As summer's vibrant colors yield to the golden hues of autumn, the Adirondacks beckon with their beauty. Yet, amid this natural wonderland, it's crucial to practice responsible hiking.

Whether you're a seasoned adventurer or a newcomer, adhering to park rules is paramount.

Officer Tyler Pearson, a nine-year veteran with the New York State Park Police, offers advice for those eager to embrace the essence of New York's state parks while preserving the region's beauty. He emphasizes the importance of following park regulations, sticking to designated trails and respecting signage.

"Follow park rules, stay on designated trails and respect signage," Pearson advised.

The state has more than 2,000 miles of trails. However, this adventure comes hand in hand with responsibility.

"Please have your dogs on a leash for the safety of you, your dog, and the wildlife in the park," Pearson said, pointing out that many parks lack garbage facilities, necessitating a “carry in, carry out” waste disposal policy.

Encounters with wildlife can be exhilarating, but it's vital to maintain a safe distance for everyone's well-being.

"If you encounter wildlife in the park, please keep your distance," Pearson said.

While aerial drone views can capture view of the Adirondacks, understanding the rules is essential. Drone usage often requires permits, and there are restricted areas where drones are not allowed.

Gary McPherson, aviation coordinator with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, underlined these restrictions.

"We do not allow takeoff and landings in certain areas," McPherson said.

Even environmental advocates such as Lewis Pugh can inadvertently run afoul of drone regulations. Pugh recently became the first person to complete an unassisted swim down the length of the Hudson River. However, he had been unaware of the strict drone rules in the Adirondacks.

"I wasn't aware of the very strict rule about flying drones high up in the Adirondacks. The Department of Environment and Conservation is now giving us guidelines about where we're allowed to use a drone and where we're not allowed to use a drone," Pugh said.

For those seeking additional information on drone usage and safety tips, the DEC's website provides more guidance.