VIDEO: High Use in the High Peaks | Keep it Forever Wild

Wednesday, October 3, 2018
By: Mary Godnick - Adirondack Council Marketing and Fund Development Assistant

The Adirondack Park Forest Preserve has seen record numbers of users in the past several years. Regional tourism officials report that the number of total visitors in the Adirondack Park has risen from 10 million in 2001 to more than 12.4 million in 2018. 

The Eastern part of the High Peaks Wilderness Area has shouldered this increase in use of public lands. In a survey we completed last year, we found that 80 percent of 35 hiking trailheads across the High Peaks region were over capacity on peak fall weekends. This means an estimated 5,000 people were in the Wilderness Area during these times.

In 2016, Cascade Mountain (trailhead in the Town of Keene) saw around four times the traffic than it did in 2005.

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Natural resources and visitor experiences in wild places are being negatively affected by this high use and lack of resources to manage it.

We need to manage the success of more people visiting the Park and loving this area for its natural beauty. Otherwise, we are in real danger of loving Adirondack waters and wildlands to death.

The Adirondack Park is an example of how people and wildlands can thrive together. Let's keep it Forever Wild, and work together to protect Adirondack wildlands and waters from overuse.

How you can help #KeepItWild:

1.) Share photos of problems you see in the Adirondack backcountry, trail damage, trash, illegal campfires, etc. with the hashtag #KeepItWild.

2.) Sign up for email updates to learn how you can help the Adirondacks.

3.) Sign the petition to protect Adirondack Wilderness and waters from overuse.

4.) Learn more about Leave No Trace and how you can be a good steward to our wildlands.

Thank you to Joe Pete Wilson, the Town of Keene Supervisor 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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