Think about the first time you stepped on a trail in the Adirondacks. Did that trail lead you to a lasting memory with family and friends? Did it give you the opportunity to enjoy the silence and solitude that only wilderness can offer? No matter the experience, the trail helped you get there. Trails connect us: to place, to each other, to meaningful experiences.
Since 1979, ADK’s professional trail crews have been building and maintaining sustainable trails throughout the Adirondack Park and beyond. By making trails safer and more resilient, ADK ensures that everyone can continue to explore and make lasting memories.
But the Adirondack Park’s trail network is in trouble. Excessive erosion and concentrated use have caused many of these trails to fall into disrepair, a problem that is becoming increasingly unmanageable because we currently lack the workforce necessary to properly address this increasing problem. To put the enormity of this issue into context, consider this:
- There are more miles of trail in the Adirondacks than in Yellowstone, Smoky Mountain, and Rocky Mountain National Parks combined;
- Stretched out, the Park’s trails would traverse the entire east coast from the Canadian border in Maine to the southern tip of Florida.
Now consider this: There are only 100 trail workers in the entire Park.
This means that each trail worker must be responsible for 20 miles of trail, which is simply unsustainable. At this rate, the Adirondack Park’s trails are degrading faster than they can be maintained, but we can turn it around with your help.
If we are to ensure continued access to the Adirondack Park’s public lands and waters, then we must continue to grow the trail workforce to match the scale of the trail network. Thankfully, with more than a century of trail work experience under our belts, ADK is poised to put more workers in the backcountry. But we can’t do it without you. Every dollar raised helps fund a trail worker for the season!