Let's #KeepItWild | Overuse in the Adirondack Park

Thursday, December 6, 2018
By: Mary Godnick - Adirondack Council Marketing and Fund Development Assistant

Living in Harmony with Wilderness

The Adirondack Park is an example of how people and wildlands can thrive together. It's a unique patchwork of public and private lands that host 105 towns and villages and is home to over 130,000 permanent and 200,000 seasonal residents, and 10 million visitors yearly. It's also a safe haven for wildlife, it filters our air and water and mitigates the impacts of climate change. However, overuse is a problem that needs to be solved to protect this special place for future generations.

High Use in the High Peaks

About 2.4 million more people are visiting the Adirondacks each year than in 2001. Unfortunately, the resources to manage the success of more people enjoying their public lands have stayed the same. There are record numbers of rescue missions and not enough Forest Rangers and support staff. Over 130 miles of trails in the High Peaks Region alone need major reconstruction. Hundreds of hikers and paddlers are flooding the same small regions, while other areas of the Park go underutilized.

How we can #KeepItWild Together

Some small steps the state has taken have already shown to be successful. But we need a comprehensive plan that follows the six best management practices in order to really tackle the problem.

  1. Planning
  2. Leave No Trace education
  3. Safe parking
  4. Sustainable trails
  5. Managing use
  6. Rangers, staff & funding

This is what we need to do to sustain the success of more people enjoying the Adirondack Park and stop overuse.

What YOU can do to help


We need your help, write a letter to Governor Cuomo and tell him how you have seen the impacts of overuse, why we need more Forest Rangers and staff, and why we need to carry on the legacy of the Adirondacks for the next generation.


When hiking, camping, paddling and visiting the Adirondacks, follow the 7 principles of Leave No Trace, follow NYSDEC rules and regulations, and be prepared.


When sharing photos of your adventures in the Adirondack Park on social media, follow the Leave No Trace guidelines for social media. Along with your beautiful photos, share important information on topics such as preparedness, protecting alpine vegetation and best backcountry practices. Use the hashtag #KeepItWild to show your support.


If protecting the Adirondacks is a priority to you too, sign up to be a monthly contributor to our advocacy work. Month in and month out, our sustaining members show their commitment to the Adirondacks with a donation of any amount. Or, sign up for email updates to stay in the loop and continue to learn how you can help stop overuse in the Adirondack Park.

Read more: 

High Peaks overcrowding documented in Adirondacks

ADK Council: Overuse, poor maintenance threaten trails

Survey Shows hikers realize Adirondacks need a little space and TLC

Thank you to Jen Jubin, Joe Pete Wilson, Diane Fish, Rocci Aguirre, and the Pure Adirondacks team.

Mary Godnick Adirondack Council

Mary joined the Council in August 2016. As the Marketing and Fund Development Assistant, Mary works with the team to coordinate marketing and fundraising efforts. She develops, manages and implements strategic social media and marketing campaigns to grow the visibility of the Council's efforts. She also works with the Fund Development team in production of materials, mailings and reports to help expand our support to preserve the Park for future generations.

Mary grew up in Harford, NY and is a graduate of SUNY Oswego and earned a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Public Relations in May of 2014. Previously, she has worked in digital marketing, search engine optimization and social media management. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, gardening, yoga, and enjoying all that the Adirondack Park has to offer.

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