This announcement is for general use – local conditions may vary and are subject to sometimes drastic changes.
Listen for the weekly Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Report Friday mornings on WNBZ (AM 920 & 1240, FM 105 & 102.1), WSLP (93.3) and the stations of North Country Public Radio.
The Adirondack Almanack also publishes a weekly Adirondack Hunting and Fishing Report.
SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND
** indicates new or revised items.
** EASTERN ADIRONDACKS STORM DAMAGE UPDATE
The remnants of Tropical Storm Irene brought disastrous flash floods that impacted local infrastructure, homes, businesses, roads, bridges, and trails, especially in the Eastern Adirondacks along the Ausable and Bouquet Rivers, into the Keene Valley, and the High Peaks. The Eastern Zone of the High Peaks Wilderness and the Giant Mountain Wilderness have reopened, although the Dix Mountain Wilderness and several area trails remain closed. ADK has reopened the Adirondak Loj and Wilderness Campground at Heart Lake and the Johns Brook Lodge in the Johns Brook Valley (see details below). State Route 73 is now open between Lake Placid and Keene Valley, and may be accessed by taking Route 9N from Elizabethtown. Route 73 remains closed between the Hamlet of Keene Valley and the Route 9 intersection, but is expected to open by next weekend. The Central, Western and Northern Adirondacks were minimally impacted; the Almanack has posted alternative areas to explore throughout the Adirondack Park. Full coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Irene is available here.
** HAZARDOUS BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS
Hazardous conditions continue and back country travel is difficult, and in some places impossible, throughout much of the Eastern High Peaks. Hikers and campers should expect to encounter flooding, damaged or washed out bridges, dams, boardwalks and ladders, trails buried by landslides or heavily eroded (1-3 feet deep in some places) and blowdown. There are dozens of new landslides and the dangerous threat of additional slides continues. Water levels in rivers and brooks are currently high so crossings may be impassable. A number of trails have been rerouted to avoid heavily damaged sections and newly eroded drainages can be mistaken for trails so users should be able to navigate with a map and compass. Plan accordingly and be prepared to turn back when conditions warrant.
** WATERS RUNNING HIGH, SOME NEAR FLOOD
This week’s steady rains have raised the level of the region’s rivers and streams to near flood stage. Boaters and paddlers should be aware that high waters may contain logs, limbs and other debris and conceal navigation hazards such as boulders, rock shelves, docks and other structures that normally are easily seen and avoided. Consult the latest streamgage data if you our venturing onto the region’s waters.
** MAJOR ROAD CLOSURES
State Route 73 is now open between Lake Placid and Keene Valley, and may be accessed by taking Route 9N from Elizabethtown. Route 73 remains closed between the Hamlet of Keene Valley and the Route 9 intersection, but is expected to open by next weekend. Use 511NY to learn of the current road closures. Be aware that many secondary roads, particularly in Essex County, may be closed as well. Essex County is also maintaining a list of road closures.
** ADK FACILITIES AT HEART LAKE AND JOHNS BROOK
Access roads to both ADK properties were washed out in the storm, but Adirondak Loj and John Brook Lodge (JBL) remained largely unscathed and both roads are now open. The Town of Keene will be operating a shuttle bus from the Marcy Field parking area to the corner of Market Street and Adirondack Road (approximately 1.25 miles away from the Garden Trailhead) from 12 pm to 7 pm on Friday and from 7 am to 7 pm on Saturday and Sunday. JBL is reopening on a caretaker basis, which means guest must pack in their own food, but will have the use of the lodge kitchen. The Southside Trail from the Garden Trailhead to Johns Brook Lodge is closed due to landslides.
** OPEN HIGH PEAKS TRAILS
Open trails in the High Peaks Wilderness include all trails from the Adirondak Loj trailhead, the Cascade Mountain trailhead, the Garden trailhead, the Rooster Comb trailhead, the Upper Works trailhead and the East River trailhead. Open trails in the Giant Mountain Wilderness include all trails starting from the trailheads on Route 9 and Route 9N. Giant Mountain may also be accessed via the Hopkin Mountain Trail from the Ranney Trailhead. These trails may have washed-out bridges, blowdown, eroded sections and/or flooded areas and water levels in rivers and brooks are currently high so crossings may be impassable. A number of trails have been rerouted to avoid heavily damaged sections and newly eroded drainages can be mistaken for trails so users should be able to navigate with a map and compass. Almanack contributor Phil Brown has modified a DEC map showing currently closed trails in the Eastern High Peaks.
** MARCY DAM REROUTE
Almanack contributor Phil Brown is reporting that a reroute below Marcy Dam on the Van Hoevenberg Trail, will lead to an Marcy Brook low-water crossing area below the Marcy Dam Bridge which was washed out during the storm. Water is currently high there and the low water crossing impassable, so hikers should use the Marcy Dam Truck Trail to reach Marcy Dam.
