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Old 12-03-2020, 11:09 AM   #4
DSettahr
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Join Date: May 2007
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"Frustrating" exactly describes how it feels to see how little interconnectivity there is between different management units in the Adirondack Park with regards to hiking trails- whether it be loops or even thru-hikes that end at a different location than where they start. You would think that the "largest park in the contiguous United States" would have a lot more opportunities for backpacking trips that go beyond a single weekend. More opportunities for trips ranging from an extended 3-4 day weekend up to a week or more would be great.

One of the nice things about backpacking in Pennsylvania is how many backpacking loop opportunities there are in that state. There's no shortage of options, ranging from smaller loops that can be completed in a single weekend (the 26 mile Old Loggers Path, the 23 mile Pinchot Trail, the 30 mile Thunder Swamp Trail) to loops that can take the better part of a week or more (the 50 mile Chuck Keiper Trail, the 75 Mile Quehanna Trail, the 85 mile Susquehannock Trail System). Even longer loops yet are possible using connector trails that join some of these loop trails together into a single network. (At some point, I'd like to hike the combined Susquehannock Trail System and Black Forest Trails, a loop that is 120+ miles in length!)

I've submitted similar comments through other UMP comment periods, but so far not a single recently finished UMP that I've submitted comments for has even acknowledged the issue, much less laid out steps to try to increase inter-unit connectivity and/or provide for longer-distance opportunities for backpacking.

Yet at the same time, the snowmobile community gets no shortage of resources in comparison to facilitate an incredibly intricate network of interconnected trails across the entire Adirondack Park. This is by no means a dig against the snowmobile community- I think that such an inter-connected network of snowmobile trails also makes sense. I'm just saying that IMO, the hiking community is entitled to the same.

One of my "dream trails" is a loop trail that circumnavigates the entire Adirondack Park. By rough estimate, the length of such a trail would easily be in the vicinity of 500 miles. Connections to both the Northville-Placid Trail and the North Country Trail could facilitate (relatively) shorter loops that would still take several weeks to traverse, for those unable to take several months off to travel the full trail. My original idea for the name was "Adirondack Circuit Trail," or ACT. A friend suggested "Blue Line Trail," or BLT... I hate to admit it, but their name is better.

Last edited by DSettahr; 12-03-2020 at 11:30 AM..
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