A century ago, a group of visionaries founded ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) to teach people how to explore and protect New York’s public lands and waters. Their very first action was a bold one: to provide public access to the relatively new Adirondack Park by building a long trail through it.
In a time when few trails existed in the Adirondacks, this was no small task. But these trailblazers used every tool available and, after two years and countless hours of work, this first generation of ADK trail builders completed the 138-mile Northville-Placid Trail (NPT) in 1924. The NPT captures the fullness of what we love about the Adirondack Park as it traverses numerous wilderness areas and towns, lowlands and remote waterbodies, rewarding hikers with pleasurable sounds like the soft crunch of leaves underfoot in a deciduous forest and the distant call of loons on a foggy pond.
And while the Adirondack Park’s greatest long trail has served as a testament to ADK’s commitment; time, weather, and use have taken their toll. Recently, sections of the NPT have become impassable due to increased flooding caused by climate change, all but washing away parts of the trail. Without urgent attention from trail workers, we could lose the NPT’s connectivity altogether. Should this come to pass, we would not only lose a crucial part of the Adirondack Park’s history, but also ADK’s own legacy.
Thankfully, ADK’s continued tradition of professional and volunteer trail crews remains strong. Last year, we showed you how ADK’s crews are building better trails through sustainable trail design, utilizing techniques that are not only resilient against more severe and frequent weather events, but stand up to heavy foot traffic as well. As we put those talents to work on popular destinations like Mt Jo, we must expand our reach to include the Northville-Placid Trail.
But we need your support to ensure that our staff and volunteers are equipped to meet those challenges head-on. Help ADK restore the Northville-Placid Trail and build on our legacy as the Adirondack Park’s premier trail building organization. Thank you for supporting sustainable trail design with your donation today!