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Cascade trail findings helpful, no surprise

While a new study from the Adirondack Council shows that carrying capacity on the Cascade Mountain trail has exceeded its limit, it is no surprise. It has been the most accessible High Peak to become an Adirondack 46er, and many locals in the hospitality industry still recommend this popular hike to visitors.

The nine-page study, which was written by Conservation Research Associate Ryan Nerp and Executive Director Willie Janeway, shows that “levels of use are degrading the trail and the sensitive ecosystem around it, creating unsustainable levels of damage.”

“Heavier-than-intended recreational use of the trail is wearing it down, trampling fragile alpine vegetation, damaging the forest and diminishing water quality,” Janeway said in a Sept. 30 press release. “These are the classic signs that a trail system needs management intervention to prevent permanent harm. These findings reinforce that the state’s decision to build a new sustainable Cascade Mt. Trail is the right one, and underscore the investment needed for sustainable tourism and preservation of the Adirondack Wilderness.”

Kudos to the Adirondack Council for its ongoing efforts to record trail overuse in the High Peaks and keeping state authorities accountable for protecting the Forest Preserve lands in the Adirondack Park.