New York’s Adirondack High Peaks Wilderness and New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest have a lot in common. They both have beautiful mountain peaks, fun and challenging trails, and they are both wrestling with the issue of what to do about increasingly large crowds of hikers.
New Hampshire charges a recreation fee at its most popular trailheads, and a recent article on LakePlacidNews.com raised the idea that the White Mountains user fees could be a model for charging fees and raising funds in the Adirondack High Peaks.
According to the article, the issues of trailhead congestion and summit overcrowding in the High Peaks reached a boiling point in 2016, with an Adirondack Mountain Club official describing the situation as dangerous for drivers, hikers and wildlife.
The White Mountains fee is nominal – $3 a day, $5 for a week or $20 for an annual pass – but this year the system generated more than $600,000 to pay for public safety, education programs, informational exhibits and maintenance of facilities.