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Old 12-05-2014, 01:44 PM   #21
DuctTape
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Some enjoy the visual of the forest from above, the macro view. Some enjoy the visual of the forest by being in it, the micro view. When I look closely at say the moss and lichen growing on a tree, it looks very similar to the macro view of a forest landscape. Sometimes the view is more than what we think.
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:48 PM   #22
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I'm curious if people think that the southern Adks lack a certain degree of all types of outdoor recreational opportunities?
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Originally Posted by montcalm View Post
Some things are lacking compared to other areas, some are comparable, some are sufficient. It certainly deserves more attention.


... There are a number of easy access recreational opportunities but they are lacking maintenance compared to other regions.


...There are far too many illegal ones [campsites] in the area that aren't being managed for use. So you wind up with obvious, ugly man-made holes in the forest around lakes and streams.
Just curious if you may have any examples and thoughts on the above that you'd like to share, which may or may not end up being discussed at this meeting or future meetings?
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:59 PM   #23
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I'll make a list of what I know. I don't know that sharing here would be very fruitful, but I'll be happy to list what I know if it will benefit the meetings.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:07 PM   #24
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I'll make a list of what I know. I don't know that sharing here would be very fruitful, but I'll be happy to list what I know if it will benefit the meetings.
Ok Cool.
If you wish to not share them here, I'm sure you could at least send them to the contact linked in the OP.
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Old 12-06-2014, 09:53 AM   #25
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People are not likely to advocate for things that they don't know and appreciate. The entire park needs advocates
"These people have shown me that if you love a place, you have a duty to protect it. And to love a place, you must know it first." -Jeff Johnson, 180 degrees South
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Old 12-06-2014, 05:03 PM   #26
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In the Schenectady Daily Gazette this AM:


Branding the Great South Woods
Saturday, December 6, 2014
By Stephen Williams (Contact)
Gazette Reporter

Calling a vast forest the Great North Woods just has a nice ring to it, as Bob Dylan realized when he wrote “Tangled Up in Blue.”

But maybe, at least in upstate New York, there’s room for a Great South Woods, too.

The southern Adirondacks don’t draw nearly as many visitors as the High Peaks region. Arguably, the High Peaks are so much nicer, as they have themselves a brand image.

But the lower Adirondack Park — the part right in our backyard — has conifer forest that stretches nearly unbroken from western Herkimer County past Lake George and a back country of low hills and hidden ponds far more desolate than what’s found in the hiker-overrun mountains to the north. You’re not going to risk hitting a moose on the drive between Keene and Lake Placid, but you definitely can between Long Lake and Speculator.

An effort to brand the southern Adirondacks as the Great South Woods, and promote them as such, is underway under the auspices of the SUNY College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry in Syracuse. A kickoff public meeting is slated for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 17, at Lake Pleasant Central School in Speculator.

The forestry school is working with the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Adirondack Park Agency to come up with ideas to promote the region, so empty of civilization’s attributes that Speculator — winter population of 324 — counts as a major community.

The thinking is that more people would visit if the Great South Woods was a defined destination — and online maps showed where the best hiking, skiing and snowmobile trails are found.

“I explain this project to others as our chance to plan towards a sustainable tourism economy in the park,” said Bill Farber, chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors.

The plan also fits with sincere-seeming efforts by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to boost the Adirondack economy through more tourism — and particularly to draw visitors to the small communities away from Lake Placid and the High Peaks, which already seem to have all the flatland visitors they can handle.

The Dec. 17 meeting will be for gathering ideas for trails and destinations to promote. It will be followed

by smaller meetings over the winter in local communities.

“Front-line” communities like Old Forge and Indian Lake are likely to be suggested as spots for more visitor amenities, while other places — the Silver Lake Wilderness, say — will be identified as perfect destinations for those seeking solitude, remoteness and a sense of nature’s majesty.

The Great South Woods covers 2 million acres, nearly two-thirds of which is state-owned and therefore part of the Forest Preserve, guaranteed to remain wild — if not necessarily wilderness — forever. It stretches west from the Great Sacandaga Lake to Forestport and north to the newly state-acquired Essex Chain Lakes and the southern border of the High Peaks.

It’s full of day-trip hikes you can take without seeing anyone else, which isn’t something you can say about the High Peaks trails.
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Old 12-06-2014, 05:27 PM   #27
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I have often thought that the Adirondacks, for all of its resources for recreation (2000+ miles of trails!), is distinctly lacking in long distance hiking opportunities, and specifically, long distance loop opportunities.

Sure, you've got the Northville-Placid Trail, and the newer Cranberry Lake 50. And there are plenty of loop options in the High Peaks. And I'm sure that once the NCT is complete, people will hike the Adirondacks section of that trail. But it seems to me that there could be significantly more opportunities along those lines without necessarily leading to significant overcrowding and/or resource degradation.

