AMR Parking Reservation System Returns for Second Year | Local

LAUREN YATES Adirondack Daily Enterprise

The state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Adirondack Mountain Preserve plan to bring back a pilot reservation-based parking system in the AMR parking lot this year.

The system will open on May 1, with slots available to book from April 17.

The online reservation system, HikeAMR, was launched last May in an effort to alleviate safety and traffic problems on a section of National Highway 73 near the entrance to the AMR lot, which has several popular jumping off points to the High Peaks Wilderness. In the past, when the parking lot was full, hikers had no way of knowing it was full until they arrived. Upon arrival, some hikers would choose to park illegally along the road and walk along the road to the desired trailhead. Tested in the AMR car park last year, the system gives visitors to High Peaks the option of pre-registering for a parking space. The pilot system should run until next year.

People can start reserving spots for the next peak hiking season on April 17, and reservations can be made up to two weeks in advance on a 24-hour rolling basis.

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The reservation system will be open this year until October 31. Reservations will be required to access the AMR parking lot, trailheads and trails on the 7,000-acre AMR property, according to a DEC press release. AMR has a conservation easement with the DEC that allows the public to walk there.

Reserving a parking space at AMR is free and people can reserve a space for a single day or for overnight use. People who camp can reserve a place for up to three nights. People dropped off or picked up in the AMR car park, or arriving by bicycle, will also have to register with the system. There are 70 reservations, including overnight reservations, available per day. Reservations will also be required to access the Noonmark and Round Mountain trailheads, which are on AMR property.

AMR will not allow people to enter without a reservation, except for people who have a Greyhound or Trailways bus ticket that is less than 24 hours old.

More than 21,000 hikers signed up to use the parking reservation system last summer, according to the DEC release. The department said 14,000 of those enrollees were New Yorkers, while 6,600 were from out of state and 138 people were from other countries. Only 113 Canadians signed up for the system last year; the land border between the United States and Canada was closed for most of the summer due to the pandemic. The DEC expects the number of bookings to increase this year as pandemic-related restrictions are lifted.

DEC and AMR made some changes to the reservation system after it launched last year. One of those changes was to install an automatic gate so hikers could return to their cars and exit the AMR lot at their convenience. Previously, there was a manual barrier that employees closed at 7:00 p.m. every evening; some hikers have expressed concern that they won’t have enough time to get down to their cars before closing time. Hikers can also now make their parking reservations only 12 hours in advance, as opposed to the original 24-hour advance requirement.

Other changes included starting an email reminder system to reduce no-shows, increasing the number of people allowed per booking to eight and moving the start time of continuous opening by two. weeks of future dates from midnight to noon.

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