According to data gathered by Field School Fellow Revee Needham ’18 this summer in partnership with the Adirondack Council, hikers in and around the High Peaks Wilderness Area of the Adirondack Park overwhelmingly want the state to prioritize its time and money towards protecting the area’s wild character and opportunity for solitude — for current and future generations — over accommodating, expanding or intensifying recreational opportunities.
The Adirondack Council conducted surveys this summer of over 1,000 hikers in and around the High Peaks, which showed that hikers favored wilderness protection over accommodating unlimited recreation by a margin of 70 percent to 20 percent. The hiker survey consisted of 11 questions, administered at 10 trailheads in and around the High Peaks Wilderness Area. Surveys were conducted from June to early October. One person, age 18 and above who could read and write in English, in each hiking group was asked to respond prior to the planned hike. Surveyors approached 1,209 groups; 1,004 hikers completed the survey (response rate of 87.5 percent).
The full results of the Adirondack Council survey can be accessed on their website.