Michael Barrett
Executive Director
518-449-3870 (work)
573-355-6030 (cell)

UPDATE – June 17, 2020 – The ADK Fire Tower Challenge will now resume on Friday, June 19. All fire tower trail hikes on or after this date will count towards the patch awarded by the challenge. ADK encourages all hikers to follow the #RecreateResponsibly guidance listed below in order to stay safe and healthy while recreating. “Though the trails are open, the fire towers themselves remain closed due to an inability to maintain social distancing while climbing them. Additionally, some fire tower trails are very popular, such as Hurricane and Arab, and should be avoided on weekends, ” said Jim Schneider, Fire Tower Challenge Chair of the ADK Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter. “Have a few alternate hikes in mind as you plan for your trip in case you arrive at a full parking lot or crowded trail.”

You can learn more about the ADK Fire Tower Challenge here.

Lake George, NY – June 8, 2020 – ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club), in coordination with its Schenectady Chapter, is resuming the Northville-Placid Trail Challenge on June 12. With all ten regions of New York State officially in phases of Governor Cuomo’s “New York Forward” reopening plan, some guidelines set in place by “New York on PAUSE”—the governor’s stay at home order—have been lifted. All thru-hike completions on the Northville-Placid Trail completed on or after this date will count towards the patches the challenge award.

The ADK Fire Tower Challenge remains suspended until further notice following a vote last week by ADK’s Glens Falls-Saratoga Chapter, which manages the challenge. Citing concerns about driving visitor traffic to already popular trailheads amidst an ongoing pandemic, the chapter committee felt that this decision was in the best interest of public health.

As a proud partner in the #RecreateResponsibly coalition, which consists of over 100 outdoor organizations nationwide, ADK is committed to providing outdoor enthusiasts with the tools to safely enjoy the outdoors during the coronavirus pandemic. Before you head out to enjoy ADK’s hiking challenges, please consider these six #RecreateResponsibly points:

  1. Know Before You Go – check the status of the place you want to visit. If it is closed, don’t go. If it’s crowded, have a Plan B.
  1. Plan Ahead – Prepare for facilities to be closed, pack lunch and bring essentials like hand sanitizer and a face covering.
  1. Practice Physical Distancing – Adventure only with your immediate household. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth and give others space. If you are sick, stay home.
  1. Play It Safe – Slow down and choose lower-risk activities to reduce your risk of injury. Search and rescue operations and health care resources are both strained.
  1. Stay Close to Home – This is not the time to travel long distances to recreate. Most places are only open for day use.
  1. Leave No Trace – Respect public lands and communities and take all garbage with you.

In addition to these points provided by the coalition, there are additional points to consider when approaching a long thru-hike like the Northville-Placid Trail. The Northville-Placid Trail travels through some of the most remote parts of the Adirondack Park and takes most thru-hikers 10-14 days to complete. If you or a member of your party becomes ill, an emergency medical response might take many hours to reach your location,” said Dustin Wright, Chapter Chair, ADK Schenectady Chapter. “Those hiking the Northville-Placid Trail should come prepared with extra sanitation methods, including hand sanitizer and soap, face masks, and a method for reaching emergency personnel that work in areas without cell service, such as a Spot beacon.

For more information on responsible recreation during coronavirus, please see our recent guidance and video release.