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Sustainable Mt Jo Trail Project Completes First Phase 

Sustainable Mt Jo Trail Project Completes First Phase 

October 18, 2022 — Lake Placid, NY — ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club) is excited to announce that phase one of the new Mt Jo Long Trail is complete. Built to withstand erosion from weather events and foot traffic, the lower third of the new trail is now open for hikers to explore on their way to and from the mountain’s summit. 

“We are so excited to announce this important project milestone. Through sustainable trail design, the new Mt Jo Long Trail increases hiker safety and reduces impacts to surrounding vegetation and soils,” said Charlotte Staats, ADK Trails Manager. “We can’t wait to finish the remaining sections, which we aim to open up for hiking in fall 2023.” 

The corresponding section of the old trail has also been closed. ADK trail workers have brushed in the old path so that it can re-wild as quickly as possible.  

“Maps, including those on apps like AllTrails, Gaia, and Strava, currently show the old route, which we are in the process of correcting. In the meantime, we have trail markers up directing folks to the new trail. We ask hikers to follow those so the old one can recover as quickly as possible,” said Staats

Serving over 15,000 hikers a year, Mt. Jo is an iconic mountain in North Elba that is often visited by first-time outdoor recreators and used as a classroom for ADK’s fourth grade school outreach program. After assessment, it was determined in 2020 that the Long Trail—one of two approaches to the summit—had exceeded standards for sustainability and safety. 

In response, ADK determined a new route, rallied support from donors and volunteers, and broke ground on the trail in 2021. Last year, the Town of North Elba backed the project by awarding ADK a $50,000 grant from the Local Enhancement & Advancement Fund (LEAF) to improve accessibility on the trail. 

Thanks to this funding and support from donors, ADK is on track on track to maintain the project’s completion target of fall 2023. Work next season will focus on defining the final two sections of the trail.

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