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Old 03-23-2016, 01:01 PM   #10
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,296
Originally Posted by Trail Boss View Post

Did you just point out a loophole in the DEC's "max overnight EHP group size = 8" rule?

It never occurred to me that a group of more than 8 people can camp overnight in the EHP provided they do so on the private land of the Adirondack Mountain Club. For a price, the regulation can be circumvented.
I wouldn't really call it a loop hole. It's private property, with all of the rights that generally go along with private property. You're not camped in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness at all, but at what is essentially a private campground. As far as the regulations are concerned, once you leave the JBL area and pass into state land, you are hiking as a day use group.

JBL isn't the only piece of private property in the area, either- there are a few private camps up and down the valley. The south side trail I believe served as an ATV access route for people to get to these camps (not sure if this is still possible since Irene). Most of these camps are pretty well hidden but evidence of them can be spotted with a careful eye.

With regards to the camps at JBL, the fee for camping there as well as having staff on site also helps the ADK to better manage the impacts that said camping generates. It looks like they keep a pretty tight reign on those sites, based on the rules they have in place- no radios at all, bear canisters mandatory (no storage is allowed at JBL), no tents around lean-tos (interestingly enough, you can pitch them inside the lean-tos, which makes sense since they are reserved and not open to additional groups), and no fires allowed. I suspect that a lot of the impacts that are frequently an issue on lean-tos on state land (noise, improper waste disposal, vegetative trampling, etc.) aren't as frequently an issue at the JBL lean-tos. It does bug me how close they are to water, though...

EDIT: According to this article, there are 17 different parcels of private land in the Johns Brook area that are surrounded by the High Peaks Wilderness Complex.

Last edited by DSettahr; 03-23-2016 at 05:58 PM..
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