Record high in outdoor recreation leads to trash and unprepared hikers in Adirondacks

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NEW YORK (WWTI) — The New York Department of Environmental Conservation is encouraging hikers to follow common sense rules when outdoors.

Outdoor recreation has hit a record number of visitors in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks, but trash and unprepared hikers continue, causing impacts to natural resources.

The DEC reminds all hikers and visitors to follow rules and recommendations to protect public safety and the vulnerable wildlife.

According to the DEC, the Adirondacks are home to some of the State’s rarest plants, some found in habitats resembling the Arctic. This condition is encountered on the highest peaks and the total area covered by alpine vegetation approximates 40 acres on 19 peaks, 18 of which are in DEC’s High Peaks Wilderness.

Rules and regulations within the High Peaks wilderness include:

  • No campfires in the Eastern Zone of the High Peaks Wilderness
  • Maximums for 15 people per ground for days trips, and 8 per group for overnights
  • Camping prohibited on summits
  • No camping above 3,500 feet
  • Whenever possible, camp in designated sites. Do not place tents on vegetation.
  • Bear canisters required for all overnight campers in the Eastern Zone of the High Peaks Wilderness
  • Properly dispose of waste and pack out all gear and garbage. Do not leave waste at trailheads.
  • Dogs must be leashed at all times in the Eastern Zone of the High Peaks Wilderness and at trailheads, campsites and above 4,000 feet everywhere else.
  • Bikes are prohibited
  • Drones are prohibited
  • ATVs are prohibited
  • No fixed anchors for climbing on Forest Preserve at this time
  • Adirondack Mountain Reserve-specific rules for this property include no camping, no dogs, no drones, and no off-trail travel. 

All are also advised to plan outdoor trips ahead of time and choose alternate destinations if their first choice is closed or crowded.

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