Thursday, August 15, 2013

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Aug 15)


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.

** ROUTE 8 CLOSURE: State Route 8 between Wells and Wevertown is closed for a culvert replacement. The state is replacing the large Girard Creek culvert, about 3.5 miles north of the intersection of state routes 8 and 30 in the Town of Wells and about 20 miles south of Wevertown. The New York State Department of Transportation has marked Route 30 between Wells and Indian Lake and Route 28 between Indian Lake and Wevertown as a detour. One lane is expected to reopen sometime Friday, August 16, a situation that is expected to continue for a week or two. For real-time travel information call 511 or visit www.511NY.org.

** 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: Although Lake Champlain is almost two feet above average for this time of year, most local rivers and streams continue to run 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: The Lake Champlain water temperature at Burlington has fallen to about 69 degrees, the water temperature at Diamond Island remains about 66 degrees; the water temperature at Warner Bay on Lake George is holding steady at about 74 degrees.

** FIRE DANGER MODERATE: The fire danger is MODERATE east of the Hudson River and in Eastern Essex and Clinton counties, and LOW in the rest of the region. Campfires are prohibited in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness at all times. It is illegal to leave a fire unattended until it is fully extinguished. Use care with open fires.

ALL CLIMBING ROUTES HAVE REOPENED: All rock climbing routes are now open. DEC and volunteers have been monitoring peregrine nesting sites and the climbing community has been cooperating in avoiding the closed cliffs and routes while the peregrine falcons nested and raised their young.

** PEREGRINE FALCON RESULTS: All rock climbing routes re-opened last week, but DEC has now released information on 13 cliffs that were monitored this year for peregrine falcon activity. Two nesting sites were inactive this year and three sites had nests that failed. Eight nest sites produced 17 peregrine falcon, including two fledglings at Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain produced after a delayed start to the breeding season. DEC is thanking the volunteers that monitored the nesting sites and the climbing community for their cooperation in avoiding the closed cliffs and routes while the peregrine falcons nested and raised their young.If you have any questions on peregrine falcons contact the DEC Region 5 Wildlife Office at 518-897-1291.

** ASH WOOD QUARANTINE EXPANDED: In an effort to combat the spread of the invasive emerald ash borer, New York has expanded a quarantine on ash wood products across 42 counties. Currently, untreated firewood is banned from entering New York. Since 2008 it has been forbidden to move untreated fire wood more than 50 miles from its source. In Upstate New York, only the Adirondacks is outside the quarantine.

ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON FORECAST: NOAA has issued an updated Atlantic hurricane season outlook saying the season is shaping up to be above normal with the possibility that it could be very active. The season has already produced four named storms, with the peak of the season – now through October – just beginning.

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

** Adirondack Loj Road Closure: The Adirondack Loj Road will be temporarily closed between Meadows Lane and the Adirondak Loj due to bridge work on August 21st from about 8 am to 2 pm (that’s the bridge over the West Branch of the Ausable River, the one closest to the Adirondack Loj).

Giant Mountain Wilderness: All rock climbing routes on Lower Washbowl Cliffs near Chapel Pond are open, peregrine falcon nesting activity has ended for the season.

McKenzie Mountain Wilderness: All rock climbing routes on Moss Cliff in the Wilmington Notch are open, peregrine falcon nesting activity has ended for the season.

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.

** Whiteface Resort Adding Glade: Whiteface ski ara is adding a new glade on Lookout Mountain. The 1,500 foot long expert glade will be cut half-way down Hoyt’s High and will also connect the Summit Chair lift, adding an additional 4.7 acres to the mountain’s 283 acres of skiable terrain and 3,430 of vertical feet, the most east of the Rockies .This is the first new trail added to Whiteface Mountain since the opening of Lookout Mountain in 2008. Other mountain improvements include the addition of 35 snow guns for Easy Street, Broadway, and Excelsior and boom fan snow gun for the Lower Valley trail. A new Pisten Bully 600 Winch Cat has also been added to Whiteface’s fleet of cats and groomers. Weather permitting the first day of the season is scheduled to begin, Friday, Nov. 29.

