Being a Responsible Hiker: CRISIS at Barnum Road Trailhead

Once again thoughtless hikers have given the hiking community a “black eye”. I received the e-mail below from residents at the end of Barnum Road which is a popular approach to the Blackhead Range. I forwarded the e-mail to Alex Bradley at the NYNJTC to get a reaction from the trail conference. It is hard for me to believe that people hiking from this trailhead could be so irresponsible and careless. If anyone had a comment one way or the other, please use the comment form to contact me.

We are the owners of the home at the end of Barnum Road in Maplecrest. There have been increasing issues of hikers parking in no parking areas on the snowplow turnaround or wandering onto private property. Hikers drive their cars off the end of the road into our culvert, requiring a tow truck. They ask us to drive them to town or to the other trailhead. They park late at night and walk into our yard. They come to the door and ask to use our bathroom. Their dogs run toward our kids and defecate on our property. While we love hiking, and have done our best to post directing signs toward the trailhead which is reachable past our driveway and across private property, we are not stewards of this trail. It is becoming unmanageable. There is parking for 3 cars along the road next to the sign pointing toward the trailhead. However it’s not designated in any way, and beyond that, there is no public parking at the end of that road. With 10-15 cars there on one of our beautiful weekend days it’s getting quite overwhelming over here!

I suggested that they call the local ranger and the State Police or County Sheriff and ask them to issue parking tickets. I suggest that all hikers act responsibly. If the three spots are filled, choose to go to the Big Hollow Parking area or to another trail to hike. Your desire to hike a trail from a specific trailhead should not inconvenience the local residents!</p>

Weather for the week of April 22nd

The week of April 22nd began with a warm and sunny Sunday with highs reaching into the high 50’s in most areas. The forecast for Monday calls for a sunny and pleasant day with highs in the low 60’s. Cuds will move in on Tuesday but there will be some sun with highs in the mid-50’s. The highs on Wednesday will also be in the mid-50’s but there will be showers throughout the day. On Thursday it will again by cloudy with some sun and highs in low 50’s. Friday will be warmer with more sun and highs reaching the mid 50’s. On saturday the temperatures will drop back into the low 50’s with the possibility of showers. Despite warmer temperatures which have melted the snow at the lower elevations, there is still some snow reported on the peaks. Carrying snowshoes is a bother but they may be necessary when visiting higher elevations. On some trails microspikes or crampons may be needed as the freezing and melting creates ice flows which require more traction than snowshoes can provide. When the weather conditions are constantly changing, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to prevent it from accumulating in your clothing which can bring about hypothermia. Layering should be with non-cotton materials as cotton tends to hold moisture. Keeping hydrated is important no matter the temperatures since hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Be sure to carry plenty of water with you as local water sources can be unreliable and may be contaminated. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated! Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!

Weather for the week of April 15th

The week of April 15th began with a cool and cloudy Sunday with highs reaching into the high 30’s in most areas. There was a heavy mist or drizzle in the air most of the day. The forecast for Monday calls for rain which may be heavy at times and will continue throughout the day. The highs on Monday may reach the low 50’s in many places. Monday night the temperature will drop and snow showers will move in. The highs on Tuesday will be in the low 40’s with snow showers and flurries possible throughout the day. On Wednesday the temperatures will rise into the mid 40’s under cloudy skies. Rain moves back into the picture on Thursday with showers throughout the day and highs in the mid to high 40’s. On Friday the temperatures drop into the low 40’s with clouds and a few showers during the day. Saturday should be slightly warmer with highs in the high 40’s under cloudy skies with some sun. Despite some warmer temperatures which are melting much of the snow at the lower elevations, there is still some snow reported on the peaks. Carrying snowshoes is a bother but they may be necessary when visiting higher elevations. On some trail microspikes or crampons may be needed as the freezing and melting creates ice flows which require more traction than snowshoes can provide. When the weather conditions are constantly changing, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to prevent it from accumulating in your clothing which can bring about hypothermia. Layering should be with non-cotton materials as cotton tends to hold moisture. Keeping hydrated is important no matter the temperatures since hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Be sure to carry plenty of water with you as local water sources can be unreliable and may be contaminated. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated! Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED

Weather for the week of April 8th

The week of April 8th began with a cool but sunny Sunday with highs reaching into the mid 30’s in most areas. Clouds rolled in for the afternoon and several show flurries developed. Some of the flurries were heavy at times but the snow did not stick to the roads in most places. Monday will see some sun in the morning with clouds moving in for the afternoon. The highs will reach 40 degrees. Snow may be around in the morning on Tuesday and the rest of the day will be Cody with highs in the low 40’s. Wednesday will have periods of clouds and sun with the temperatures climbing into the mid-40’s. On Thursday a warming trend will bring temperatures in the low 50’s but there will be rain in the afternoon. Friday will be variable cloudy but the warming trend will continue with highs reaching the high 60’s. Expect the warming trend to continue into Saturday with highs again in the high 60’s and a mix of sun and clouds. Despite the warming trend which is melting much of the snow at the lower elevations, there is still some snow on the peaks. Carrying snowshoes is a bother but they may be necessary when visiting higher elevations. On some trail microspikes or crampons may be needed as the freezing and melting creates ice flows which require more traction than snowshoes can provide. When the weather conditions are constantly changing, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to prevent it from accumulating in your clothing which can bring about hypothermia. Layering should be with non-cotton materials as cotton tends to hold moisture. Keeping hydrated is important no matter the temperatures since hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Be sure to carry plenty of water with you as local water sources can be unreliable and may be contaminated. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated! Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!

Weather for the week of April 1st

The week of April 1st began with a partly sunny Easter Sunday with highs in the mid 40’s. Rain showers were around for much of the day. On Monday snow moved in dumping several inches and closing some schools while delaying others. The highs were in the low 40’s in the afternoon. On Tuesday the high was only 354 degrees and there were some snow flurries in some areas. By Wednesday the highs reached the upper 40’s and lower 50’s but there were a few rain showers around. By Thursday the temperance had again dipped into the mid 30’s but there was no precipitation. There were snow showers again on Friday in the late morning and afternoon canceling after school activities and making the roads slippery in spots. Three to four inches fell in most areas with highs in the high 30’s. Saturday was cool with highs in the mid 30’s under mostly clear and sunny skies. Despite the warming trend which is melting much of the snow at the lower elevations, there is still some snow on the peaks. Carrying snowshoes is a bother but they may be necessary when visiting higher elevations. On some trail microspikes or crampons may be needed as the freezing and melting creates ice flows which require more traction than snowshoes can provide. When the weather conditions are constantly changing, be sure you are dressed appropriately in clothing which will wick away moisture to prevent it from accumulating in your clothing which can bring about hypothermia. Layering should be with non-cotton materials as cotton tends to hold moisture. Keeping hydrated is important no matter the temperatures since hydrating properly will allow you to hike longer and in greater comfort. Be sure to carry plenty of water with you as local water sources can be unreliable and may be contaminated. Once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated! Remember, the weather forecast is only a prediction and always contains percentages. Be prepared and have a plan for the most likely and least likely forecast! Are you prepared to stay out overnight on a trail? Conditions in the morning can change drastically by afternoon. Conditions at the trailhead do not always reflect the conditions on the peaks! Variable trail and weather conditions are a hallmark of these mountains. BE CAREFUL AND BE PREPARED!