The shuttle system launched in 2021 for the busy Route 73 corridor in the Adirondack High Peaks Region will return on Saturday, July 9th.
The free shuttle system will operate on weekends and holidays through Monday, October 10th, 2022. New this year, additional runs on select weekends in August and October will be piloted from Frontier Town Gateway in North Hudson (I-87 Northway, Exit 29).
The shuttle system was launched in 2021 in response to persistent public safety concerns regarding parking along the busy Route 73 corridor. A public shuttle from Marcy Field, which has safe and ample parking, increases the ability of more visitors to reach their desired hike while limiting illegal and unsafe parking along Route 73. The shuttle service is funded with up to $2 million from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund (EPF).
The primary shuttle route will start and end at the Marcy Field parking area, making stops to pick up and drop off riders at three popular trailheads along Route 73.
The shuttle will stop at the Rooster Comb trailhead going eastbound, turn around at the intersection with Route 9, and drop off at the Giant Mountain Ridge Trail, Roaring Brook Falls, and Rooster Comb trailheads on the westbound return to Marcy Field.
Town of Keene and DEC stewards will be stationed at Marcy Field to help hikers navigate the shuttle system and educate visitors about responsible recreation, including preparedness, hiking safety, and Leave No Trace principles.
A route map and shuttle schedule are available on the DEC website.
The shuttle will operate from 7 am to 7 pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and holiday Mondays through October 10th, 2022. The final loop providing return trips to Marcy Field will begin at approximately 6 pm. There is no cost associated with riding the shuttle and no fee for parking at Marcy Field.
One bus, which will accommodate up to 20 riders, is currently scheduled to operate. Boarding is available on a first-come first-served basis. Per New York State Department of Health direction, riders on public transportation are required to wear a mask, including vaccinated individuals. Riders are expected to provide their own masks. Pets are not allowed on the shuttle; certified service animals will be permitted.
This year, two additional shuttles will run from the Frontier Town Gateway, often referred to as the “A-frame,” of I-87 at Exit 29 in North Hudson. An overnight shuttle program for visitors seeking multi-day experiences in the High Peaks will be piloted in August. Visitors can board the shuttle on Monday, August 8th, and Monday, August 15th, at the Frontier Town Gateway to be dropped off at the Adirondak Loj in North Elba. The shuttle will then pick up riders at the Upper Works trailhead in Newcomb on subsequent Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, allowing visitors to hike and camp for up to four days and three nights in the High Peaks Wilderness.
To help accommodate visitors seeking fall foliage hikes and views during the first two weekends in October, additional runs will be offered from Frontier Town Gateway in North Hudson to the Rooster Comb, Giant Mountain, and Roaring Brook Falls trailheads and Marcy Field. More details on both offerings will be available soon.
The Route 73 Hiker Shuttle system complements a long-standing service provided by the town of Keene that offers transportation to and from the town-owned Garden Trailhead from the Marcy Field parking area. The town shuttle will continue to run in conjunction with the Route 73 shuttle system which started on Saturday, July 2nd. The town shuttle runs from 7 am to 7 pm on Saturdays and Sundays when the Garden parking lot is full. Also supported by the EPF, the town of Keene shuttle is free of charge. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are permitted on the town shuttle.
The shuttle system was among the recommendations in the High Peaks Advisory Group’s (HPAG) final report on promoting sustainable recreation in the Adirondack Park. In 2019, HPAG was tasked with providing DEC with recommendations on how to address 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.
Earlier this season, DEC announced numerous initiatives planned for the 2022 outdoor recreation season to protect public safety and promote sustainable recreation in the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve. For more information, go to click here.
The shuttle is a project of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Essex County, the Town of Keene, and the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST).
Map of Route 73 hiker shuttle courtesy DEC.
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