The Adirondack Mountain Club has released a new edition of its High Peaks hiking guidebook.
This is the 14th edition of the book that is now titled, "High Peaks Trails," a slight deviation from the last edition when it was called "Adirondack Trails: High Peaks Region." In fact, the new editions of the ADK hiking guidebook series are part of the "trails" series.
Another change readers will notice is a physical one. It is significantly taller and wider than the last version, which was already less compact than earlier versions of the guide.
For years, ADK has published seven guidebooks for the Adirondacks and one for the Catskills. But the organization has decided to redefine and scale down the number of Adirondack geographic regions. Not counting the Northville-Placid Trail guidebook, there are now four regions: High Peaks, central, western and eastern.
This change has led to the elimination of the northern and southern guidebooks. It was first reflected in ADK's "Eastern Trails" guidebook in early August and has continued in the High Peaks Trails book.
The new High Peaks guidebook contains trails from the northern Adirondacks and to the east in the Lake Champlain region, which were previously in the eastern guidebook. The eastern guidebook, in return, has picked up some of the southern hikes.
High Peaks Trails editor Tony Goodwin said part of the reason for the change is that people don't buy guidebooks as often as they used to.
"They just go online and try to get it for free," he said.
Another big reason is that ADK now collaborates with National Geographic, which makes sturdy, waterproof maps of the Adirondacks.
For years, ADK guidebooks came with a map tucked inside a pouch on the backcover. That won't be the case anymore, Goodwin said.
Buyers are now expected to buy National Geographic maps to go with their guidebooks, although the books and maps aren't an exact match. The High Peaks Trails guidebook matches up with the Lake Placid/High Peaks and the Saranac/Paul Smiths maps.
Each trail is keyed to indicate its location on the National Geographic maps. Maps include hiking trails, boat put-ins and launches, parking areas, trail distances, appropriate use information (including ski and snowshoe trails), and latitude/longitude and UTM grids for use with GPS navigation devices. The maps are large-format, two-sided and completely waterproof.
Those who prefer ADK's "Trails of the Adirondack High Peaks Region" map may still purchase it separate from the book. These maps offer slightly more topographical detail because they are on a smaller scale.
The High Peaks Trails guidebook still contains popular trails up Mount Marcy and Algonquin Peak, as well as those for smaller hikes such as Mount Jo and Coon Mountain. However, guidebook editors David Thomas-Train and Goodwin have added numerous new trails, some previously found in the eastern and northern book such as Lyon Mountain. Others such as the trail up Loon Lake Mountain are new because the area is a recent addition to the Forest Preserve.
Information on rules and regulations, how to find the trailhead, where to park, mileages, elevation gains and heights and all essential navigational information are contained in this guidebook.
The High Peaks region includes all of the Adirondack peaks with elevations over 4,000 feet, as well as numerous other mountains under 4,000 feet, and includes the villages of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Keene, Keene Valley and Newcomb. The guidebook is divided into the following geographic sections: Keene Valley, St. Huberts, Heart Lake, Northern, Eastern, Southern and the Champlain Valley.
"High Peaks Trails" is volume 1 in ADK's new Forest Preserve Series of guidebooks covering the Adirondacks and Catskills. Volume 2 is "Eastern Trails," volume 3 is "Central Trails," volume 4 is "Western Trails," volume 5 covers the Northville-Placid Trail and volume 6 is "Catskill Trails."
The new "Eastern Trails" guide, edited by Thomas-Train, is also currently available, with other new editions slated for release later in 2012.
"High Peaks Trails" is 280 pages and is available in paperback for $19.95 at book and outdoor supply stores, at ADK stores in Lake George and Lake Placid, through mail order by calling 800-395-8080 or online at www.adk.org.
The "High Peaks Trails and Map Pack" (includes Trails Illustrated Map 742) sells for $26.95. ADK's pocket-sized map, "Trails of the Adirondack High Peaks Region," sells for $7.95.