Thursday, September 26, 2013

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Sept 26)

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: The forecast for the next several days calls for daytime highs in the upper 60s and lower 70s and nighttime lows mostly in 50s and 40s, with some nighttime temperatures reach into the 30s at higher elevations and sheltered valleys. 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 dramatically 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]

** BEAR ACTIVITY: Black bears are active in the backcountry. The use of bear-resistant canisters is required in the Eastern High Peaks and encouraged throughout the Adirondacks. Prevent creating nuisance bears by properly using bear-resistant canisters, by storing all food, toiletries and garbage in the canister and by following other practices to prevent attracting bears.

** 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 generally dried the trails, but some areas may be muddy and wet – 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. The Lake Champlain water temperature has fallen to about 60 degrees; and the water temperature at Warner Bay on Lake George is about 70 degrees. The water temperature of near Scout Island on Great Sacandaga Lake is in the upper 60s.

** 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: Foliage is expected to be at its peak in the Central Adirondacks this week, and near peak at the periphery of the Adirondack Park. The next two 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.


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

** Duck Hole-Henderson Lake Trail: A new bridge has been constructed over Roaring Brook on the Duck Hole-Henderson Lake Trail.

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

** Aggressive Black Bears on the Northville-Placid Trail: Hikers have reported encounters with aggressive black bears on the Northville-Placid Trail between Wakely Pond and Stephens Pond in the Blue Ridge Wilderness. Hikers are advised to hike in groups, make noise as you hike (talking and clapping hands), hike only during daylight and secure food, trash, toiletries, and scented items when camping overnight. If approached by a bear DO NOT RUN – stand tall, wave you hands over your head and to your sides, yell and clap hands. If the bear doesn’t move off, throw rocks, sticks or other objects. DO NOT throw food or objects containing food. If attacked by a black bear, fight back. Use whatever items you have to punch, poke, or club the bear. As soon as possible contact the DEC Dispatch at 518-891-0235 at anytime of day or night to report the encounter.

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.

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.

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

** Santa Clara Tract Easement Lands /Madawaska Flow/Quebec Brook Primitive Area: Public access to these lands and waters from Route 458 is unavailable at this time. DEC continues to work to reopen public access to this area.

** 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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