I find it interesting that Pennsylvania, a state not exactly well known in the outdoors community for its backpacking opportunities, actually has far more long distance loop backpacking opportunities to offer than the Adirondacks do as a whole. For example: The Thunder Swamp Trail (30 miles), the Pinchot Trail (26 miles), the Old Loggers Path (27 miles), the Black Forest Trail (42 miles), the Susquehannock Trail System (85 miles), the Quehanna Trail (73 miles), the Chuck Keiper Trail (50 miles), the Allegheny Front Trail (40 miles), and the Gerard Hiking Trail (36 miles) are all loop backpacking trails with lengths in excess of 20 miles on public lands in PA managed by DCNR. The Black Forest Trail and the Susquehannock Trail System are also linked via the North and South Link Trails, allowing for a loop backpacking trip over 130 miles long! And there are a number of long distance linear trails over 20 miles long, too- like the Loyalsock Trail (60 miles), the West Rim Trail (30 miles), the Bucktail Path (34 miles), the Donut Hole Trail (90 miles), the Lost Turkey Trail (26 miles), and the Laurel Highlands Trail (70 miles).

Something that I think would be nice to see in the future of the park is hiking trails planned for inter-connectivity. Trails that not only connect different management areas with each other, allowing for long distance hiking opportunities that traverse a variety of areas, but also connect various towns and hamlets within the park, allowing for opportunities to resupply and support local economies along the way. By providing a network of connections to multiple areas, opportunities for traversing long distance loops would inherently be made available. Snowmobile trails in the park were clearly routed with this at least somewhat in mind. Why not hiking trails?

I have also had thoughts about the feasibility of a loop trail circumnavigating the entire Adirondack Park. Such a trail would certainly exceed 400 miles in length, and more than likely would exceed 500 miles. It would traverse a wide variety of ecosystems, from the hardwood forests of the southern Adirondacks, to the lakes and bogs of the northwestern Adirondacks, the rocky pine forests of the eastern Adirondacks. It would showcase not just the environment of the park, but culture of the towns and villages as well. It would allow people the opportunity to hike for a weeks at a time, without retracing their steps, and ending exactly where they started. In combination with the NPT and the NCT, shorter loop options with lengths between 100 and 200 miles would be available for those who are unable to devote months at a time to hiking. I think that all of that sounds pretty neat.

The potential for impact absolutely needs to be considered in making any steps forwards in furthering the development of backcountry opportunities in the Adirondacks. But I don't think that the simple fact that impact is going to occur as a result of new trail building means that we shouldn't be constructing any new trails at all. We just need to be careful about we do it.

Perhaps the best example of how things might play out is the Cranberry Lake 50. The Five Ponds Wilderness was largely ignored by the general backpacking public until the final few trails were cut to make a loop trail around Cranberry Lake, and the trail system was actively promoted to the public. Without a doubt, the area has seen increased use as a result, but it seems to me that the overall rate of use is still relatively low when compared to areas like the High Peaks, and I don't know of any serious issues regarding impact that have arisen. Of course, the Cranberry Lake area is much further removed from major metropolitan areas than the southern Adirondacks, and the kind of hiker who is willing to attempt a 50 mile backpacking trip is generally going to be someone with at least enough experience to likely be somewhat familiar with LNT and how to implement LNT principles.

I think that to minimize impacts, it would be wise to focus efforts on increasing opportunities for long distance hiking (trips in excess of 20 miles). In my opinion, if there is any major deficiency in what the Adirondacks has to offer, this is where it lies. Long distance trails would also primarily attract experienced hikers and backpackers, and I think that the resulting level of impact per capita that occurs due to any increased use would be relatively low.
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Old 12-06-2014, 07:32 PM   #28
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The thinking is that more people would visit if the Great South Woods was a defined destination — and online maps showed where the best hiking, skiing and snowmobile trails are found.
The article neglects to mention that there is a new book available that describes just about every trail in this region (unofficial or otherwise) in detail, many of which have never before been mapped or written about, including several paddling routes, and bushwhacking routes. I would think that it may be of interest to some of those in support of this project.
http://www.hiketheadirondacks.com/pa...rn_Adirondacks

Last edited by Justin; 12-06-2014 at 07:54 PM..
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:01 AM   #29
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I have often thought that the Adirondacks, for all of its resources for recreation (2000+ miles of trails!), is distinctly lacking in long distance hiking opportunities, and specifically, long distance loop opportunities.

Sure, you've got the Northville-Placid Trail, and the newer Cranberry Lake 50. And there are plenty of loop options in the High Peaks. And I'm sure that once the NCT is complete, people will hike the Adirondacks section of that trail. But it seems to me that there could be significantly more opportunities along those lines without necessarily leading to significant overcrowding and/or resource degradation.

