Soggy summer in Adirondacks foils hikers but a boon to some businesses

Published: Sep. 4, 2023 at 6:06 PM EDT
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LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (WCAX) - This summer has been defined by heavy rainfall in the Adirondacks, making hiking a soggy experience for those who visit and live in the North Country.

“Trails here are always wet but with the amount of rain we have seen here this summer, it has been much muddier,” said Henry Liebers of the Adirondack Mountain Club.

Liebers says the popular hiking region has received more rain than prior years and has put a damper on hiking for some.

Data from the National Weather Service shows that in the month of July, there were almost three more inches of rain in Lake Placid compared to last year.

Liebers says the high amount of precipitation has resulted in fewer visitors heading into the high peaks.

“The parking lot at the High Peaks Information Center, the Adirondack Loj Trailhead which is the busiest trailhead in the Adirondacks, there were days we did not fill until 9 or 10 o’clock and on a regular Saturday in a normal summer, we are often full by 6:30 or 7 o’clock in the morning,” he said.

Monday, I went over to the Adirondack Loj Trailhead to see if the worrisome wet weather had turned away any hikers this summer. There, I met Corrine Roberts who had just finished a multiday hiking outing. She says the frequent rainy conditions have been a bit of a challenge.

“I think there has been times where it is been raining and I still want to get out and after it... So, I just start a hike in the rain and hope that it clears up by the time I get to a summit,” Roberts said.

However, the rain has not been all bad for people in the Adirondacks.

“When it is raining everyone takes cover, guess where they end up? Here, a lot of other stores, too,” said Bob Tysen who owns Fallen Arch, a shoe store in Lake Placid.

He says his business has soaked in more customers this summer than years prior.

“I feel sorry for the hikers because you know you really want to stay off the trails if they are really muddy because you will wreck them... so that limits a lot of options unless you are in a sandy type area you know... they find their way in here, we have been pretty off the charts some days in here... pretty crazy,” Tysen said.

Despite the mud and the muck, Liebers says people are coming regardless to see the jewel that is the Adirondack Park.

“When you are here and you have driven a long way, there isn’t much that can keep you off those trails,” he said.