** NORTHVILLE-PLACID TRAIL WARNING
Tom Wemett, Chair of the ADK’s Northville-Placid Trail (NPT) Chapter is advising avoidance of the NPT due to extreme flooding caused by the continuous rain this week. “I was in the rain doing trail maintenance on Sunday and Monday from Piseco to Jessup River,” Wemett reported Wednesday evening, “the trail was a river on the hike-out on Monday. West Canada Creek is in flood stage for sure and impassable. Other streams which normally can be rock-hopped or at least crossed with minimal difficulty are now flooded and knee or waist high. I highly recommend staying off of the NPTrail until 3 to 4 days of sunshine and no rain allow water to recede and the trail to dry out a bit. Also, there have been reports of major blowdowns that have made some parts of the trail extremely difficult and in some reported cases impassable. Please delay your hike until the weather allows the trail some breathing room and trail stewards to work on clearing the trail.”
** ADDITIONAL BACKCOUNTRY ROAD CLOSURES
Moose River Plains: The main Moose River Plains Road between Inlet and Indian Lake (the Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road) has been reopened, as has the Otter Brook. Indian River Road is open to the Brooktrout Lake Trailhead. However, Rock Dam Road and Indian River Road beyond the Brooktrout Lake Trailhead remains closed at this time. The Haskell-West River Road along the West Canada Creek from Route 8 into the Black River Wild Forest is closed. The Wolf Lake Landing Road from McKeever on Route 28 east toward Woodhull Lake is passable only with high clearance vehicles. There is no time table for the needed bridge and road repair work on Haskell-West River Road. The Jessup River Road in the Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement Lands north of the Village of Speculator, Hamilton County, has reopened.
** EXPECT BLOWDOWN
Tropical Storm Irene contributed considerable blowdown. Trees may be toppled on and over tails and campsites. Expect blowdown in the Western High Peaks Wilderness and in the Sentinel and Seward Ranges. A hiker had to be rescued this summer from Mount Emmons in the Seward Range after losing his way while negotiating blowdown [LINK].
** WET AND MUDDY TRAILS
Last week’s storm and this week’s rains have left trails wet and muddy. Wear proper footwear and gaitors and remember to walk through, not around, mud and water to avoid further damage to trails.
** SOME CAMPGROUNDS NOW CLOSED
17 of the 41 Adirondack DEC Campgrounds have closed for the season as regularly scheduled. Four campgrounds – Lake Harris, Scaroon Manor, Luzerne and Hearthstone Point – will close this Sunday, September 11. Fall camping is available through Columbus Day Weekend at 20 Adirondack DEC Campgrounds. A list of phone numbers for all campgrounds and their associated Regional Offices can be found online. Campgrounds currently open include:
Clinton County Ausable Point
Essex County: Crown Point, Paradox Lake, and Wilmington Notch
Franklin County: Fish Creek, Meacham Lake, and Saranac Lake Islands
Fulton County: Northampton Beach
Hamilton County: Eighth, Lewey, and Sacandaga Lake, Moffit Beach, Indian Lake Islands, and Lake Durant
Warren County: Lake George Battleground, Lake George Islands, and Rogers Rock
Herkimer County: Nicks Lake
FIREWOOD BAN IN EFFECT
Due to the possibility of spreading invasive species that could devastate northern New York forests (such as Emerald Ash Borer, Hemlock Wooly Adeljid and Asian Longhorn Beetle), DEC prohibits moving untreated firewood more than 50 miles from its source. Forest Rangers have been ticketing violators of the firewood ban. More details and frequently asked questions at the DEC website.
** ADIRONDACK CANOE CLASSIC / 90 MILER
The annual Adirondack Canoe Classic, known locally as the 90-Miler, will be held this weekend. This three-day flat water race follows one of the original highways of the Adirondacks from the Old Forge to Saranac Lake. Expect very heavy use along the paddle route which starts on Friday at 8 am at the Old Forge lakefront. The route includes the Fulton Chain of Lakes, the Raquette Lake, the Marion River and the Eckford Chain of Lakes ending in Blue Mountain Lake at the end of day one. Saturday begins at Bissell’s on Long Lake continues down Long Lake and into the Raquette River to the state boat launch on Routes 3 & 30 (about five miles east of the village of Tupper Lake). Sunday begins at Fish Creek Campground proceeds down Upper Saranac Lake through the carry to Middle Saranac Lake and on to the Saranac River, into Lower Saranac Lake across Oseetah Lake and Lake Flower to the finish at Prescott Park in the village of Saranac Lake.
** INLET LOOKS TO TAKE BACK PADDLING WORLD RECORD
Inlet will attempt to win back the world record for the largest floating raft of canoes and kayaks; the current record is held by Pittsburgh, Pa. The attempt will be made on Saturday, September 24, at the Fourth lake lakefront in Inlet. The event is organized by One Square Mile of Hope as a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research. In 2008, 1,104 canoes and kayaks were rafted together, a number that was bested by Pittsburgh by about 500 boats. Inlet’s population is 320; Pittsburgh, who took the title last year, has a population of 420,000. Registration starts at 7:30 am, canoes and kayaks will enter the lake starting at 10:30 am; the raft will be formed at noon. Call the Inlet Town Hall at (315) 357-5501 for more information.
