State cracks down on Adirondack trailhead parking

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) "We are here to go hiking, we can't wait!" dad Michael Place said.

It's the annual hiking trip for the Place family. As you can imagine, the first thing on dad's mind when it comes to his kids is safety.

"It's a big open road, a lot of them go really fast. There's really no one here to stop them or nothing to stop it. It can be really scary if you are trying to get out on this side of the car and you got to time it just perfectly," son Logan Place said.

The road looks open and clear on this day but it's a different story on the weekend.

"People pull up, they squeeze in on the sides, they have to get out of their car into traffic, they have to cross the road, their kids and pets have to cross the road. It can be very dangerous on a nice day like today," Keene Town Supervisor Joe Pete Wilson said.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has been working on the parking problem along the High Peaks Byway for years. Now, they're teaming up with the Transportation Department. Starting this Friday, parking is banned along the byway.

"Their plan is to do enforcement: state police, sheriff, rangers, ECOS will be doing the enforcement," Wilson said.

Cars will no longer be able to park on either side of the road for about a mile in between the Roaring Brook Trailhead and the Putnam Brook Bridge.

"If you want to enjoy the wilderness, part of it is making sure that people are safe to do it so the more people can enjoy it and not have to worry about the dangers of the cars as they pass by," Michael Place said.

The Places aren't the only ones happy. Wilson, too, thinks this will benefit travelers.

"I think that as we really develop a master plan and carry that out that people are going to have a better experience with less worry, less safety, less risk," Wilson said.

Friday, no parking signs will go up along the Byway and Wilson says the DEC is looking for land to purchase to create more parking lots in the area. The DEC also recommends if the trail you want to hike looks a little too congested, try out another trail in the Adirondacks.

Click here for more information and for a list of trailheads and parking.