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High Peaks Wilderness Area - Unit Management Plan

The High Peaks Wilderness Complex (HPWC) is comprised of three distinct, but interrelated units: (1) the Ampersand Primitive Area, (2) the High Peaks Wilderness, and (3) the Johns Brook Primitive Corridor. Although not identified as a separate unit by the APSLMP, the Adirondack Canoe Route coincides with the western boundary of the complex and therefore must be considered.
The High Peaks Wilderness is the best known wilderness of the Adirondacks; it is the state's largest wilderness and receives the most visitation. While its topography varies considerably, the area is predominantly high mountain country, containing many of New York's highest peaks. The primary attraction is Mount Marcy, the state's highest peak at an elevation of 5,344 feet. The climbing of Mount Marcy is an "absolute must" for many hikers. It is truly New York's Mecca for those interested in mountain climbing. The pilgrimage to the summit is not an easy one, requiring a minimum round trip hike of fifteen miles. In addition, a range trail from Keene Valley to the summit of Mt. Haystack is considered one of the most rugged and the most scenic in New York State. The trail crosses seven mountaintops with elevations above 4,000 feet. The eastern portion of the wilderness is heavily used by recreationists. Western segments of the wilderness are more remote, receive substantially less use, and offer some of the best opportunities for solitude in the northeast. The Ampersand Primitive Area and the Johns Brook Primitive Corridor are relatively small sections of state land affording access to private lands enclosed by the High Peaks Wilderness.

A Unit Management Plan for the High Peaks Wilderness was completed in June 1999. If you have comments or questions about the UMP, please email us at r5.ump@dec.ny.gov.

High Peaks Wilderness Unit Management Plan (PDF) (3.48 MB)