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Old 11-22-2019, 09:35 AM   #1
Dave Bourque
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Cascade Mountain - New Trail Update

This article contains detailed information about the new trail up Cascade Mountain.

https://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2...struction.html
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Old 11-23-2019, 05:26 PM   #2
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Interesting that it will join the old trail between C & P and not along the old C trail. Change is change- will make C more of a challenge due to longer distance, but hopefully the trailhead education with have a positive impact.
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Old 11-23-2019, 10:39 PM   #3
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"The new contour trail up Cascade Mountain will be longer than the current trail that runs straight up the mountainside from Route 73 by a considerable distance, but the architects of the new trail believe it will be much easier to hike, which they argue will make the mountain more accessible."
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Old 11-23-2019, 11:24 PM   #4
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Anyone ever hiked in the col between Cascade and Porter in the winter? From what I recall, it could be quite interesting.
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Old 11-24-2019, 12:52 AM   #5
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Additional discussion here:

https://www.adkhighpeaks.com/forums/...w-trail-update
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Old 11-25-2019, 12:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodly View Post
Anyone ever hiked in the col between Cascade and Porter in the winter? From what I recall, it could be quite interesting.
I didn't find it much more challenging than in summer. As with all winter hikes it depends on conditions.
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Old 11-25-2019, 01:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bunchberry View Post
"The new contour trail up Cascade Mountain will be longer than the current trail that runs straight up the mountainside from Route 73 by a considerable distance, but the architects of the new trail believe it will be much easier to hike, which they argue will make the mountain more accessible."
@Bunchberry is new to this forum but he and I spend most of our time over on the High Peaks forum. From our discussions over there I know he's out on the lesser peaks just like I am and sees what I see out on the trails. My experience has been (perhaps he can share his observations) that very few tourists or families are found on hikes that are more than 6 or 7 miles round-trip. They tend to self-select into shorter hikes. So first off, my guess is that fewer hikers will choose to access the peak.

Secondly, I would argue the opposite of the quote as it relates to the difficulty of the hike. In my opinion Cascade will be less accessible. Somebody who could not climb the current trail won't be drawn to a hike that is 3-4 miles longer and has more cumulative elevation gain just because the overall grade is a tad gentler. I say the extra miles makes it harder. Let's not forget the fact that the big part of the climb for the new trail will not be any easier than the current trail. The longer approach creates a easier grade for the hike overall which is very misleading regarding its difficulty. The current trail up Cascade is 1900' ele gain in 2.0 miles. I believe the last 1.6 miles of the new trail comes in at around 1600' ele gain. That does not make it any easier or more easily accessible in my opinion.

Thoughts?

Last edited by Makwa; 11-25-2019 at 11:19 AM..
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Old 11-25-2019, 10:01 AM   #8
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Much of the extra distance on the new Cascade trail results from the start being much further away from the mountain. The climbing is at a lower grade, and the surface, as envisioned anyway, will be smooth and not rocky or slippery which will make for easier traveling. I say "envisioned", however, because as the construction gets above 3,000-3,500 feet there is no guarantee that there will be sufficient mineral soil or rock to provide a smooth, durable surface.

The other reality on this new trail is that one first must climb for nearly a mile up and over a ridge on Mt. Van Hoevenberg, descends in stages for about 1.5 miles, and only then begins the actual 2.5 mile climb to the Cascade-Porter col. Many who hike this trail will return with the distinct impression that it was 'uphill both ways'.

The 2.5 miles to the col gains 1,300 feet as opposed to the 1,900 feet one gains on the current 2.5 mile trail. But then there is still the same steep, rough ascent from the col to the summit with another 300-foot gain.
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Old 11-25-2019, 10:39 AM   #9
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I agree that if it's a lot longer, it will get fewer visitors. Short version of my comments from the other forum:

"If the amount of work that has gone into this trail so far (and it's years from completion) had been put into the existing Cascade trail, the existing trail would be bombproof, and we'd be done here."

