Thursday, September 12, 2013

Current Conditions in the Adirondack Park (Sept 13)

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

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** indicates new or revised items.

** COOLER WEATHER: After a few warm days this week, temperatures have turned colder. The forecast for the next several days calls for daytime highs in the 50s and 60s and nighttime lows in 30s and 40s. Nighttime temperatures may drop below freezing in higher elevations. 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 JUST ABOVE NORMAL: Rivers and streams are running at just above normal levels for this time of year due to recent rains, but should return to seasonal lows.

** TRAILS WET AND MUDDY: Continued heavy, though isolated, rains have resulted in muddy and wet trails, especially in low lying areas and areas 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: Despite a warm temperatures late this week, water temperatures have begun to fall into the 60s around the region. The water temperature of the AuSable River in Wilmington is in the lower-60s. The Lake Champlain water temperature at Burlington has fallen to about 68 degrees, the water temperature at Diamond Island is about 66 degrees; and the water temperature at Warner Bay on Lake George is about 69 degrees. The water temperature of Great Sacandaga is in the upper 60s.

** 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 just beginning to change in the high peaks region and other areas above about 2,000 feet.

** 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

** Expect Cold Nights:  The forecast for the High Peaks for the next several days calls for nighttime lows in 30s. Temperatures may drop below freezing in higher elevations. 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.

Klondike Trail: The bridge over South Meadow Brook on the Klondike Trail has been replaced. The trail can now be accessed directly from the end of South Meadow Road.

** 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 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.

** Lake Champlain Water Level: The lake level remains 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.

** Lake Sunnyside Algae Bloom: The 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.

Siamese Ponds Wilderness: Blowdown has been removed from the Puffer Pond and Peaked Mountain Pond Trails.

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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