I find it interesting that Pennsylvania, a state not exactly well known in the outdoors community for its backpacking opportunities, actually has far more long distance loop backpacking opportunities to offer than the Adirondacks do as a whole. For example: The Thunder Swamp Trail (30 miles), the Pinchot Trail (26 miles), the Old Loggers Path (27 miles), the Black Forest Trail (42 miles), the Susquehannock Trail System (85 miles), the Quehanna Trail (73 miles), the Chuck Keiper Trail (50 miles), the Allegheny Front Trail (40 miles), and the Gerard Hiking Trail (36 miles) are all loop backpacking trails with lengths in excess of 20 miles on public lands in PA managed by DCNR. The Black Forest Trail and the Susquehannock Trail System are also linked via the North and South Link Trails, allowing for a loop backpacking trip over 130 miles long! And there are a number of long distance linear trails over 20 miles long, too- like the Loyalsock Trail (60 miles), the West Rim Trail (30 miles), the Bucktail Path (34 miles), the Donut Hole Trail (90 miles), the Lost Turkey Trail (26 miles), and the Laurel Highlands Trail (70 miles).

Something that I think would be nice to see in the future of the park is hiking trails planned for inter-connectivity. Trails that not only connect different management areas with each other, allowing for long distance hiking opportunities that traverse a variety of areas, but also connect various towns and hamlets within the park, allowing for opportunities to resupply and support local economies along the way. By providing a network of connections to multiple areas, opportunities for traversing long distance loops would inherently be made available. Snowmobile trails in the park were clearly routed with this at least somewhat in mind. Why not hiking trails?

I have also had thoughts about the feasibility of a loop trail circumnavigating the entire Adirondack Park. Such a trail would certainly exceed 400 miles in length, and more than likely would exceed 500 miles. It would traverse a wide variety of ecosystems, from the hardwood forests of the southern Adirondacks, to the lakes and bogs of the northwestern Adirondacks, the rocky pine forests of the eastern Adirondacks. It would showcase not just the environment of the park, but culture of the towns and villages as well. It would allow people the opportunity to hike for a weeks at a time, without retracing their steps, and ending exactly where they started. In combination with the NPT and the NCT, shorter loop options with lengths between 100 and 200 miles would be available for those who are unable to devote months at a time to hiking. I think that all of that sounds pretty neat.

The potential for impact absolutely needs to be considered in making any steps forwards in furthering the development of backcountry opportunities in the Adirondacks. But I don't think that the simple fact that impact is going to occur as a result of new trail building means that we shouldn't be constructing any new trails at all. We just need to be careful about we do it.

Perhaps the best example of how things might play out is the Cranberry Lake 50. The Five Ponds Wilderness was largely ignored by the general backpacking public until the final few trails were cut to make a loop trail around Cranberry Lake, and the trail system was actively promoted to the public. Without a doubt, the area has seen increased use as a result, but it seems to me that the overall rate of use is still relatively low when compared to areas like the High Peaks, and I don't know of any serious issues regarding impact that have arisen. Of course, the Cranberry Lake area is much further removed from major metropolitan areas than the southern Adirondacks, and the kind of hiker who is willing to attempt a 50 mile backpacking trip is generally going to be someone with at least enough experience to likely be somewhat familiar with LNT and how to implement LNT principles.

I think that to minimize impacts, it would be wise to focus efforts on increasing opportunities for long distance hiking (trips in excess of 20 miles). In my opinion, if there is any major deficiency in what the Adirondacks has to offer, this is where it lies. Long distance trails would also primarily attract experienced hikers and backpackers, and I think that the resulting level of impact per capita that occurs due to any increased use would be relatively low.
Great idea!
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:52 PM   #30
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I kind of like the fact that the Adirondack Park is different than other parks. To me it's part of what makes the Adirondacks special.
I work a lot, so it's hard for me to be able to get away for more than a night or two at the most, but I do agree that there is room for improvements within the entire park, including perhaps a few more long distance trails.
I hope that this project gains some success, and leads to some much needed positive change in the areas that need it most, not only in the Great South Woods, but throughout the entire Great North Woods as well.
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:45 AM   #31
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So did anyone make it to the meeting last night?
Just curious how it went.
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Old 12-22-2014, 03:25 PM   #32
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I wasn't able to go but read about 70-80 people were in attendance.

A lead-in story from the day of the event by North Country Public Radio:
http://www.northcountrypublicradio.o...at-south-woods

Hamilton County Express newspaper had a reporter at the meeting. Only paid subscribers are able to view the online link to the follow-up article she wrote.

From the reporter's article:"SUNY-ESF was awarded $220,000 on 12/11 to develop hut-to-hut and/or lodging-to-lodging within Hamilton County and the Adirondack Park. Hamilton County is the lead agency for the Adirondack Community based Trails and Lodging System, which is just one facet of the Great South Woods outdoor recreation plan."