"I feel bad for the hard workers who are good heartedly building a product that the end users will not want. But unfortunately, just because you work hard on a product and it's beautiful does not mean that the users want that product."
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Old 11-25-2019, 04:22 PM   #10
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@tgoodwin - is the new Cascade trail being built along the path as proposed last year? Pictured in post #16 here... https://www.adkhighpeaks.com/forums/...t-van-ho/page2

To refine the estimate I posted above I got an elevation profile in caltopo where I started at a point on the green marked trail at the 800 meter contour line (~2625 feet) and traced the proposed route as best I could to the summit of Cascade. I came up with around 1450' of ele gain over 1.7 miles. I realize our two estimates are a bit different but I assume you started almost a mile further back somewhere over near the XC ski trails. I was just trying to point out that the bulk of the climb for the new trail will be similar in steepness to the current trail. I'll concede that that the new trail will be easier to walk on given the standards to which it is being built but the extra mileage will make it a non-starter for a lot of people. An unsophisticated tourist knows nothing of trail design (and probably not too much about ele gain) so the round-trip mileage will most likely end up being their selection criteria.
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Old 11-25-2019, 05:16 PM   #11
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I didn't find it much more challenging than in summer. As with all winter hikes it depends on conditions.
I meant up thru it, not across from peak to peak. One helluva lot of snow can build up there.
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Old 11-25-2019, 05:17 PM   #12
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I agree that if it's a lot longer, it will get fewer visitors. Short version of my comments from the other forum:

"If the amount of work that has gone into this trail so far (and it's years from completion) had been put into the existing Cascade trail, the existing trail would be bombproof, and we'd be done here."

"I feel bad for the hard workers who are good heartedly building a product that the end users will not want. But unfortunately, just because you work hard on a product and it's beautiful does not mean that the users want that product."
No one liked the Edsel either but lots of craftsman worked on it
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Old 11-25-2019, 05:47 PM   #13
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I'm looking forward to its completion! A new trail to hike is usually good news.
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Old 11-25-2019, 06:57 PM   #14
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I'm looking forward to its completion! A new trail to hike is usually good news.
Agreed. It is good news. I look forward to hiking it. The bad news is what will happen once Cascade is no longer the most popular trailhead along the Route 73 corridor. The current trail sees somewhere between 35,000 and 40,000 hikers a year. Given that the new trail will likely see far less traffic (see rationale above) it's a fair guess to say that 20,000 or more hikers who once hiked Cascade will be looking for other short hikes around Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, or Keene Valley. All the state is doing is moving the demand elsewhere and creating traffic/parking/ increased usage issues at other trailheads/trails. Those 20,000+ folks who find a 9-10 miles round-trip Cascade hike too long will certainly find another more attractive spot to hike.

And no matter how much NYS tells you that Mt Van Hoevenberg will become a destination it will not happen. They're building a bombproof trail and wishing like crazy people will use it but that poor little summit ridge cannot take the traffic that Cascade did. Cascade was a sacrificial lamb that took all of the tourist traffic that could have spread out and overrun other peaks. A few hundred people milling about the summit on busy days sure wasn't optimal but it could comfortably accommodate the visitors. Mt Van Ho cannot. Put a few dozen people on its summit and it becomes too crowded to enjoy. The result will be peaks like Hurricane, those in the Saranac 6er, and others seeing increased visitation. As far as I can tell there aren't any plans in place to improve facilities at these other locations. All the state is doing is shifting the problem. Will be interesting to see how they handle it.
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Old 11-25-2019, 07:03 PM   #15
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Agreed. It is good news. I look forward to hiking it. The bad news is what will happen once Cascade is no longer the most popular trailhead along the Route 73 corridor. The current trail sees somewhere between 35,000 and 40,000 hikers a year. Given that the new trail will likely see far less traffic (see rationale above) it's a fair guess to say that 20,000 or more hikers who once hiked Cascade will be looking for other short hikes around Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, or Keene Valley. All the state is doing is moving the demand elsewhere and creating traffic/parking/ increased usage issues at other trailheads/trails. Those 20,000+ folks who find a 9-10 miles round-trip Cascade hike too long will certainly find another more attractive spot to hike.

And no matter how much NYS tells you that Mt Van Hoevenberg will become a destination it will not happen. They're building a bombproof trail and wishing like crazy people will use it but that poor little summit ridge cannot take the traffic that Cascade did. Cascade was a sacrificial lamb that took all of the tourist traffic that could have spread out and overrun other peaks. A few hundred people milling about the summit on busy days sure wasn't optimal but it could comfortably accommodate the visitors. Mt Van Ho cannot. Put a few dozen people on its summit and it becomes too crowded to enjoy. The result will be peaks like Hurricane, those in the Saranac 6er, and others seeing increased visitation. As far as I can tell there aren't any plans in place to improve facilities at these other locations. All the state is doing is shifting the problem. Will be interesting to see how they handle it.
I agree and you said it well. Jay and Catamount are two others I can think of that will get mega traffic and shouldn't.
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Old 11-25-2019, 07:41 PM   #16
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30 years ago a foresighted friend of mine said "We should just build a big parking lot, and give them Cascade."

This was 100% true.

The state is not smart enough to recognize this.

Dumb actions will consistently produce dumb results. We are watching it happen.
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