ADK’s (Adirondack Mountain Club’s) professional trail crew returned to Avalanche Lake this summer to continue rerouting the 0.3-mile section of trail that runs between Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake. Heavily used by backpackers and day hikers, this section of trail suffers from annual flooding due its proximity to a nearby stream and beaver activity in the region. This combination of factors has led to accelerated soil erosion and vegetation damage throughout the trail corridor. As such, it was determined several years ago that the trail needed to be relocated to an area above the floodplain and redesigned using sustainable trail building techniques.

A trail covered in rocks

This summer, our professional trail crew continued to develop the reroute using turnpiking, a sustainable trail design feature that drains water, resists erosion, and overall creates a safer path for hikers to travel on. From grubbing the trail to crushing rocks, our crew members executed the entire process without using motorized equipment, instead employing hand tools and human power to develop the trail.

To see how this trail will look in the future, we only need to walk a short way to the shores of Avalanche Lake. Longtime supporters of ADK might recall that our professional trail crew spent several seasons reconstructing the southern end of the Avalanche Lake trail using turnpiking and other sustainable trail design features. We’re happy to report that this section of trail has held up well in the years since, showcasing the importance of sustainable trail design to the future of outdoor recreation in the Adirondack Park.

This trail project was made possible by a grant from the Adirondack 46ers. As part of a three-year commitment from the organization to support ADK’s stewardship efforts in the High Peaks Wilderness, the Adirondack 46ers pledged $41,000 towards the professional trail crew in December 2020, which also helped fund a project in the Johns Brook Valley last month.

Interested in supporting ADK’s professional trail crew and the trails they maintain? You can do so by donating here.

Photo Credit: Ben Brosseau

A woman drags a large rock