October Shuttle Promotes Public Safety by Providing Free, Convenient Access from North Hudson to Popular Adirondack High Peaks Trailheads
Part of State's Ongoing Commitment to Safety, Sustainable Use, and Equitable Access to the Outdoors
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a new, free shuttle service for visitors traveling to see the fall foliage in the Adirondacks starting this weekend in North Hudson. Shuttles will run the first two weekends in October from the Frontier Town Gateway to the Giant Mountain, Roaring Brook Falls, and Rooster Comb trailheads, as well as the Marcy Field Parking Area.
"The most beautiful fall foliage in the world is right here in our state, and New Yorkers deserve to take in the scenery in a safe and convenient way," Governor Hochul said. "To ensure the safety of residents and visitors in the Adirondacks, New York and our many local partners are launching a new October shuttle that will help prevent congestion along crowded corridors in the High Peaks and continue to provide a quality outdoors experience this foliage season."
First announced in July, the new program is a partnership between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Essex County, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), the Towns of Keene and North Hudson, and the private owner of Frontier Town Gateway. The shuttle offers hikers the opportunity to experience fall foliage from its best vantage point - on the trail - without the hassle of driving to and parking at busy trailheads. It is one of many initiatives being deployed in the Adirondacks and Catskills this year to help protect public safety and promote sustainable recreation, in addition to Governor Hochul's bolstering of a record $400 million Environmental Protection Fund that included $8 million specifically for Adirondack and Catskill visitor safety and wilderness protection.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Governor Hochul and DEC recognize how important it is to continue supporting a comprehensive strategy to improve safety, sustainability, and equitable access of those enjoying the outdoors. This newest shuttle will help encourage visitation to some of our most beautiful vistas while also helping prevent illegal parking and other public safety concerns. We encourage all visitors to 'know before you go' and prepare for a great day out this fall."
State Senator Dan Stec said, "Thousands of people come to the Adirondacks each year to hike and witness the fall foliage. The Fall Foliage Shuttle will allow even more New Yorkers to enjoy, experience and appreciate our region's natural beauty."
Assemblymember Matthew Simpson said, "One of the great aspects of living in the North Country is the gift of witnessing the natural beauty of the Adirondacks over the course of four seasons. With a remarkable summer behind us, the awe-inspiring visual spectacle of autumn foliage has begun to arrive. Both residents and visitors alike will come to embrace the wonderful natural beauty of vibrant colorful brilliance cast throughout the peaks and valleys of the High Peaks region and beyond. Ensuring access to this natural treasure for all to enjoy is a top priority at the State and Local level. I am incredibly proud to be part of the collaboration amongst all stakeholders involved, including Mo Ahmad of Frontier Town, the NYS DEC, Local Town Officials, and ROOST, in pushing this mission forward with introduction of this shuttle service. I also want to thank Governor Hochul for helping secure crucial funding to provide the resources necessary to safely and sustainably showcase our incredible world class natural environmental asset, the Adirondack Park."
Adirondack Park Agency Chair John Ernst said, "As the Adirondack Park blaze their spectacular fall foliage the public will have an additional free shuttle opportunity that will provide convenient and safe access to multiple trail heads in beautiful Essex County. Under Governor Hochul's leadership, a strong coalition of public and private partners continues to successfully implement management strategies that diversify recreational access in sustainable ways throughout the coveted High Peaks Region."
The fall foliage shuttle stops at the same drop off locations as the Route 73 Hiker Shuttle from Marcy Field, but the route provides increased access for visitors to further alleviate unsafe and illegal parking in the Route 73 corridor. The October shuttle will operate on a loop Saturday and Sunday, October 1 and 2, and Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, October 8, 9, and 10 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dogs are not permitted. Each shuttle can accommodate 20 riders and seating is available on a first come, first served basis.
The fall foliage shuttle program is an expansion of the Route 73 Hiker Shuttle program first piloted in 2021, which provides a no-cost option for hikers unable to find parking at their desired trailhead or who wish to simplify their experience by parking and riding to their destination. The Route 73 Hiker Shuttle operates Saturdays, Sundays, and holiday Mondays through Columbus Day Weekend from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. No reservations are needed. Stewards are stationed at Marcy Field to help hikers navigate the shuttle system and educate on responsible recreation, including preparedness, hiking safety, and Leave No Trace principles. Learn more about the shuttle program and find a route map and shuttle schedule on the DEC website.
The Route 73 Hiker Shuttle system complements a long-standing service provided by the Town of Keene that provides transportation to and from the Town-owned Garden Trailhead from the Marcy Field parking area. The Town shuttle runs in conjunction with the Route 73 shuttle system from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays when the Garden parking lot is full. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are permitted on the Town shuttle.
The shuttle system was among recommendations in the High Peaks Advisory Group's (HPAG) final report on promoting sustainable recreation in the Adirondack Park. Comprised of stakeholders with expertise in local government, recreation, natural resource protection, business, and tourism. In 2019, HPAG was tasked with providing DEC with recommendations on how to address critical issues associated with increased public use of High Peaks resources in order to protect these areas in the short and long term, as well as for future generations. Visit the DEC website to read the report.
To ensure safe and sustainable recreation, New Yorkers can visit Love Our New York Lands to find out how to be respectful of New York lands, visit trails less traveled, practice Leave No TraceTM, and give back through volunteer work and stewardship.