With projects and programs limited last year we were reminded of just how important trail work is to the stewardship of public lands. Heading into this summer, we were eager to resume normal trail work operations, which included hosting a successful ADK Trails Day at the Heart Lake Program Center, offering new opportunities for our volunteer high school crews, and booking a full schedule of projects for our professional trail crew members.

Here is a summary of ADK’s trail work impact this summer, by the numbers.

A woman raking leaves

7,771 hours of service

205 volunteers and 15 ADK staff performed a combined 7,771 hours of trail work during projects this summer. From the summit of Iroquois to the depths of the Hoffman Notch Wilderness, our trail workers cleared blowdown, hardened trail surfaces, and much more as they worked to improve the Adirondack Park’s vast trail network.

299 trails and lean-tos maintained

Our 281 Trail Steward and Adopt a Lean-to volunteers took care of 201 lean-tos and 98 trails this year, ensuring that hikers had clear trails to follow and clean lean-tos to enjoy while exploring the backcountry. You can learn more about these programs and how you can get involved by following the links below.

Adopt a Lean-to Program

Trail Steward Program

A rock staircase4 stories of rock steps built

Our professional trail crew built 87 rock steps in the backcountry this summer, equal to about 4 stories in a building. When used in the right situation, rock stairs can help minimize erosion on steep hillsides, where a traditional trail would quickly wash away. This is one of several techniques that we employ to increase both the safety and the sustainability of trails.

3 crucial partners

Our work this year would not have been possible without the support of our partners: the Adirondack 46ers, The Waterman Fund, and the North Country Trail Association. Their funding allowed us to pursue projects in Avalanche Lake, the Hoffman Notch Wilderness, the Johns Brook Valley, and on the summit of Iroquois this season.

1 sustainable trail on Mt Jo

ADK staff and volunteers teamed up to start a new sustainable Long Trail up Mt Jo. The current trail has eroded to the point that regular maintenance is no longer enough to ensure the trail remains usable. As such, a new trail is being built to modern sustainable design standards, which will better resist erosion from hiker use and water runoff. A special thanks to the many ADK donors whose support made this project possible.

Interested in supporting ADK’s professional trail crew and the trails they maintain? You can do so by donating here.