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Date Posted: 11:33:03 10/20/04 Wed
Author: E. Schlimmer
Subject: Here is the Scoop, Nate.
In reply to: Nate 's message, "Adirondack 46" on 23:39:20 10/18/04 Mon

Hello Nate. If I had to make one solid prediction this year, I would hypothesize that the term "trailless" will soon be a thing of the past, at least concerning the Adirondack Forty-Six. And, this deserves to happen.
The twenty peaks that you are talking about (like Street Mountain, Mount Marshall, and Table Top Mountain, for example) are not trailless and do not require bushwhacking to get to the top. Now back in the day (prior to 1980, roughly) they were trailless, but as literally thousands of hikers made their way up these peaks, each on about the same general course, they wore a path into the mountain. So it would be most accurate to call these routes "paths."
These twenty paths, in general, are easy to follow if you keep your eyes peeled minimally. The newest edition of the Adirondack Mountain Club's High Peaks Region maps even shows these paths and some are briefly described in the text. Many of the paths are now maintained, too. For example, one of the first paths to be cut back (that is, clipping back branches on the sides of the path) was the path up Table Top Mountain from Indian Falls. This summer, a NYS DEC employee maintained the path that leads from the Uphill Brook Lean-to to the Cliff/Redfield col. The logic behind this is to curb people getting lost and concentrate the use onto a two-foot wide corridor on the mountain.
If history is any indicator, these paths will increase in maintenance and eventually become standard marked and maintained "trails." This is what happend on a handful of once trailless (but then pathed) 4,000-footers in New Hampshire. What will probably happen in the Adirondacks is that these paths up the twenty peaks you're talking about will be closed and relocated to a proper location, primarily taking into consideration the issues of proper drainage and durability. Unfortunately, that won't happen for some time since the state is apparently not interested in possessing an arsenal of much needed professional Trail Crews.
So, in short, twenty-six of the peaks possess trails and the twenty others have paths to their summits, of which some are now maintained pretty well. There is no bushwhacking required to reach all forty-six. I hope this answers your question.

Having just looked over the Adirondack 46 list, I couldn't help but notice that twenty of the peaks are trailless. Does this mean New Yorkers enjoy bushwhacking more than New Englanders (when every 4k foot peak in New England has a trail to the summit) or is it just not as difficult to bushwhack to the Adirondack peaks as it is to the trailless ones on the NE 100 Highest?

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