LAKE PLACID -- Cell service might not be a priority for Adirondack backcountry enthusiasts.

Forbes online just named the Adirondack Park one of 20 places in the United States where people can still "unplug."

The allure raises a wild card in the midst of cell-tower strategy.

Darcy Norfolk, a marketing strategist at Inphorm, Inc. in Lake Placid, said one key differentiation for the Adirondacks is the term "wild."

She pointed to the Forbes designation, which heralds 19 other mostly preserve lands, like Yosemite, Grand Canyon and Olympic National Park, as enviably "off the grid."

"It sometimes really is a positive when you can turn yourself off," Norfolk said.

Ann Melious, executive director of the Adirondack Regional Tourism Council, said some people heading merrily into the backcountry bring their phones, but that could lead them not to prepare for the rugged outdoor experience as they should.

"Cell phones are almost a false reassurance," she said.

Melious also noted a downward trend in wilderness trips.

"Fewer and fewer people want to be in the wilderness," she said. "I'm not sure if we'll see increases in people using the backcountry."

Adirondack tourists are here for the scenery, she said, and they do hike up popular trails like Hurricane Mountain, Mt. Marcy and Mt. Jo.

"It is the backcountry's existence that brings everybody else. But the vast majority of visitors just want to look at it.

"I'm not saying that camping is in any danger. But the American population, as a whole, is more plugged into electronics than wilderness."

kdedam@pressrepublican.com

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