DRAFT PUBLIC RIGHT OF NAVIGATION AND FISHING POLICY
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) has prepared the draft Program Policy: “OGC-9: Public Right of Navigation and Fishing”. This draft program policy is intended to address staff’s need for guidance regarding the public rights of navigation and fishing. As such, this document will serve as General Counsel Policy with respect to Office of Public Protection officers, including both Environmental Conservation Officers and Forest Rangers, to carry out their enforcement responsibilities. The draft Program Policy can be found online. Written comments on the draft Program Policy will be accepted until September 20th. Written comments should be addressed to Kenneth Hamm at the below-mentioned address. In addition, comments may be submitted via e-mail to: email@example.com.
HUNTING AND TRAPPING LICENSES NOW ON SALE
Hunting and trapping licenses are now on sale for the 2011-12 license year (the new license year begins October 1). Find out how to purchase a sporting license on the DEC website. Information about the 2011 Sporting Seasons is also available online. Some small-game seasons begin in early September before last year’s license period ends. Early bear season begins September 17. The bow season for deer begins September 27.
NEW YORK FOREST PHOTO CONTEST
In recognition of the importance of forests to the health and well being of society, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced a contest to celebrate New York’s forests. The contest is designed to increase awareness of and appreciation for all types of forests, urban and rural, large and small, public and privately owned, across the state. In the 19th century conservationists recognized the importance of nature as a refuge from the noise and bustle of city life. Modern technology has disconnected many people from the outdoors. Virtual pastimes now rival natural, outdoor activities. Taking and sharing pictures is one of the most popular activities in this country. Through this contest, New Yorkers are encouraged to reconnect with the natural world. Photos must be taken in New York State. Photos will be accepted through November 1, 2011. A maximum of three photos may be submitted by a photographer, each with a submission form found on the DEC website, via e-mail or on a CD via regular mail. You can read about the details here.
2011 YEAR OF THE TURTLE
Because nearly half of all turtle species are identified as threatened with extinction around the world, Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) along with other Conservation groups have designated 2011 as the Year of the Turtle. Despite their long evolutionary history, turtles are now in danger of disappearing due to a variety of threats including habitat loss, exploitation, pet trade, hunting for use in traditional medicine, by-catch, invasive species, disease, and climate change. The 2011 Year of the Turtle is an opportunity to raise awareness of these threats and to increase conservation actions to help reduce problems turtles face. To get more details and identify ways to help in conservation efforts, visit the PARC Year of the Turtle website.
CAVE AND MINE CLOSURES
White nose syndrome, the fungal disease that’s wiping out bat populations across the northeast has spread to at least 32 cave and mine bat hibernation sites across the New York state according to a recent survey. Populations of some bat species are declining in these caves and mines by 90 percent. White nose was first discovered in upstate New York in the winter of 2006-2007 and is now confirmed in at least 11 states. An order closing all bat hibernacula caves on state lands and easements to protect the bat population expired on March 31. DEC is reconsidering whether continuing the closing to protect the bat population is warranted. At this time it’s best to stay out of caves that may contain bats.
BE AWARE OF INVASIVE SPECIES
Boaters on Adirondack waterways will be a lot more likely to be questioned about whether they are transporting invasive species at local boat launches this year. Watershed stewards will stationed throughout the region to inspect boats, canoes, kayaks and other craft entering and exiting the water for invasive species, remove suspicious specimens, and educate boaters about the threats of invasive species and how to prevent their spread. Aquatic invasive species are a growing threat in the Adirondacks, making such inspections increasingly important to combating their spread. At least 80 waters in the Adirondack Park have one or more aquatic invasive species, but more than 220 waters recently surveyed remain free of invasives. The inspections are currently voluntary, but more than a half dozen local municipalities have passed or are considering aquatic invasive species transport laws.
PRACTICE ‘LEAVE NO TRACE’
All backcountry users should learn and practice the Leave No Trace philosophy: Plan ahead and be prepared, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find, minimize campfire impacts, respect wildlife, and be considerate of others. More information is available online.
ACCIDENTS HAPPEN, BE PREPARED
Wilderness conditions can change suddenly and accidents happen. Hikers and campers should check up-to-date forecasts before entering the backcountry as conditions at higher elevations will likely be more severe. All users should bring flashlight, first aid kit, map and compass, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods and always inform others of your itinerary.
KNOW THE LATEST WEATHER
Check the weather before entering the woods and be aware of weather conditions at all times — if weather worsens, head out of the woods.
