Thursday, August 1, 2013

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Aug 1)


This weekly Adirondack outdoor conditions report is issued on Thursday afternoons, year round.

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SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

** indicates new or revised items.

** KNOW THE LATEST WEATHER: Check the weather before entering the woods and be aware of weather conditions at all times. The National Weather Service (NWS) at Burlington and Albany cover the Adirondack region. NWS Burlington provides a weather forecast for elevations above 3,000 feet and spot forecasts for the summits of a handful of the highest peaks in Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties. [LINK]

** MOST WATERS RUNNING AT NORMAL LEVELS: Most local rivers and streams are now running at or just above normal levels for this time of year. Afternoon thundershowers could cause water levels to rise locally, making low water crossings impassable and drainages fill with water.

** SOME TRAILS REMAIN WET AND MUDDY: Although many trails have dried out, some trails around the region continue to be wet and muddy due to a wet July, especially in low lying areas and near waterbodies. Wear appropriate footwear, stay on the trail, and hike through muddy areas to avoid widening the trails or creating herd paths.

** LOCAL WATER TEMPERATURES: Water temperatures remain warm. The Ausable River at Wilmington is in the lower 70s; Lake Champlain is in the lower-70s; and the water temperature at Warner Bay on Lake George is about 77 degrees.

** FIRE DANGER LOW: The fire danger has been lowered to LOW. Campfires are prohibited in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness at all times. Numerous wildfires burned around the Adirondack region this spring. It is illegal to leave a fire unattended until it is fully extinguished. Use care with open fires.

RECENT CHANGES IN THE ADIRONDACK BACKCOUNTRY

These are recent changes (within the last two weeks) to outdoor recreation roads, trails and facilities around the Adirondacks.

** indicates new or revised items this week.

HIGH PEAKS – LAKE PLACID REGION
Including, Wilmington, Keene, Western High Peaks

** Route 73 Emergency Road Repairs: Department of Transportation is making emergency road repairs on Route 73 between Chapel Pond and the Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead. Traffic has been reduced to one lane of alternating one-way traffic.

Hurricane Mountain Trails: A portion of the Hurricane Road on the Elizabethtown (east) side of the Hurricane Mountain is washed out. The Hurricane Mountain Trailhead at the end of the road cannot be reached. The trail from Route 9N is flooded by beaver activity and rains. It is passable if you are willing to wade. Currently the only easily accessible trail to the summit of Hurricane Mountain is from The Crows Trailhead on the O’Toole Road off East Hill Road on the Keene (west) side of the mountain.

Bradley Pond Trail: The first bridge on the Bradley Pond Trail is damaged and unsafe to use. The stream can be forded at that location. The second bridge, which crosses Santanoni Brook, is tilting. It can be used with caution.

Black Brook Tract / Taylor Pond Wild Forest / Silver Lake Mountain: Logging is taking place and hikers and climbers accessing the Turnpike Road Trailhead should be prepared to encounter logging trucks on the road. DEC is asking users to park well off the road at at least 150 feet from the header.

SOUTHERN-CENTRAL ADIRONDACKS
West Canada Lakes, Fulton Chain, Long Lake, Speculator, Indian Lake

** Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Lands: Jessup River Road and Old Military Road, beyond Sled Harborare, have been heavily eroded by recent thunderstorms and are not passable by motor vehicles. Those planning to hike Pillsbury Mountain should park their vehicle at Sled Harbor and hike from there. DEC should be reopening the roads soon, once they have dried out and DEC can undertake the necessary maintenance.

Raquette Lake: The Clark’s Point lean-to in Sucker Brook Bay, just east of Indian Point, has been destroyed by fire.

EASTERN-SOUTHEASTERN ADIRONDACKS
The Hudson, Schroon, Lake George, Champlain, Sacandaga, Washington Co

** Lake Champlain Algae Blooms: Small amounts of blue-green algae were reported from Inner Malletts Bay at the Fish and Wildlife Access in Colchester, and by Marycrest Beach on the northeastern side of Grand Isle. Other areas are now reported clear of blooms. Anyone active on these areas of Lake Champlain should watch for and avoid algae blooms. Do not swim, bathe, or drink the water, or use it in cooking or washing, and do not allow pets in algae-contaminated water.

** Saranac River Diversion in Plattsburgh: A dam to divert the Saranac River has been placed near the Plattsburgh Police Department on Pine Street in Plattsburgh to allow for cleanup of a portion of the river polluted by an old coal-tar pit from a former gas plant off Saranac Street. The steel and concrete diverting dam could be hazardous to those on the river and no trespassing signs have been erected. Downstream paddlers and tubers can exit the river at the sign near 90 Pine Street, portage down Pine Street to the Kennedy Bridge on Broad Street and re-enter the water. Police are saying they will arrest those violating the no-trespassing signs. Local officials say the area will be off-limits for the rest of the summer.

Lake Sunnyside Algae Bloom: A large localized blue-green algae bloom was confirmed in Lake Sunnyside, Warren County in mid-July. Avoid all contact with algae blooms. Do not swim, bathe, or drink the water, or use it in cooking or washing, and do not allow pets in algae-contaminated water.

NORTHERN-NORTHWESTERN ADIRONDACKS
Santa Clara, Tupper and Saranac Lakes, St. Regis, Lake Lila

** Blue Green Algae Bloom in Black Lake: A blue-green algae bloom with a high level of toxins has been confirmed in Black Lake, St. Lawrence County. Avoid all contact with algae blooms. Do not swim, bathe, or drink the water, or use it in cooking or washing, and do not allow pets in algae-contaminated water.

William C. Whitney Wilderness: The Rock Pond/Hardigan Pond Portage Trail (aka Canoe Carry) has been rerouted to avoid a wetland on the shore of Rock Pond. The new take-out on Rock Pond is located about 650 feet northeast of the old take-out. The reroute adds about 0.2 mile to the carry between Rock and Hardigan Ponds.

** Franklin Falls Bridge Closure: The Fanklin County bridge that spans the Saranac River at the outlet of Franklin Falls Pond northeast of Saranac Lake (east of Bloomingdale on Route 3) has been closed to all traffic. The bridge is being replaced, a project that will keep the bridge closed to traffic for about three weeks.

** Saranac River Diversion in Plattsburgh: A dam to divert the Saranac River has been placed near the Plattsburgh Police Department on Pine Street in Plattsburgh to allow for cleanup of a portion of the river polluted by an old coal-tar pit from a former gas plant off Saranac Street. The steel and concrete diverting dam could be hazardous to those on the river and no trespassing signs have been erected. Downstream paddlers and tubers can exit the river at the sign near 90 Pine Street, portage down Pine Street to the Kennedy Bridge on Broad Street and re-enter the water. Police are saying they will arrest those violating the no-trespassing signs. Local officials say the area will be off-limits for the rest of the summer.

** Route 73 Emergency Road Repairs: Department of Transportation is making emergency road repairs on Route 73 between Chapel Pond and the Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead. Traffic has been reduced to one lane of alternating one-way traffic.

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General warnings and announcements drawn from DEC, NWS, NOAA, USGS, and other sources. Additional detailed Adirondack Park camping, hiking, and outdoor recreation information 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.

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