You probably thought hiking is a great way to social distance, and you're not alone.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, so did the rise in people participating in outdoor activities. So much so, a lot of trails in the Hudson Valley and New York State have become overcrowded and overused. To combat the rising use of trails, a new pilot program is being put in place that would require a reservation to use certain trails in New York.

According to a press release from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, people wishing to use the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) parking lot on Route 73 in the Town of Keene in the High Peaks region for daily use will need a reservation. This includes people being dropped off or arriving on a bicycle. The trails affected include Rainbow Falls, Indian Head, Noonmark Mountain, and Round Mountain.

"The Town of Keene supports the pilot reservation system for access through the AMR easement. This reservation system helps to address public safety and protection of the environment, which are important issues addressed in the HPAG Report. The reservation system is also an effective strategy for a private landowner to manage the high levels of use their easement attracts," said Joe Pete Wilson, Supervisor, Town of Keene in the press release.

The parking lot has 70 spots, meaning 70 reservations can be made. A reservation can accommodate up to six people and are free. According to the press release, reservations can be made two weeks in advance and can include overnight use. The website where reservations will be made, hikeamr.org, will go live in April.

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