** Fire Danger: LOW
Be sure campfires are out by drowning them with water. Stir to make sure all embers, coals, and sticks are wet. Stir the remains, add more water, and stir again. If you do not have water, use dirt not duff. Do not bury coals as they can smolder and break out into a fire at a later time.
** Central Adirondacks LOWER Elevation Weather
Friday: Partly sunny, highs in the upper 70s.
Friday Night: Partly cloudy, lows in the upper 40s.
Saturday: Mostly sunny, highs in the upper 60s.
Saturday Night: Clear, lows in the lower 40s.
Sunday: Mostly sunny, highs in the upper 60s.
The National Weather Service provides a weather forecast for elevations above 3000 feet and spot forecasts for the summits of a handful of the highest peaks in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties. [LINK]
LOCAL ADIRONDACK CONDITIONS
NORTHVILLE PLACID TRAIL
** NPT Warning: Tom Wemett, Chair of the ADK’s Northville-Placid Trail (NPT) Chapter is advising avoidance of the NPT due to extreme flooding caused by the continuous rain this week. “I was in the rain doing trail maintenance on Sunday and Monday from Piseco to Jessup River,” Wemett reported Wednesday evening, “the trail was a river on the hike-out on Monday. West Canada Creek is in flood stage for sure and impassable. Other streams which normally can be rock-hopped or at least crossed with minimal difficulty are now flooded and knee or waist high. I highly recommend staying off of the NPTrail until 3 to 4 days of sunshine and no rain allow water to recede and the trail to dry out a bit. Also, there have been reports of major blowdowns that have made some parts of the trail extremely difficult and in some reported cases impassable. Please delay your hike until the weather allows the trail some breathing room and trail stewards to work on clearing the trail.”
** Northville Placid Trail Information / Volunteers: The Northville-Placid Trail Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club maintains a website of resources and information about the trail. ADK is seeking volunteers to help with blowdown removal using crosscut saws, hand saws and axes. Anyone interested in future work events should contact Brendan Wiltse, Trails Committee Chair, NPTrail Chapter of ADK, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-429-0049.
** Ouluska Pass and Duck Hole Breech: The Ouluska Pass Brook bridge is damaged and unusable. Hikers will have to ford across the Brook. The Ouluska Pass lean-to experienced some foundation damage following the Duck Hole Dam breach on Monday, August 29th. The other lean-tos along the Cold River escaped damage as did the suspension bridges over the Cold River and Moose Creek.
** West Canada Creek: The bridge over West Canada Creek on the Northville-Placid Trail was washed away this spring. The 45 foot span bridge had replaced one that was lost in 2001. Crossing West Canada Creek now requires very careful crossing that may be intimidating to some hikers and may be impossible this weekend. Bridge replacement is expected to begin this fall and be completed in summer, 2012.
** Upper Benson to Whitehouse: About 1.8 miles north of the Silver Lake lean-to and just south of the Canary Pond tent camping area, the trail will likely be flooded as it is during periods of high water and may require wading through water and mud.
Lake Durant to Long Lake: About 4 miles north of the Tirrell Pond lean-to, a bridge is out that crosses Peek-a-Boo Creek in the middle of a former lumber camp clearing. The Creek is 4 to 5 feet deep and 6 feet across. It may be possible to cross on the remains of the bridge in low water situations. The alternative is a reroute to the east that also may be flooded in spots.
** Shattuck Clearing to Nothern Terminus: Shattuck Clearing to the Averyville Trailhead (nothern terminus) is in fair condition with some blowdown. There is a washout immediately past the second bridge east of Shattuck Clearing on the way to Cold River Lean-to. The bridge over Seward Brook just before Ouluska Lean-to is damaged and badly tilted, holding a lot of debris that came down the brook. The bridge over Roaring Brook at the junction with Preston Ponds trail is gone. Beaver activity may flooded the trail about 3 miles south of the Averyville trailhead and may require a sturdy bushwhack.
ADIRONDACK CANOE ROUTE / NORTHERN FOREST CANOE TRAIL
** Waters are running high, at or near flood. Boaters and paddlers should be aware that high waters may contain logs, limbs and other debris and conceal navigation hazards such as boulders, rock shelves, docks and other structures that normally are easily seen and avoided. Consult the latest streamgage data if you our venturing onto the region’s waters.
** Carries are still being assessed, expect eroded trails, blowdown, and flooding.
** Adirondack Canoe Classic / 90 Miler: The annual Adirondack Canoe Classic, known locally as the 90-Miler, will be held this weekend. This three-day flat water race follows one of the original highways of the Adirondacks from the Old Forge to Saranac Lake. Expect very heavy use along the paddle route which starts on Friday at 8 am at the Old Forge lakefront. The route includes the Fulton Chain of Lakes, the Raquette Lake, the Marion River and the Eckford Chain of Lakes ending in Blue Mountain Lake at the end of day one. Saturday begins at Bissell’s on Long Lake continues down Long Lake and into the Raquette River to the state boat launch on Routes 3 & 30 (about five miles east of the village of Tupper Lake). Sunday begins at Fish Creek Campground proceeds down Upper Saranac Lake through the carry to Middle Saranac Lake and on to the Saranac River, into Lower Saranac Lake across Oseetah Lake and Lake Flower to the finish at Prescott Park in the village of Saranac Lake.