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

** Route 8 Closure: State Route 8 between Wells and Wevertown is closed for a culvert replacement. The state is replacing the large Girard Creek culvert, about 3.5 miles north of the intersection of state routes 8 and 30 in the Town of Wells and about 20 miles south of Wevertown. The New York State Department of Transportation has marked Route 30 between Wells and Indian Lake and Route 28 between Indian Lake and Wevertown as a detour. One lane is expected to reopen sometime Friday, August 16, a situation that is expected to continue for a week or two. For real-time travel information call 511 or visit www.511NY.org.

Moose River Plains Wild Forest: The washout in the Indian Lake Road has been repaired and the road is open to the Squaw Lake trailhead.

** Jessup River Wild Forest – Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Lands: Jessup River Road and Old Military Road have been repaired by DEC staff and the landowner and are open to motor vehicles.

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

** Route 8 Closure: State Route 8 between Wells and Wevertown is closed for a culvert replacement. The state is replacing the large Girard Creek culvert, about 3.5 miles north of the intersection of state routes 8 and 30 in the Town of Wells and about 20 miles south of Wevertown. The New York State Department of Transportation has marked Route 30 between Wells and Indian Lake and Route 28 between Indian Lake and Wevertown as a detour. One lane is expected to reopen sometime Friday, August 16, a situation that is expected to continue for a week or two. For real-time travel information call 511 or visit www.511NY.org.

** Lake Champlain Water Level High: The lake level is almost 2 feet above average for this time of year.

** Lake Champlain Bridge Work: The Lake Champlain Bridge will be reduced to one alternating lane, during the day on weekdays from Monday, August 19th through September 24th.

** Lake Champlain Algae Blooms: Small amounts of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) were reported from Malletts Bay Fish and Wildlife Access in Colchester. Larger amounts of cyanobacteria have been reported along the northern shoreline in Quebec. Anyone in these areas should avoid algae blooms and be aware of changing conditions. 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.

** Cassayuna Lake Algae Bloom: A suspicious algae bloom has been reported in Cassayuna Lake, Washington 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.

** Lake Sunnyside Algae Bloom: A large localized blue-green algae bloom continues to be reported in Lake Sunnyside, Warren 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.

Eastern Lake George Wild Forest – Shelving Rock: Campsites in the Shelving Rock area can not be reserved. The designated campsites are considered backcountry or primitive campsites on Forest Preserve lands and are not part of the Lake George Islands Campground. The campsites can be obtained on a first come, first served basis and used in accordance with the State Land Camping and Hiking Rules.

Eastern Lake George Wild Forest – Shelving Rock: All rock climbing routes on the Main Wall of Shelving Rock are open, peregrine falcon nesting activity has ended for the season. (8/5)

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.

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

** Tupper Lake Snowmobile Trail Groomer: The Tupper Lake Town Board is planning to purchase a used groomer for the 30 mile network of snowmobile trails created and maintained by the Tupper Lake Snowmobile Club. The groomer purchase is expected to make the club eligible for New York State Snowmobile Association (NYSSA) grants from snowmobile registration fees. Through NYSSA, the state pays club volunteers $7.25 an hour, and a portion of club operating expenses.

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.

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: All rock climbing routes on Moss Cliff in the Wilmington Notch are open, peregrine falcon nesting activity has ended for the year.

Taylor Pond Wild Forest: All rock climbing routes on Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain’s Main Face are open as peregrine falcon nesting activity has ended for the season.

** Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain: The Poke-O-Moonshine Fire Tower remains open. The Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine site interpreter will remain on duty Thursdays through Mondays from 9am to 5 pm through Friday, August 23rd.

** Black Lake: Black Lake, St. Lawrence County, has been taken off the state’s blue-green algae bloom warning list.

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.

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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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