Adirondack Mountain Reserve updates parking reservation system

ABC50 NOW

(Adirondack Council)

KEENE VALLEY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Updates have been made to the parking vehicles in the Adirondack High Peak region.

The Adirondack Mountain Reserve and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced updates to its parking reservation system as a part of the AMR’s new parking reservation pilot.

This was following feedback from the hiker community in New York State accessing the AMR parking lot.

 “One of the main points that kept coming up was hikers concerned about getting back to the parking lot before it closed for the night,” shared AMR General Manager John Schuler. “We tried to accommodate those hikers by having our staff stay late, but our long-term solution was putting in an automatic gate, so now you can come back anytime and still exit the parking lot.”

Among other improvements, Adirondack Mountain Reserve installed an electronic gate in the second week of June to allow hikers returning after the parking lot has closed to exit using the automatic gate.

According to the DEC, these improvements will aim to support safer access to trailheads and strengthen public safety.

“Strengthening public safety and improving the visitor experience are not mutually exclusive, rather inextricably linked,” stated DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “These improvements to the pilot reservation system are the result of an inclusive, data-driven approach to developing effective and sustainable solutions to addressing issues associated with increased visitation to the High Peaks and reflect DEC’s commitment to a constructive and collaborative process.”

The DEC and AMR launched the parking reservation pilot in May 2021 to allow for reliable access to popular trailheads. As well as address public safety at a particularly crowded corner on Route 73 in the town of Keene in the Adirondack High Peaks region.

The reservation system is operated by AMR. It facilitates safer public access to trailheads through the AMR gate and for Noonmark and Round mountains and improves visitors’ trip planning and preparation by ensuring guaranteed parking upon arrival.

In addition to the automatic gate installed on June 7, the additional updates were make to the online system. This included:

  • Reducing the reservation system closing time from 24 hours to 12 hours in advance
  • Moving the start of the rolling two week opening of future dates from midnight to noon, allowing hikers to get some rest
  • Enabling the reservation to send reservation confirmation/cancellation request emails out automatically 48 hours in advance
  • Changing the countdown timer on future reservations/dates to “blue” highlighted against the “red” time slots on dates that are not available

Included in the DEC’s effort to improve public safety in the area, parking will remain limited at other popular trailheads along Route 73.

The DEC listed the following guidance for hikers to follow while in the region.

  • Roadside parking on Route 73 in the vicinity of AMR is dangerous and illegal. Visitors should park only in designated lots and adhere to posted parking restrictions. Illegally parked vehicles will be ticketed and potentially towed at the owner’s expense; and
  • Hikers should follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace™, and carry out what they carry in, including all gear, garbage, and food scraps.
  • Hikers should use designated toilets when available and always dispose of waste properly.

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