A popular hiking challenge in the Adirondacks has announced new rules, but could be ending as packed trailheads, traffic, trail erosion and safety issues are growing concerns in a small mountain village.
The Saranac Lake Village Board has been considering a request from residents of the town of St. Armand to remove Baker Mountain from the Saranac Lake 6er hiking challenge, according to Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
In light of this, board members have contemplated retiring the program after almost 10 years.
Unlike other mountains on the list, Baker Mountain’s trailhead begins in a residential area and has no dedicated parking lot. The summit is the shortest hike on the list with one of the best views in the Adirondacks for the effort that is required, making it “the most popular hike in the wilderness,” according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Visitors have been parking on both sides of the narrow street near the trailhead. That combined with the traffic to walk and bike around Moody Pond at the base of the peak, makes the area dangerous, according to the St. Armand town supervisor.
The town of St. Armand installed signs telling motorists where parking is allowed, but one North Elba resident said those signs have been ignored by visitors.
The Saranac Lake Village Board has taken some immediate actions to alleviate issues at Baker Mountain, reports the Press Republican. The village website has been updated to let aspiring 6ers know that to earn a 6er title, one must start and end their Baker Mountain summit (on foot) from the 6er bell, located in Berkeley Green Park. Starting at the trailhead will not count towards challenge.
The village will also remove the 6er mountain banners from its light poles and erase mention of the 6er program from its …….