The Adirondack Mountains have always been a place to provide an abundance of great hikes and scenery. Last summer, in the middle of the pandemic, more people found themselves exploring than ever before. As a new season approaches, and people start planning their summer activities, state and local agencies are trying new tactics to control the amount of people.

According to the Utica OD, the question at hand is: how do you encourage people to visit the Adirondacks, but also "maintain the pristine wilderness environment when the traffic and the tourists reach overwhelming levels?'

State and local agencies came up with a parking registration program that will "prevent parked cars from clogging a stretch of Route 73 near Ausable Road in Keene, Essex County, near the trailheads for popular hikes like Indian Head and and Rainbow Falls."

Here's the good news: the reservation system is only in effect for the Adirondack Mountain Reserve, a 7,000-acre privately-owned property that offers access to several hiking trails. Other areas of the Adirondack Park's six million acres are not affected by this parking program.

The Utica OD says that the partnership between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Adirondack Mountain Reserve is the next step in ongoing efforts to reduce illegal and dangerous parking along Route 73 and in the vicinity of the AMR property, according to a statement from NYSDEC Commissioner Basil Seggos in a press release.

It's possible that if this parking program goes well, it could expand to other parts of the Adirondack Mountains - but there's no word of plans for that for the future.

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