HIGH PEAKS – LAKE PLACID REGION
Including, Wilmington, Keene, Western High Peaks
** Dix Mountain Wilderness Closed: State Route 73 is closed between the Hamlet of Keene Valley and the Route 9 intersection. The Dix Mountain Wilderness has been closed by the NYS Department of Conservation (DEC). DEC fully intends to enforce this closure. Over the next several weeks DEC will be evaluating the conditions of all trails in the closed areas, prioritize work to rehabilitate trails and determine what trails may be reopened for public use. Consider visiting other, less impacted areas of the Adirondack Park [other suggested opportunities].
** Eastern High Peaks Trail Closures: The Eastern High Peaks Wilderness is open to public recreation, however a number of trails remain closed at this time, including: All trails out of the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (Ausable Club); The Deer Brook Trail from Route 73 to Rooster Comb; The Southside Trail from the Garden Trailhead to John’s Brook Lodge; The Orebed Trail from John’s Brook Valley to the Range Trail (between Saddleback and Gothics); The Wolfjaw Trail from John’s Brook Valley to the Range Trail (between Lower and Upper Wolfjaws), The Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass; and the Elk Lake Trail between the Elk Lake Trailhead and Panther Gorge. Consider visiting other, less impacted areas of the Adirondack Park [other suggested opportunities].
** Klondike Trail: The bridge near South Meadow Road on the Klondike Trail is out. The Mr. Van trail and the South Meadow truck trail will need to be used as a detour.
** Opalescent River / Calamity Brook Trail: A cable is broke on the suspension bridge over the Opalescent River on the Calamity Brook Trail, the bridge is not safe for use.
** Heavy Blowdown Areas: There is heavy blowdown on the trail between Feldspar Lean-to and Lake Arnold and also on the trail to Calamity Lean-tos.
** Marcy Dam Footbridge Reroute: The footbridge over Marcy Dam was washed away. A reroute has been created to low water crossing below the dam. During high water, which is the current condition, this crossing may not be passable. Hikers can use the Marcy Truck Trail from South Meadows Trailhead to access the Mt. Van Hovenburgh to Mt. Marcy and other trails beyond Marcy Dam.
** Van Hovenbrerg Trail: A reroute has been created on the VanHovenburg Trail below the Phelps Trail to bypass a heavily damaged section.
** Marcy Dam / Avalanche Pass / Flowed Land Corridor: Marcy Dam to Flowed Land Corridor was significantly impacted but is still passable using caution. Marcy Brook jumped its banks along the Avalanche Pass Trail from Marcy Dam causing widespread damage to the trail. A mud slide on the Avalanche Pass Trail between the old landslide and Avalanche Lake is quite deep in spots. Hikers may need to leave the trail to avoid debris and mud holes. The “Hitch-up Matilda’s” (boardwalk) along the shore of Avalanche Lake are missing some decking, use caution when crossing. There is a debris pile at the south end of Avalanche Lake and the bog bridges have dislodged and moved. Around Lake Colden nearly every bog crossing dislodged and moved. Worst are the large log bridges on both shores of the lake that went alongside the water. The stream crossing on the East Shore Trail is completely down and unsafe to walk across. A large pine tree is down and blocking the trail at the Calamity Trail register box. There is blowdown blocking access to the lean-to and campsite at Livingston Point at Flowed Lands.
** Indian Pass Trail from Upper Works: All bridges encountered on the Indian Pass Trail from Upper Works are gone, the trail has been rerouted to low water crossing in many locations.
** Duck Hole: One side of the Duck Hole Dam has washed away and the pond has dewatered. The bridge over the dam had been previously removed due to its deteriorating condition. A low water crossing (ford) has been marked below the dam near the lean-to site. This crossing will not be possible during periods of high water. Note: This affects the Bradley Pond Trail and not the Northville Placid Trail.
** Western high Peaks: The Western High Peaks off Coreys Road was not hit too badly. The trail to the Raquette Falls is clear of major obstacles. All bridges are intact on the Blueberry Trail from the Seward Trailhead to Ward Brook Lean-to; blowdown was minimal and has been cleared. Blueberry and Ward Brook Lean-tos are in good shape. Hikers coming off of Seymour Mountain stated trail is good but muddy. Hikers who have done Seward, Donaldson, or Emmons Mountains report good conditions as well.
** Newcomb Lake-Moose Pond: There is a lot of blowdown on the trail. A bridge on the Newcomb Lake to Moose Pond Trail has been flooded by beaver activity. The bridge is intact, but surrounded by water.
