The effort to control overuse of the high peaks region of Adirondack Park is showing early results even as the total number of visitors to the park continued to increase, the Adirondack Council on Monday said.
Environmental groups and state officials over the last year raised concerns about overuse of the park as video and photos showed rows of cars parked along trailheads at popular destinations.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation began public education efforts and began adjusting parking, while also rebuilding trails.
Parking at the top three areas in the high peaks in the fall declined 3.5 percent in 2019. But parking at another 10 popular areas rose over a three-year period.
The Adirondack Council says more investment in conservation efforts is needed.
“While total peak use and total annual use are still growing, data shows the Department of Environmental Conservation’s efforts to educate the public and encourage hikers to try new places had a measurable impact,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway. “Peak visitor traffic decreased across the top three destinations in the High Peaks by 3.5 percent. That is progress and we celebrate that, while recognizing that there is still much to do to ensure Wilderness and access are preserved.”