View Full Version : ADK overuse articles?

03-09-2004, 03:06 PM
How much has been written on overuse of High Peaks trails and what can or should be done about it? Where should I go to read up on the topic?

Apologies if this has been hashed out too many times already, and I'm not necessarily trying to start a debate in this thread. But I want to learn more about this subject and hope for pointers toward useful articles or books. Thanks.

03-09-2004, 06:48 PM
I can't answer your question but it does beg me to say that I could hardly be concerned about over use of any trails compared to overuse of TVs, videos, video games .........you get the idea!

I think it much better to see folks doing WHATEVER outdoors than just doing nothing inside.

Did you know that one's mind is more active sleeping than it is while one is watching TV??!!

Let's get out there and "overuse" those trails, America!!
Enough said.........:mad:

03-09-2004, 07:30 PM
But to round things out a bit.....

An "overuse issue" doesnt really exist as such, or as a crisis. Backcountry camping areas have been closed down, Lean-to's removed, garbage removed , camping prohibited and fires banned. Campers are starting to get it, and product changes have helped. Trails have erosion issues that need to be dealt with. Lakes, when approaching overuse are noisy, and the fumes have their affect. I'm finding that with some looking around, nice fish can be caught.Logging companies get there way sometimes and leave huge tracts of slash. Huge homes and cell-towers crown deforested hills here and there.

But, overall, I think it is all managed very well.

I'd like to see some competition with the state for skiing. How does the Hoffman notch area sound for a new ski area? I wont upset TAHAWUS by suggesting Mt. Adams again.


03-09-2004, 09:02 PM
You FUNNY too!
and I must say that I completely agree with you!

How 'bout Wet 'n Wild at Lake Tear?!:D

03-10-2004, 05:22 AM
Wet 'n Wild at Lake Tear? Sounds good to me :D

Mark Schaefer
03-10-2004, 08:23 AM
Getting back to the original question. I would recommend going to the NYS DEC website (http://www.dec.state.ny.us/) and searching on Adirondack trail overuse (or erosion). If you want other online sources do the same search with google or other search engine. You will find numerous references to explore. All of the DEC Unit Management Plans are being developed with the intent of minimizing overuse in high usage areas.

Here are a few:

I can offer the following observation about the Catskills where the problem was more camping rather than trail overuse. When I started hiking in the Catskills in 1974 there was a growing area of several acres just south of the 4180' summit of Slide Mountain (the highest Catskill peak) that was being deforested by campers on the summit. I once arrived before dawn in late April 1975 to find over a dozen tents pitched at the summit. It was a very popular camping location. Only after the ban on camping above 3500' in the Catskills went into effect has this deforested area begun to recover.

03-10-2004, 03:09 PM
As a start, I would suggest Backwoods Ethics and Wilderness Ethics both written by Guy and Laura Waterman. They discuss overuse issues in a much broader context than just the high peaks but their experience is in the northeast mountains.

03-10-2004, 03:32 PM
Wet and Wild at Lake Tear?!

When was the last time you were there?

I think Dry and Wild is more appropriate! HA!

Although...riding the Opalescent Flume Ride during spring runoff would be a blast! :D

Sorry, this is the only thing that I can add to this discussion for now. ;)

03-10-2004, 04:19 PM
Thanks very much for the excellent links and info. I also found a pretty thorough set of stories on the subject from the Albany Times-Union, published in 2002 (on Nexis; apparently not on their Web site). I'm sure there's lots more out there, and I'll keep looking, but thanks for giving my research a kick-start.

03-10-2004, 09:31 PM
I'll be the first to second Tom's recomendation of he Waterman books. They are very good books, full of questions without answers.... That's the way it is with 'ethics' books.

I'll raise another aspect of overuse. One which is more contraversial. It doesn't involve any physical aspect. It is a perception. It is usually called "the wilderness experience", a term I don't really like, but since it is what is commonly used, I'll stick with it.

If you hike outside of the high peaks, in lesser used areas, you may hike all day, and never see another person. You feel like you are hiking through a wilderness. Now, climb Marcy on a beautiful sunny summer Sunday, and you may easily meet several hundred people on the trail. You most definately will not feel that you are in a wilderness area. It is overused.

ALGonquin Bob
03-10-2004, 09:55 PM
Don't get me started on Guy Waterman's "ethics".