North Country News
12:30 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

DEC Warns Hikers of Muddy Trails in Adirondack High Peaks

Mud holes and exposed tree roots indicate heavy use of a trail to Brothers Mountain in the Adirondack Forest Preserve
Credit Anne LaBastille/U.S. National Archives/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wants hikers to stay off trails in the high peaks of the Adirondacks.



There is still snow on some of the Adirondack Mountains. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Region 5 Spokesman David Winchell says the high peaks received a significant snow pack over the winter that is now melting and saturating the thin soils on steep slopes, especially those above 3,000 feet.

Winchell says hikers sliding in, or walking around, a muddy trail cause severe erosion.

Adirondack Council Spokesman John Sheehan notes that the soil at high elevations is very thin and hard to replace, so it’s crucial not to cause erosion.

Adirondack Mountain Club North Country Operations Director and Director of Field Programs Wes Lampman agrees with the DEC recommendation that hikers walk through, not around, muddy trails to avoid causing damage.  

It’s not just the plants and trails that are of concern.  The DEC’s David Winchell cautions that hikers themselves are at risk in the muddy conditions.

The Adirondack Council’s John Sheehan reminds hikers that there may not be cell phone coverage if they need help.

The DEC is asking hikers to avoid all trails above 3,000 feet in the Adirondacks, especially those in the Dix, Giant and High Peaks Wilderness areas.

A link for more information is available here.

Related program: