Friday, December 11, 2015

Status of DEC Seasonal Access Roads in the Adirondacks

Camp Six Road Beyond The Barrier - John Warren PhotoTypically DEC closes most of the seasonal access roads it maintains in the Adirondacks at the end of the regular big game season. Due to the unusually warm weather this year many roads are remaining open to public motor vehicle use until ground frost or snow accumulations warrant their closure.

Seasonal access roads are unpaved and often are in rough and sometimes muddy condition. Only four wheel drive trucks, SUVs and other high axle vehicles are recommended for use on these roads, especially now.
Even when closed to public motor vehicle use, most roads remain open to public pedestrian use such as hiking, skiing and snow shoeing. Check the Adirondack Almanack‘s latest Outdoor Conditions Report, issued each Thursday, for updated information about closures and other details.

Below is the current status of most roads. If a road or road system isn’t listed here, check with the local DEC Region 5 Forest Ranger or DEC Region 6 Forest Ranger.

Clinton County
Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands
Barnes Pond Road is closed to public motor vehicle use except for those people with a Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) permit. The road will remain open to MAPPWD permit holders until there is 6 inches or more of snow on the ground. Four wheel drive trucks, SUVs and other high axle vehicles are recommended. The road is closed to other public motor vehicles use until September 2016. Non-motorized use is allowed year-round.

The D&H Road remains open to public motor vehicle use. The road will remain open to motor vehicles until there is 6 inches or more of snow on the ground.

Essex County
Essex Chain Lakes Complex
Cornell Road is closed to public motor vehicle use. The road will open for use by snowmobiles when there is enough snow cover but will remain closed to public motor vehicle use until after the spring mud season.

Camp Six Road off the Drakes Mill Road is closed until the 2016 hunting season.

Chain Lakes Road North and Drakes Mill Road remain open for motor vehicle access to the Hudson River/Polaris Bridge Parking Area.

High Peaks Wilderness
South Meadow Lane has been closed by the Town of North Elba for the winter. Barriers have been placed across the road near the entrance at the Loj Road. Vehicles may park at the barriers to access to the Mt. VanHovenberg Trail, the Marcy Truck Trail and the Klondike Trail.

Dix Mountain Wilderness
Elk Lake Road is closed to public motor vehicle traffic at the Clear Pond Gate, two miles south of the Elk Lake Trailhead. The trails to Mt. Marcy and Dix Mountain that pass through the Elk Lake Conservation Easement Land are open but the road closure adds four miles to a round trip, plan accordingly.

Franklin County
Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement
Mountain Pond Road remains open to public motor vehicle traffic at this time. The road will remain open to motor vehicles until there is 6 inches or more of snow on the ground.

There is an active logging operation taking place west of the double gates on the North Branch Road. The road is receiving a high use by logging trucks daily and is expected to continue through the winter. Users accessing the Kushaqua Tract using the North Branch Road are advised to exercise caution. Be prepared to encounter logging trucks & equipment and yield to them. Turn on your headlights to be more visible to log truck drivers.

Hamilton County
Blue Mountain Wild Forest/Township 19 & 20 Conservation Easements
Due to spring like conditions, O’Neill Flow Road and Barker Pond Road are closed to public motor vehicle access. The O’Neill Flow Road will open for use by snowmobiles when there is enough snow cover but both roads will remain closed to public motor vehicle use until after the spring mud season.

The Minerva Club Road remains open to public motor vehicle access at this time, but will be closed for the winter when there is an accumulation of snow on the ground or when ground frost sets in.

Essex Chain Lakes Complex
Chain Lakes Road South is closed to public motor vehicle use. The road will remain closed to public motor vehicle use until the after the spring mud season. The Town of Indian Lake only plows the Chain Lakes Road to the Rafter’s Parking Area.

Moose River Plains Wild Forest
The Moose River Plains Road System is closed. The road will open for use by snowmobiles when there is enough snow cover but will remain closed to public motor vehicle use until after the spring mud season.

Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement
All roads designated for public motor vehicle use remain open at this time but will be closed for the winter when there is an accumulation of snow on the ground. Those roads designated for snowmobile use will open when enough snow has accumulated.

William C. Whitney Wilderness
The Lake Lila Road is closed to public motor vehicle traffic until after the spring mud season. Hikers, skiers and snowshoers may still use the road to access Lake Lila and Mt. Fredrica. However, the public must stay on the road and not trespass on adjacent lands.

Herkimer County
Black River Wild Forest
Wolf Lake Landing Road is being graded and resurfaced, users should expect delays.

Warren County
Lake George Wild Forest
Gay Pond Road, Jabe Pond Road and Lily Pond Road remain open to public motor vehicle traffic.

Photo of Camp Six Road by John Warren.


Editorial Staff

Stories written under the Almanack's Editorial Staff byline are drawn from press releases and other notices.

To have your news noticed here at the Almanack contact our Editor John Warren at adkalmanack@gmail.com.




3 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    “Users accessing the Kushaqua Tract using the North Branch Road are advised to exercise caution.” If they are actively logging in there and using this road for the project, I don’t think it should be open for public use. The general public probably has very little knowledge of how these trucks need to drive on these roads sometime and how to yield to them. I mean you really gotta be watching and ready to get out of their way fast! This is and accident waiting to happen.

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