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Photo Credit: NY State Department of Environmental Conservation
The concept plan for a hut to hut system in the Adirondacks has been released and it is staggering.

Related: RASTA’s Support Backcountry Skiing in Vermont

The expansive trail and lodging system would be the first of its kind and would connect the 5 townships of Indian Lake, Long Lake, Newcomb, North Hudson, and Minerva. So far, the plan is only in the concept phase and a number of things need to happen before skiers, canoers, and hikers find themselves traversing the Adirondacks in what would be the longest single hut-to-hut system on the east coast.

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The U.S. Olympic Ski Jumps in Lake Placid, visible from proposed route #2 |  Photo Credit:Jeff M for Short

“The vast, six-million acre Adirondack Park – with its peaks and valleys, summits and fire towers, lakes and ponds, trails and forest tracts, rivers and streams, bustling villages and quiet hamlets, all spread throughout its patchwork quilt of public and private land – could have scores of lodgings linked to hundreds of miles of community-based trails. Imagine the possibilities!”N.Y. D.E.C.

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A map of the plan, with existing trail in red and proposed trail in yellow | Photo Credit: N.Y. D.E.C. 

Hut To Hut Stats:

  • 154 miles of rivers
  • 485,000 acres of Forest Preserve Land
  • 341,000 acres of private land
  • 26 Multi Day Routes from three to seventeen nights, including  paddling trips
  • 49 Proposed Lodgings –  34 on Private Land, 7 on Easements, 2 on the Forest Preserve and 6 “Undetermined”

One of the more mountianous trails is Route #13 | Photo Credit:
One of the more mountainous trails is Route #13 | Photo Credit: N.Y. D.E.C.
The plan identifies ideal capacity for lodges built on Private land as 24 – 36 beds, with vehicle access for supplies. The huts/lodges would be “Energy Plus,” producing more energy than they use or be LEED certified.”  Any lodging built on state land would be temporary in nature and “off the grid.”

“Lodging proposed on private land as an integral component of any of the proposed routes will only be implemented based on the interest and cooperation of willing landowners” – N.Y. D.E.C.

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The view from one of the many fire towers in the Adirondacks | Photo Credit: stillwellmike
8-12 Miles is the average envisioned distance between huts

$25 Million of economic stimulus – the plan points out that 4 “Eco-Lodges” along 80 miles of trail operated by Maine Huts and Trails has generated $25 million across 2 counties and in just 7 years.

Cream of the Crop:  Route 21

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Photo Credit: N.Y. D.E.C.
The Grand Central Adirondack Circuit

“A 17-night, 16-day adventure. The route, comprised of 6 sections with nights in each of 6 Adirondack villages, takes hikers along 4 major Adirondack rivers, including the wild Hudson, up and over more than 10 mountains, including 4 summits with fire towers, and to 2 of the finest waterfalls in the state” – N.Y. D.E.C.

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Buttermilk Falls, accessible via route 21 Photo Credit: Ryan
The full proposal can be found on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website where maps and charts of the entire plan are available for public review.

Also Read: The Top 10 Backcountry Ski Huts in North America