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Insana9 05-13-2018 09:04 PM

NPT section group hike info
Hi all, long time lurker first time poster here. I am planning a section hike of the NPT from Long Lake to the northern terminus in late June 2018. I have a largish group that has been fluctuating between 7-10 people and I know that for groups of 10 or more I need a permit from the local Ranger. The DEC website is almost no help in determining which ranger handles that region. Does anyone know which one I should contact? Is it Region 5, Zone A? Also, does anyone have any recent trail info or pertinent info for this section that I should be aware of? I have done several trips in the ADK region over the last few years, and our group is mostly very experienced hikers/backpackers with a couple of first timers mixed in to keep us on our toes, so I am looking for some local insight on possible trail conditions, reroutes, water crossings etc... Thanks in advance :)

DSettahr 05-13-2018 10:34 PM

Unfortunately, you'll have to keep it to 8 or fewer on that portion of the NPT without any possibility of a permit allowing you a larger group. On most of the rest of the NPT you'd still be limited to 9 persons, again without any possibility of a permit.

The regulation you're referring to (limiting overnight groups to 9 people max without a permit) applies to most of the Adirondacks but does not apply to the High Peaks Wilderness. The High Peaks Wilderness has different group size regulations due to the greater problem large groups have posed in that area. In the High Peaks Wilderness, overnight groups are limited to 8 people, and the regulations do not allow for the DEC to issue a permit for use by larger groups. (There is an exception to this that allows permits for larger groups that are camping along the shore of Long Lake and on the Raquette River, but this doesn't do you much good for getting to Lake Placid.)

Additionally, in recent years the DEC also adopted a policy of no longer issuing large overnight group permits for Wilderness Areas, which includes most of the rest of the NPT. The reason for this policy is that even well behaved large groups can be detrimental to the Wilderness experience for other visitors. The relationship between group size and impact (both physical and social) is exponential- one large group hiking and camping together causes a greater level of impact than several small groups hiking and camping apart, even if the total number of hikers doesn't change.

If limiting the group size to 8 (or 9) people or less isn't an option, then you'll have to consider Wild Forest areas as possible destinations.

LongLaker 05-14-2018 07:51 PM

The NPT Chapter of ADK has helpful trip planning resources.

The NPT Facebook group is pretty active too.

Have a great hike!

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