** Giant Mountain Wilderness Reopend: The Giant Mountain Wilderness is open to public recreation however a number of trails remain closed at this time. All trails from trailheads on Route 73 between the Hamlet of Keene Valley and the Route 9 intersection are closed. State Route 73 is closed between the Hamlet of Keene Valley and the Route 9 intersection. All trails starting from the trailheads on Route 9 and Route 9N. Giant Mountain may also be accessed via the Hopkins Mountain Trail from the Ranney Trail. Many of these trails have not been assessed at this time. Hikers may encounter blowdown, eroded trails and flooding.
** Hurricane Mountain Wilderness: Hurricane Mountain may be accessed from the Route 9N trailhead or the Hurricane Mountain Lane trailhead. The bottom third of the East Hurricane Mountain Trail from Hurricane Mountain Lane has some minor wash but is easily passable. The middle third of the trail has blowdown but hikers can scramble through most of it. Only two places required minor bushwack. The top of the trail had only minor debris on the trail. The Town of Keene has closed O’Toole Road, the seasonal use road accessing the Big Crow Trailhead, to local traffic only. The footbridge at the Big Crow Trailhead is demolished and there are many trees down.
McKenzie Mountain Wilderness: The Connery Pond Roadway suffered some minor erosion, but it is passable. Connery Pond Truck Trail is in good shape with minor erosion and minor scattered blowdown. A large tree fell at Whiteface Landing and is blocking the trail; it destroyed the trail register. Hikers accessing Whiteface Landing should park at the newly developed and paved parking area along Route 86 immediately west of the bridge over the West Branch of the Ausable. A trail connects the parking area and Connery Pond Road.
** Sentinel Range Wilderness: The Pitchoff Mountain Trail has been cleared of blowdown for its entire length and no major issues are reported. The Copperas Pond/Owen Pond Trail has been cleared of blowdown for its entire length and no major issues are reported. All other trails, including Pitchoff Mountain, are passable. The Owen Pond Trailhed located on Route 86 between Lake Placid and Wilmington has been relocated approximately 0.2 miles north (towards Wilmington) of its former location.
** Wilmington Wild Forest: The Whiteface Mountain Trail from both the Wilmington Reservoir and Marble Hill Trailheads contains blowdown but is passable. All trails open and in good shape in the Hardy Road Trail system. In the Flume Trail System, the River Trail impassable for first 0.25 mile due to washouts and debris on trail. All other trails are in useable condition although blowdown will slow travel. Volunteers are working on clearing trails. Wilmington Trail to the summit of Whiteface Mountian has significant erosion in the first .25 mile but is passable. The bridge at the Wilmington Reservoir has been undermined and is not safe for use.
** Wilmington Snowmobile Trail: The Wilmington Snowmobile Trail is being constructed by DEC in the Wilmington Wild Forest, including one 25-foot bridge [pdf].
West Canada Lakes, Fulton Chain, Long Lake, Speculator, Indian Lake
** Moose River Plains Roads: The Moose River Plains received minor damage as a result of Tropical Storm Irene. The main Moose River Plains Road between Inlet and Indian Lake (the Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road) is open, as has the Otter Brook. Indian River Road is open to the Brooktrout Lake Trailhead. However, Rock Dam Road and Indian River Road beyond the Brooktrout Lake Trailhead remains closed at this time.
** Moose River Plains Map Updated: DEC Region 5 has updated the Moose River Plains Wild Forest map. The map is available as a pdf download [link]. Among the improvements are the identification of universal access facilities.
** Mossly Vly Snowmobile Bridge (Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement): The Mossy Vly Snowmobile Bridge Project on Mud Lake Road in the Town of Pleasant (snowmobile trail S41) is underway and expected to be completed by the start of the snowmobiling season.
** Jessup River Road Reopend: The Jessup River Road in the Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement Lands north of the Village of Speculator, Hamilton County, is now open after the replacement of bridges of the Jessup and Miami rivers.
** Sargent Ponds Wild Forest: The Outlet Bay Lean-to on Raquette Lake is damaged and in poor condition from a tree fallen on its roof.
Black River Wild Forest – West Canada Creek: Haskell-West River Road is closed along the West Canada Creek from Route 8 into the Black River Wild Forest. There is no time table for the needed bridge and road repair work on Haskell-West River Road; DEC Region 6 is currently awaiting construction funds and the work is not expected to be completed this year.
** West Canada Lakes: Two through hikers on the Northvillle Placid Trail report plenty of blowdown north of Spruce Lake and also from Stephen Pond to Lake Durant.
West Canada Creek: The bridge over West Canada Creek on the Northville-Placid Trail was washed away this spring. The 45 foot span bridge had replaced one that was lost in 2001. Crossing West Canada Creek now requires very careful crossing that may be intimidating to some hikers. Bridge replacement is expected to begin this fall and be completed in summer, 2012.
