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Forest rangers warned Monday that hiking in the Adirondack High Peaks may be risky in the wake of Tropical Storm Floyd, which left trails blocked with fallen trees and caused landslides.

The storm hit Friday, but the rangers were just beginning to realize the extent of the damage Monday as weekend hikers emerged from the High Peaks wilderness. Planes and helicopters flew over the mountainous back country to assess damage.

"There are a lot of trees down," said Jim Papero, a veteran High Peaks ranger. "Apparently it is a much larger area than we first realized."

The High Peaks attract thousands of hikers a year, and autumn is a popular hiking season, especially on the coming Columbus Day holiday. But many of the popular trails may not be passable.

Much of the devastated area surrounds mile-high Mount Marcy, the highest mountain in the Adirondacks and a popular hiking destination. An estimated 400 miles of trails around Mount Marcy in the eastern High Peaks have been affected by the storm, Papero said.

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