In an effort to curb overcrowding and parking problems, a popular area in the Adirondacks will begin requiring reservations this summer, including for walk- and bike-in hikers.
From May 1 through October 31, the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) will require hikers to make a reservation for one of its 70 parking spots. Hikers without a reservation won’t be allowed to access the reserve or trailheads accessed through its lands, like Round Mountain and Noonmark Mountain. Walk-in and bike-in hikers will have to show proof of a reservation as well; visitors who take the bus into the Keene Valley will be able to access the trails with a valid bus ticket dated within the previous 24 hours.
Roughly 12.4 million visitors come to the Adirondacks every year; the Ausable Club, the organization which functionally owns the AMR, estimates that visitors to the reserve roughly doubled from 2007 to 2017, based on trailhead logs. In a press release announcing the new rules, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Segos said that the restrictions were necessary to help the reserve cope with a pandemic-induced influx of hikers, which has led to illegal parking on nearby Route 73.
“With the increasing number of visitors to trailheads accessed through AMR, exacerbated in 2020 by New Yorkers looking for a nature break as a respite from COVID-19, DEC and AMR are working together to promote sustainable recreation and protect public safety,” he said.
Reservations will be available up to two weeks in advance online.