The Hudson, Schroon, Lake George, Champlain, Sacandaga, Washington Co
** Western Lake George Wild Forest: Gay Pond Road is impassible by motor vehicle beyond campsite 13. There are several large sections of road that have washed out. The road has been temporarily posted as closed east of campsite 13. Buttermilk Road, a town road, has several sections that have washed out and several sections with 1-2 feet of standing water. Four wheel drive and high clearance vehicle are required north of the Luzerne/Warrensburg town line. Buttermilk Road Extension, a DEC administered road north of the Gay Pond Road intersection, remains closed. Several sections of the road have washed out and are impassible by motor vehicle. Foot traffic is possible. The access road to Darlings Ford Waterway Access Site has washed out and is impassable by motor vehicle. The trail is passable by foot, but may not meet the needs of users with a mobility impairment. The Bear Slide Accessible Trail has washed out. The trail is passable by foot, but may not meet the needs of users with a mobility impairment. The access road and 2 designated tent sites are in good condition. River access and tent sites 1-5 along River Road are all open and in good condition.
** Pharaoh Lake Wilderness: Mill Brook is flooded 100 yards up Beaver Brook Road; water is 2 feet over the road and old parking lot. The Mill Brook Bridge on the Pharaoh Road Trail is out and currently floating downstream from far abutment. The crossing on beaver debris at bridge site is 3 feet deep and the Mill Brook Bog Bridging has shifted more than 4 feet and is floating in spots. The bridge is out over Pharaoh Lake Brook halfway in to lake. Beaver dam upstream from bridge is breached and dewatering the pond behind it. DO NOT attempt to cross the stream as the water volume is too high. The Putnam Pond Campground Access Road is washed out. This road provides vehicle access trailheads for Berrymill Pond, Grizzle Ocean, and Rock Pond. The bridge at Pharaoh Lake Outlet is intact. All bridges on the Spectacle Pond Trail are intact and the trail is passable.
** Santanoni Historic Preserve: The Newcomb Lake Trail contains significant amounts of blowdown. The road to Great Camp Santanoni and Newcomb Lake is clear and open for hiking, biking and horseback riding.
** Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest: The trail to the fire tower on Vanderwhacker Mountain is cleared and opened.
** Wilcox Lake Wild Forest: The Hadley Mountain Trail has been cleared of blowdown. There is substantial blowdown on the Stony Creek Trail to Wilcox Lake beyond that to the east Stony Creek bridge; blowdown continues up the trail to Wilcox Lake. The lean-tos and both bridges are in good shape. Mud Pond Road has been cleared of trees to the Mud Pond Trail Head, due to washouts it is recommended that it be used by trucks only. West Stoney Creek Road is open to Baldwin Spring and the bridge at Baldwin Springs is intact. Harrisburg Road is open for motor vehicles to the Arrow Trail, however there are trees on powerlines. There are multiple trees down on the Pumpkin Hollow Road at the Wilcox Lake Trailhead preventing access to the Wilcox Lake Trail, the Murphy Lake Trail and the Pine Orchard Trail. The bridge over a small stream just north of Fish Ponds on the Bartman Trail is out. The bridge over Georgia Creek on the Cotter Brook Trail is under water due to beaver activity as is the Pine Orchard Trail .5 mile south of Pine Orchard. The Dayton Creek bridge is out on the trail from Brownell Camp (at the end of Hope Falls Road) to Wilcox Lake. During low water conditions crossing can be made by rock hopping. The Murphy Lake Trail is brushy and difficult to follow along the east shore of the lake from the lean-to to the outlet and is also flooded at the north end of Murphy Lake.
** Crane Mountain: The Crane Mountain Trail Head is accessible from the south by car and truck by way of Ski Hi Road via Putnam Cross Road. The south end of Ski Hi Road is washed out but Putnam Cross Road bypasses the washout. The north access by way of Crane Mountain Road is washed out and inaccessible.
** Eastern Lake George Wild Forest: Blowdown has been removed from Dacy Clearing Road, it is passable by foot, bike and horse. However, the road is not open to motor vehicles. Repairs are still needed at two culverts. A snowmobile bridge near Black Mountain has been washed out. Shelving Rock Road is in good shape. There are a few blowdown trees on the trail between Dacy Clearing and Bumps Pond. There are a few blowdown trees on the trail to Sleeping Beauty Mountain. Most trailheads along the main roads in Washington County are accessible. The Shelving Rock Road/Inman Pond area has minor road washouts. Pike Brook Road is closed but Black Mountain Trailhead is still accessible from County Rt. 6; the trailhead parking lot is clear of trees.
** Buck Mountain – Pilot Knob: The trail between Buck Mountian and Pilot Knob is in good condition with minor blowdown.
** Hudson River Gorge Primitive Area: Water levels are higher than usual. Be careful of trees, limbs and other debris that have been washed into the waters.
Hammond Pond Wild Forest: The Lindsey Brook Trail is closed due to flooding by beaver activity.
