If you're planning on doing some hiking this year in the Adirondack Mountains you might need to make a reservation. Yes, seriously. I know it seems crazy that you'd have to make a reservation to go for a walk in the woods, but you will....very soon.

First and foremost, you don't need a reservation to go hiking on all the trails in the Adirondack Mountains, just some of the most popular trailheads in the high peaks.

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Reservations will be required starting May 1 for the 70 parking spots at the Ausable Mountain Reserve. This lot fills up quickly and people have been parking on the side of the road outside the parking lot causing a hazard to other drivers and hikers. In addition, having hikers with reservations allows the DEC to monitor who is still on the trail and who hasn't returned yet. That might make it easier in an emergency situation involving a hiker in the high peaks.

The Ausable Mountain Reserve is the area for some of the most popular trails and mountains like Indian Head, Noonmark, and Round Mountain.

If you show up without a reservation, even if you're a walk-in you won't be permitted on the trails. I predict this will be an absolute mess for the first month. Tons of people are going to show up to hike only to find out they can't without a reservation. Those people are going to be very unhappy.

Surprisingly, the trail reservation program is free. Crazy, right? Nothing in New York is free, but this is. Reservations can be made two weeks in advance starting April 15 through the web portal, hikeamr.org, and will be required through Oct. 31.

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