marcy Dam, Lake Colden, Phelps Trail above John Brook Lodge, Range Trail, Skylight, Wright and all “trail-less” peaks;

– Dix Mountain Wilderness Area – all trails above Elk Lake and Round Pond; and

– Giant Mountain Wilderness Area – all trails above Giant’s Washbowl, “the Cobbles,” and Owls Head.

DEC suggests the following alternative trails for hiking, subject to weather conditions:

– Debar Mt. Wild Forest – Azure Mountain;

– Giant Mountain Wilderness – Giant’s Washbowl and Roaring Brook Falls;

– High Peaks Wilderness – Ampersand Mountain, Cascade, Big Slide, Brothers, and Porter from Cascade; avoid all other approaches;

– Hurricane Primitive Area – The Crows and Hurricane Mt. from Route 9N;

– McKenzie Mt. Wilderness – Haystack Mountain and McKenzie Mountain;

– Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area – Pharaoh Mountain;

– Saranac Lakes Wild Forest – Baker Mountain, Panther Mountain and Scarface Mountain.

More information on trail conditions in the Adirondacks can be found on the DEC website at: http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/reg5/r5adktrails.html, or by contacting the DEC Forest Rangers at (518) 897-1300.

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