** Hoffman Notch Wilderness: CThe trail to Bailey Pond looks good with the exception of some blowdown that needs clearing but is manageable to get around fairly easily. The trail to Big Pond has significant amount of blowdown and is impassable at this time. There is swath of damage on both sides of the trail and across it for a good distance starting about 0.25 mile in.
Pharaoh Lake Wilderness: The bridge over Wolf Pond Outlet on the East Shore Pharaoh Lake Trail was replaced. There is a short reroute between the bridge and the intersection for the Swing Trail. The Glidden Marsh-Pharaoh Lake Trail on the northside of the lake has been moved up hill from the lake. Follow the Blue Trail Markers.
Santa Clara, Tupper and Saranac Lakes, St. Regis, Lake Lila
** Black Ash Banks on the Boquet River to be Stabilized: DEC and Georgia Pacific finalized an agreement for remediation of the Black Ash Pond site owned by the Town of Willsboro in Essex County. The black ash was deposited by a former paper mill adjacent to the Boquet River. Portions of the deposits remain unstable and unvegetated after several decades, with material sloughing off into the river. The agreement would involve sloping and stabilizing the bank as well as adding top soil and vegetation.
Lake Champlain Islands: South End Trail, North End Perimeter Trail, and Lighthouse Trail on Valcour Island are impassable due to flooding. Campsites 7, 8 & 22 are unusable and are now closed. Poke-O-Moonshine day use area has significant damage from blowdown. The docks at the Peru Dock Boat Launch were damaged but are still usable, the pump station remains closed.
Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands: The Barnes Pond Public Use Area campsites are closed to public use until the blowdown can be cleared from the access road and a complete assessment of the road and campsites can be completed.
Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest: Access to the Split Rock area can be difficult for people unfamiliar with area roads due to the numerous closings. Trails are open and usable with some blowdown.
** Taylor Pond Wild Forest: Access to Catamount Mountain is not possible; a road is washed out 1 mile from trailhead. In Terry Mountain State Forest the Red Road has been closed to public motor vehicle use do to unsafe conditions due to erosion from the storm. Also the Tower Rd is unusable for recreation or motor vehicle access at this time due to ongoing construction by the Essex County.
** Poke-O-Moonshine: The hiking trails to the summit of Pok-o-Moonshine Mountain (the ranger trail from camp ground and Jeep Trail) are both open and usable. There is quite a lot of blowdown on the Ranger Trail but it is passable. The Jeep Trail has less blow down but the bridge approach, while usable, is muddy. The Poke-O-Moonshine Fire Tower is closed for the season.
Lyon Mountain – Chazy Highlands Wild Forest: The re-route of the top section of the Lyon Mountain Trail is complete and the trail is clearly signed and marked. Thanks to the Adirondack Mountain Club Professional Trail crew there is now a completely new trail from the trailhead to the summit. Hikers should use the new trail and avoid the old trail which is not maintained and is in poor condition due to erosion. Trailhead signs and a trail register box have been installed at the parking area for the Lyon Mountain Trail. Also a sign identifying the entrance road to the trailhead parking area has been installed on the Chazy Lake Road. They were installed by the Town of Dannemora Highway Department.
Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: The gate on the Lake Clear Girl Scout Camp Road is open, but due to the condition of the road, until further notice it should only be used by pickup trucks, SUVs and other vehicles with high clearance. This road is used to access Meadow and St. Germain Ponds.
St. Regis Canoe Area: Damage from the storm was limited to some minor blowdown on most carries and trails. There is significant amount of blowdow across the Fish Pond Truck Trail; it is passable on foot but not by horses or horse drawn wagons. A section of the canoe carry about half way between Long Pond and Nellie Pond has been flooded by beavers. This will required a short paddle across the beaver pond. Significant work on campsites in the Canoe Area was conducted last year. A new webpage has been created to provide information including maps and recreational opportunities.
Whitney Wilderness/Lake Lila: The Lake Lila Road is open but rough in some areas – use caution. Do not block the gate at the Lake Lila Parking Area. A Whitney Wilderness webpage has been updated with information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
Norton Peak Cave / Chateuagay Woodlands Conservation Easement Lands: Norton Peak Cave has been reopened to the public following the expiration of the cave closing order on March 31. The cave is a bat hibernacula with white nose syndrome present. DEC is considering whether to close all bat hibernacula caves on state lands and easements to protect the bat population. It’s best to stay out of caves at this time.
Warnings and announcements drawn from DEC, NWS, NOAA, USGS, and other sources. Detailed Adirondack Park camping, hiking, and outdoor recreation and trail conditions can be found at DEC’s webpages. A DEC map of the Adirondack Park can also be found online [pdf].
The DEC Trails Supporter Patch is available for $5 at all outlets where sporting licenses are sold, on-line and via telephone at 1-866-933-2257. Patch proceeds will help maintain and enhance non-motorized trails throughout New York State.