Hiker Responsibilities

The responsibilities given below are extremely important for the safety and enjoyment of all involved.

Know Your Physical Abilities and Limitations

Read the hike information carefully, particularly the class (A, B,C) trail conditions such as rocks, roots and gravel, or a steep ascent or descent may affect your ability to enjoy a hike. Try easier hikes before trying harder ones.

A. Challenging, 2.5 miles per hour, strenuous with long ups and downs

B. Moderate, about 2 miles per hour, with moderate up and down trails

C. Easy, 1.5 miles per hour, generally flat terrain

For your own safety and the safety of others, don’t overestimate your ability or underestimate the difficulty of the hike. Consider the following:

  • Have you done a similar hike recently similar in total uphill, length, and total elevation gain?
  • If so, how long did it take for you to complete it?
  • Are you comfortable hiking at the forecast temperature range for the hike day?

Be Prepared: What to Bring on a Hike

  • Your lunch and snacks.
  • Plenty of water, at least two quarts in the summer on long hikes.
  • A daypack to hold your water, food, basic first aid, and spare clothing.
  • Adequate clothing for changeable weather, and a hat and sunglasses. Dress in layers. Do not wear cotton. Long pants are recommended for most hikes.
  • Hiking boots with good ankle support and heavy tread for traction.
  • One hiking stick (trekking pole) or a pair will greatly improve your stability.

Be On Time

Confirm the starting time for each hike. Please arrive about 15 minutes before the starting time, the fifteen-minute gap is necessary for sign-ups, check-in, and introductions. The hike leader is not obligated to wait for you if you are late.

Call If You Can’t Make It

Call the hike leader to cancel if you know you won’t be going on the hike. The sooner you call, the better so that another hiker who may be on the wait list can be notified.

Respect the Hike Leader’s Authority

The welfare of all participants is taken very seriously. Your hike leader is knowledgeable about the trail and current conditions, and is the final authority on all decisions. Please respect the responsibility that the hike leaders have accepted on your behalf.

Stay With the Hiking Group

Trails often branch without warning and you can easily get lost. Don’t get ahead of the leader or behind the sweep (designated hiker at rear of the group). If you are out of breath, out of water, or need a bathroom break, let your hike leader or sweep know about it, so you can be accommodated. If you have a serious problem, someone will be designated to stay behind with you or accompany you back to your car.

Pack It In, Pack It Out

Put all your trash in your pack. Don’t leave food, thinking it is biodegradable or some critter will eat it. It looks unsightly and attracts pests. If you have room in your pack and see others’ trash, please carry it out. We all play a role in Leave No Trace.

Be Courteous To Other Hikers

Keep in mind that you are with a group. Be aware of your voice, avoid controversial subjects of conversation, and try not to lag behind while talking or taking pictures. There is no smoking or alcohol permitted on hikes.

Leave Your Pets Behind

No pets are permitted on almost all ADK hikes, unless otherwise indicated.


Membership at the Adirondack Mountain Club

ADK members are vital to the success of our mission. As direct supporters, members are connected with opportunities to engage with the ADK community and to give back to the public lands and waters we all love.

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