ADIRONDACK PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) – From small trails to high peaks, the Adirondacks are home to hiking paths perfect to take a four-legged friend on. This week, campers on one mountain in the Adirondacks got a reminder of what could happen when proper precautions aren’t taken.
The Cabins at Chimney Mountain made a Facebook post this week announcing the temporary closure of the Chimney Mountain trailhead, following a recent dog-on-dog attack at one of the cabins. According to the post, a dog belonging to a hiker attacked a dog at the campsite, grabbing it by the neck. It took three adults to separate the dogs, in what Cabins at Chimney Mountain calls one of several such incidents the two-person management team has struggled to deal with.
“It was our full intention to keep the trail access through our private property open,” the statement reads in part. “However, we are at the point where we feel it is our responsibility to keep not only our children and dogs safe but our cabin guests’ children and dogs safe.”
The Cabins at Chimney Mountain consists of 10 cabins and 280 acres of land. The Chimney Mountain Trail runs 2.5 miles out and back, with an elevation gain of 980 feet.
What’s the law on leashes?
In many parts of the Adirondack Park, the decision to keep dogs leashed comes down to personal judgment, courtesy, and understanding of safety. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation enforces leash laws in the eastern zone of the High Peaks Wilderness, which includes Mt. Marcy Algonquin Peak, and Dix Mountain, among others.
Outside of that region, the DEC still requires leashes for dogs traveling with owners – but only above certain elevations. The requirement calls for leashes at 4,000 feet of elevation and above. For reference, the Adirondack High Peaks range from 3,820 feet (Mt. Couchsachraga) to 5,344 feet (Mt. Marcy). Dogs are not allowed at all in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve, a 7,000-acre region near the Ausable lakes.
The law leaves plenty of room for dog owners to be flexible in how much freedom they give their dogs – but there are still choices that make the difference between respectful courtesy and risk of danger. A list of etiquette for dog owners on Adirondack.net includes awareness of other dogs, animals, and attractive smells; cleaning up after your dog; and remembering that not everyone on a trail should be expected to be comfortable around dogs. It’s also suggested that hikers with dogs always have a leash, whether a trail requires one or not; and to bring food, water, and first aid for your dog, as well as yourself.