Thursday, September 19, 2013

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Sept 19)

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

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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 report can also be found at Mountain Lake PBS.


** indicates new or revised items.

** COOLER WEATHER: Despite the return of warm and sunny weather this weekend, temperatures have turned cooler in the Adirondacks and the growing season has mostly ended after killing frosts this week. The forecast for the next several days however, calls for warmer temperatures with daytime highs in the upper 60s and lower 70s and nighttime lows in 50s and 40s. Nighttime temperatures may reach into the upper 30s this weekend at higher elevations. As cooler weather returns during next week remember that rain and temperatures in the 40s can pose a risk of hypothermia. Pack and wear extra layers of clothing and a winter hat. Check the weather forecast.

** SHORTER DAYS: Days are growing shorter with darkness arriving earlier each day. Plan accordingly and always carry a flashlight or headlamp and extra fresh batteries.

** KNOW THE LATEST WEATHER: Fall weather is often unsettled and can change drastically in a short time. 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]

** WATERS RUNNING AT NORMAL LEVELS: Rivers and streams are running at normal levels (seasonably low) for this time of year.

** TRAIL CONDITIONS: Sunny weather has dried trails a little, but trails may be muddy and wet in some spots – especially in low-lying areas and along water. Stay on trails and bedrock surfaces – don’t trample sensitive vegetation on summits. Wear waterproof footwear and gaiters and walk through (not around) mud and water to prevent further eroding and widening of trails.

** WATER TEMPERATURES ARE FALLING: Water temperatures continue to fall around the region. The water temperature of the AuSable River in Wilmington is in the upper-50s and lower-60s. The Lake Champlain water temperature has fallen to about 64 degrees; and the water temperature at Warner Bay on Lake George has fallen slightly to about 67 degrees. The water temperature of near Scout Island on Great Sacandaga Lake is about 66 degrees.

** LATE SEASON MOTOR BOATERS: Shallow, danger, and channel marker buoys are being pulled from lakes around the region. Late season boaters should know the areas in which they travel and give a wide berth to dangerous areas.

** FIRE DANGER MODERATE: The fire danger in the Adirondack region remains MODERATE. 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.

** FALL FOLIAGE REPORT: Trees are beginning to change in the High Peaks region and other areas above about 2,000 feet. The next few weeks would be an excellent time for leaf peeping.

** HUNTING SEASON: Autumn hunting seasons for small game, waterfowl and big game are open or will open shortly. Hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters bearing firearms or archery equipment while hiking on trails. Please recognize that these are fellow outdoor recreationists. Hunting accidents involving non-hunters are extremely rare. Hikers may want to wear bright colors as an extra precaution and keep pets leased and on the trail.

colin** SEARCH FOR COLIN GILLIS CONTINUES: The New York State Police, in conjunction with New York State DEC and Forest Rangers, are reminding the public of a missing person case, hoping they can assist in the search. On March 11, 2012 around 2:00 AM, Colin Gillis, age 18, of Tupper Lake, New York, was last seen walking along State Route 3 between Tupper Lake and Piercefield. At the time, Gillis was wearing a white T-shirt with black stripes, blue jeans, red sneakers and a red and black down jacket. He is 6 foot tall, 170 lbs, and has blonde hair and blue eyes. State Police are reminding those who are planning on participating in the upcoming hunting seasons, to be observant for anything unusual or out of the ordinary while they are in the woods. If the public observes anything they wish to report, or has any information in regards to Colin’s disappearance, contact the New York State Police at (518) 897-2000.

REPORT SICK OR DEAD DEER: This is the time of year when we are most likely to see Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) cases in white-tailed deer. EHD is a viral disease that is transmitted by a biting midge. In deer, the symptoms of EHD include fever, small hemorrhages or bruises in the mouth and nose, and swelling of the head, neck, tongue and lips. A deer infected with EHD may appear lame or dehydrated. Frequently, infected deer will seek out water sources and many succumb near a water source. There is no treatment and no means of prevention for EHD. EHD does not infect humans, and rarely causes illness in domestic animals, such as cattle, sheep, goats, horses, dogs and cats. Historically EHD has been common in the southeastern US, but in recent years the frequency of outbreaks in the northern US has increased and some large die offs have been reported. Last year the disease had significant impacts on wild deer herds in the Midwest. Michigan reported nearly 15,000 deer affected. New Jersey and Pennsylvania have both had recurring outbreaks, most recently in 2012. In New York, the first cases of EHD were confirmed in 2007 in Albany, Rensselaer and Niagara counties, affecting several dozen deer. A larger outbreak occurred in Rockland County in 2011 and may have killed about 100 deer. No cases of EHD were found in NY in 2012 and no cases have yet been reported in 2013. Please promptly report any observations of sick or groups of dead deer to the nearest DEC regional wildlife office or the DEC Wildlife Health Unit. More information about EHD in NY can be found online.


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.

Including, Wilmington, Keene, Western High Peaks

** Bear Resistant Canisters: The use of bear-resistant canisters to store all food, toiletries and waste is required for all overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness through November 30 and encouraged throughout the Adirondacks.

Expect High Usage Oct 11-14: Visitors to the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness should be aware that trailhead parking lots and interior campsites reach capacity on Columbus Day/Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend, October 11-14. Hikes Outside of the High Peaks provides a list of alternative day hikes in the Adirondacks.

West Canada Lakes, Fulton Chain, Long Lake, Speculator, Indian Lake

** No new reports this week.

The Hudson, Schroon, Lake George, Champlain, Sacandaga, Washington Co

** Lake Champlain Water Level: The lake level remains about a foot 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 through September 24th.

** Santanoni Historic Preserve: A mason is at work rebuilding the stone “wing wall” of the second of the three stone bridges (3.2 miles from the trailhead) on the Newcomb Lake Road. This work does not effect access to the Main Camp.

Lake George – Calves Pen: Some websites are promoting an undesignated trail to access the Calves Pen “jumping rock” by land. The path described crosses private lands and is hard to follow. Use of this path has led to trespassing and lost hikers. DEC discourages the public from accessing the Calves Pen by land.

Santa Clara, Tupper and Saranac Lakes, St. Regis, Lake Lila

** Blue Mountain Road: The bridge over Quebec Brook on Blue Mountain Road in the Town of Waverly, Franklin County, is being replaced by a county crew and will be closed until late September or early October. There will be no detour possible. During the closure period access to the Quebec Brook Waterway Access Site will be from the south only and access to Azure Mountain will be from the north only.


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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