If you've always wanted to hike up some of the highest points in New York, you may need to register for a parking spot first. A new program is starting this weekend to increase safety in the Adirondack mountain region.

What You Need To Know

  • Route 73 from Keene to Lake Placid has been a dangerous spot for drivers and hikers

  • There are 70 parking spots available for a given day

  • Hikers without registrations will be turned away and given information on other hikes around the area

Between the town of Keene and Lake Placid, you'll find the start of trails for Round Mountain, Noonmark Mountain and access to the trails managed by the Adirondack mountain reserve, and starting this season, if you don't reserve a spot, you'll risk being turned away.

There are 70 spots available each day, and you can register up to eight people with one of those spots, but you have to think proactively. The registrations are first come first serve, and each hike day opens up two weeks prior for online registration.

The reason for the new system is to increase safety along the road, and because of that, walk-ins won’t be allowed. You can take a bus in, and that bus ticket will serve as a form of registration as well. The main goal is to reduce traffic along Route 73, which in the past has been a very dangerous spot for both hikers and drivers.

"If you travel it on any busy or beautiful weekend, it really becomes a 55 mile-an-hour parking lot," says John Shuler, general manager of the Adirondack Mountain Reserve, "and 55 miles an hour would be the low end of the speed people travel."

Hikers that do show up without a spot reserved will be sent to other locations in the region, like Marcy Field, and will be given information about alternate hikes to enjoy.

Officials say the new system was motivated only in part by the pandemic. While there has been an increased interest in hiking as a safe and easily distanced activity, the registration system has been in the works for a few years already.

Hike registration may not open up until this weekend, but you can still make an account to be ready when it does by visiting the Hike the Adirondack Mountain Reserve website.