Partners in hiker info network
To the editor:
The temporary closure of the High Peaks Information Center, operated by the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) at Heart Lake, does indeed highlight the importance of providing good information to incoming hikers, as Zack Floss pointed out in his Feb. 17 column. Thousands of hikers show up at Adirondack trailheads every year with only the foggiest of notions of where they are going and how to get there.
The Mountain Club is doing a great job catching many of those people and setting them straight. The club is also helping to build out a robust trail info network consisting of local governments, other nonprofits (eg. Adirondack 46ers and Friends of Hurricane Mountain), commercial stores and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
For instance, the town of Keene has a homegrown Front Country Steward project that is coordinating with the the ADK, the 46ers, the DEC, the Hurricane Friends and ROOST (Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism) to ensure consistent Leave No Trace messaging and to direct hikers to less crowded trails. We are also working — along with outdoor outfitters and local bed-and-breakfasts — to beef up social media messaging to let people know in advance how best to enjoy their Adirondack experience. As we Adirondackers know, there’s a lot to enjoy.