Last weekend was ideal to be out hiking in the Adirondacks. Warm temperatures, sunny skies, with fall foliage color near or at its peak in many places.
The result was record crowds on trails of the popular High Peaks – numbers so great that some state and local officials were left shaking their heads wondering whether it’s finally time to limit the numbers of hikers through paid permits for parking areas to popular trailheads. Also, it emphasized the need to hire more state Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers and other staff to help deal with things, some said.
“It was nuts,” said Scott Van Lear, a union representative for the Forest Rangers who was on duty and was personally involved in several rescues of injured hikers, a few who had to be carried off trails in Essex County.
Meanwhile, Forest Rangers and local officials are wondering how they’ll cope