Familiar with the team 'peak bagging?' It was coined by a group of outdoor enthusiasts, the ADK 46ers, who managed to trek up all 46 of the mountains in the Adirondack region. Well, there's a twist on the concept gaining traction, but things work a little differently.
Rather than hauling gear up the dozens of peaks in the park, lake baggers have been going for a dip in all 47 lakes in the Adirondacks. In a cheeky play, the group of swimmers refer to themselves as the ADK 47 Lakers. So, what criteria have been set in place for becoming a "lake bagger?" For now, the consensus has landed on this: No shore-to-shore swims are required, just a full submersion. "We just made up our own rules," one of the founding enthusiasts, Karen Byer, explained.
And despite the fun and non-competitive nature of this budding pastime, if lake bagging is done carefully, it can have a positive impact on the region. With the majority of Americans still vacationing domestically, the Adirondack Council has noticed some worrisome deterioration of the hiking trails. But if the ADK 47 Lakers pick up steam, it could see some pressure relieved from the overused trails. According to a statement for the park's council, the park was swarmed with 12.4 million visitors in 2018 alone.
But with more versatile outdoor options now available, like lake bagging, the Adirondack communities could "reap the economic benefits of green tourism, while [they] build a larger and more diverse constituency for wildland protection, stewardship, and careful management," the council's Executive Director William Janeway explained. So how does one "lake bag" responsibly? The council stressed visitors to adopt a "leave no trace" mentality. Minimal footprint, but maximum enjoyment.
So, if you're looking for an outdoor getaway in the region, maybe it's time to add joining the ADK47 Lakers to your summer bucket list. Just remember to lake bag responsibly this summer.