SUNY-ESF Project Leader, Dr. Colin Beier said about the Great South Woods project: "The goal is to increase access and diversify access, connect communities." He went on to say ESF will be "establishing on-line data gathering methods for people to submit their comments and ideas." After the map and data analysis is done we will come back to you and then submit to DEC and APA."

Additional meetings are in the works for 2015, but nothing has been scheduled as of yet.
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Old 12-24-2014, 10:05 PM   #33
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"these people have shown me that if you love a place, you have a duty to protect it. And to love a place, you must know it first." -jeff johnson, 180 degrees south
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:36 PM   #34
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Next Meeting January 28

The next planning workshop is scheduled for January 28th at the Piseco Central School in Piseco from 6-8 pm.

The meeting is open to the public and will be similar to the 12/17 meeting in Speculator - where community members shared knowledge and brainstormed ideas.

Upcoming meetings are being planned in the following towns - but no date has been set yet: Long Lake, Northville, Old Forge and North Creek.

Website for up-to-date info on the project: http://www.esf.edu/aec/greatsouthwoods/
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:11 PM   #35
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Here's an in depth, 30 page piece on the thoughts of the "Great South Woods Project" from the Boss over at 'Wild River Press' Headquarters... (Please note: This 11.6 MB pdf file may take a few minutes to download.)

http://hiketheadirondacks.com/files/...mendations.pdf

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Old 01-30-2015, 01:58 PM   #36
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Thanks Justin!

What a cool resource and a "seed" for some excellent opportunities in my favorite part of the Adirondacks.

When does Bill find time to hike?
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Old 01-30-2015, 06:38 PM   #37
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I will wait and see about attending one fo the events if I can. Part of me would like to see people enjoy the park more evenly (instead of just Lake George/Lake Placid areas), but part of me thinks that if people didn't live in cities there would be no open space left. So I guess my concern would be how to improve the infrastructure and outdoor opportunities of the lesser used areas of the park in a balanced way that does not lead to over-development or over-use.

I've always lived close to and now I live in the SE Adirondacks. I think there is a lot of untapped potential for developing more recreational opportunities in this area. As it stands now the area around here sees a lot of 4x4, ATV, Snowmobile, Hunting and Logging usage but little else. The question is where the money will come from, and how to effectively draw people here.

I think it would help the local economies of the small towns. I think they could redevelop the "depressed" downtowns into somewhere that someone might want to visit and walk down the street. I think they could have the means and cause to reinvent themselves as "quiant" mountain hamlets with outdoor/eco recreation as a major draw, and community events (races, music, regattas etc) as a secondary draw. More outdoor gear shops, bike shops, guides, eateries and the like could employ more locals (like me?). Linking the downtowns with local outdoor recreation opportunities would also be an option.

I'm not saying that I'm in favor of turning every little hamlet into a bustling Lake George or Lake Placid, or enticing hordes of new tourists to trample and spoil the resource, but I think there is definitely room for improvement.

One of the areas I'm really interested in is an area Barbara McMartin refers to as the proposed "Kayderosseras Hills Wild Forest". I have been to quite a few parts of this area and even had ancestors that lived and worked on the land. Nowadays it sees mostly ATV, hunting and logging use. This area could really use some improved access and infrastructure. I might be a bit biased as this is now my backyard.

For more of Barbara McMartins vision for the park including the Kayderosseras Hills (Page 14): 2020 Vision "Realizing the Recreational Potential of Adirondack Wild Forest"
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Old 02-03-2015, 12:42 PM   #38
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Thanks for sharing. A comprehensive overview and lots of interesting information presented. I like Bill's point on ensuring the meetings are also held in areas outside of the area. He's right. Many of those who utilize this neck 'o the woods don't live there.

With that being said, here's the line-up of upcoming workshops:

• February 9 at Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

• February 25 at the Old Forge Library in Old Forge, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

• March 2 at the Long Lake Central School in Long Lake, 6-8 p.m.

• March 16 at the Northville Central School in Northville, 6-8 p.m.

Meetings will continue the discussion of those held in Speculator and Piseco. Handy website to keep you in the loop: http://www.esf.edu/aec/greatsouthwoods/

Unless I missed something along the way, this seems to be new information: Adirondack Community-Based Trails and Lodging System are working in partnership with the folks overseeing the Great South Woods project. Here's their website: http://www.adirondacktrailsandlodging.org/
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Old 02-09-2015, 02:55 PM   #39
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Tonight's meeting has been postponed due to the weather.
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:00 PM   #40
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Article in the Adirondack Almanac about the Great South Woods Project from 2/22:
http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/20...uth-woods.html

Old Forge workshop is happening this Wednesday, Feb. 25th from 5:30-7:30 in the Old Forge Library.
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