Hiking the Adirondacks is amazing during the beautiful fall, it’s likely you’ll see a lot of people outdoors. Although the trails may be less crowded than they are in the summertime, back to school means that everyone heads to the trails on the weekends. This is unlike the summer when people can come any day of the week they want.
However, more people on the trails, even just on Saturday and Sunday, is a problem. The hikers that come here to see the fall foliage actually lead to the trails becoming less desirable. This problem is specifically going on with people hiking the Adirondacks of New York. So much so, that park and government officials are urging people to stay away.
Too Many People
One of the biggest reasons hiking the Adirondacks isn’t feeling like it should this fall is because of overcrowding. Surprisingly, way too many people are coming to enjoy the fall scenery and are thereby ruining the environment.
People Don’t Know About Other Trails
The most crowded areas of hiking the Adirondacks are those around the High Peaks, including Baker Mountain, Saranac Lake, the Cascades, etc. These are common areas to hike that people immediately plan to go to in the fall, without exploring other areas, first. If people were to diversify their hiking choices, we might see the Adirondacks in better shape this time of year.
They are Becoming Unsanitary
With too many people hiking the Adirondacks on the trails, these parts of the mountain range are becoming dirty. When people go to the bathroom outdoors and don’t follow the Leave No Trace principles, it causes the trail to essentially turn into a dump. More people also means more garbage.
Would you want to hike in those conditions? I wouldn’t, either.
People and Even Guides Are Not Following Trail Regulations while Hiking the Adirondacks
Parks have rules for a reason. When rules aren’t followed, the trail becomes quite the opposite of what it’s intended for. Park officials want you to have a unique and peaceful experience on the trail, which is why they limit how many people can go to certain places on one day. Those regulations are not currently being followed, and trails are suffering. Even the swimming holes, meant for just a small group, are too packed.
With Too Many People Hiking the Adirondacks the Trails Become a Dangerous Place
When too many people are crowding the trails, it automatically makes those trails more dangerous. People are more likely to get hurt because regulations aren’t being met. When more people are at risk of getting injured or more people are in the way of those who are injured, search and rescue teams have a hard time getting to where they need to go.
If you still want to hike the Adirondacks but don’t want to be one of “those hikers,” then there are plenty of other places you can explore. Try Rocky Peak or other alternatives that the DEC offers. The Adirondacks are a big place, and avid hikers need to do their job listening to the requests of park officials. If we don’t, it’ll be just another trail that’s unfortunately destroyed.
So, you can still visit the Adirondacks this season. But, try to explore the trails that are off the beaten path. You’ll probably end up liking them more, anyway!