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 active, new or revised items.
** COLD WEATHER, RAIN & SNOW: Expect rain and snow showers and nighttime temperatures in the low 20s and colder at higher elevations. Snow and ice may be present in the higher elevations. Traction devices should be carried and worn when warranted. Pack and wear rain gear, extra layers of clothing and a winter hat and gloves. Always check the weather forecast before entering the backcountry.
** 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]
** TRAILS WET AND MUDDY: Trails are muddy and wet, and may become a mix of snow, ice, mud and water as the weekend progresses. Stay on trails and bedrock surfaces – don’t trample sensitive vegetation. Wear proper footwear and walk through (not around) mud & water to prevent further eroding and widening of trails.
** BLACK BEARS REMAIN ACTIVE: Black bears are active in the backcountry at this time of year. The use of bear-resistant canisters is required in the Eastern High Peaks through the end of November 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.
** FIRE DANGER LOW: The fire danger in the Adirondack region is LOW. 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 extreme care at this time of year with open fires.
** ABNORMALLY DRY CONDITIONS: Although trails are wet, the US Drought Monitor reports abnormally dry conditions extend through all of Essex, Warren, and Hamilton counties and Herkimer counties.
** WATERS RUNNING MOSTLY NORMAL: Rivers and streams are running at mostly normal levels for this time of year, with the exception of the western part of the Adirondacks where waters are running above low, including the West Canada Creek, the Oswagatchie, and Black rivers.
** LOCAL WATER TEMPERATURES COLD: Water temperatures around the region are in the 40s.
** LATE SEASON MOTOR BOATERS: Docks at businesses, marina, and boat launches along with 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 potentially unmarked underwater dangers.
** LIFE JACKETS (PFDs) NOW REQUIRED: State law requires life jackets be worn by anyone on a boat less than 21 feet in length between November 1st and May 1st. Cold water temperatures can cause hyperventilation, hypothermia and weakening of limbs all which could lead to drowning if a person is not wearing a Personal Floatation Device.
** HUNTING SEASONS OPEN: Hunting seasons for small game, waterfowl and big game are now open. 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 rare, but hikers may want to wear bright colors as an extra precaution and keep pets leased and on the trail.
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 for this week.
HIGH PEAKS – LAKE PLACID REGION
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.
** East River Trail Closed: DEC has temporarily closed the East River Trail (that’s the trail off the east side of the Tahawus Road, south of Upper Works, used to access Mount Adams, Flowed Lands and Hanging Spear Falls) until the bridge over the Hudson River is secured. Although the bridge over the Hudson River has been replaced the bridge is not completely secured at this time. Despite signs and barricades some people continue to cross the bridge so in order to prevent injury or death if the bridge collapses into the river and long-term closure of the bridge if it is damaged DEC is closing the trail. Due to high levels of cold water in the river DEC does not want people fording the river either. The closure is short term as DEC expects to fully secure the bridge and open it for use within a few weeks.
Algonquin and Iroquois Peaks: In June the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Professional Trail Crew built over 400 feet of bog-bridges on both sides of Boundary Peak to protect the alpine vegetation between Boundary, and Algonquin and Iroquois Peaks.
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
** Eastern Lake George Wild Forest: The Dacy Clearing Road has received some much needed maintenance. Materials has been added to fill holes and cover rocks, and the road was raked and smoothed.
Beach Road – Lake George: Motor vehicle traffic on Beach Road in Lake George is being rerouted in the Lake George Beach area to accommodate a road reconstruction project. The eastbound lane near Million Dollar Beach is closed. The westbound lane of the road is open to two-way traffic. The road will be rerouted until Memorial Day 2014, the expected completion date of the reconstruction of this section of Beach Road with porous asphalt and other stormwater management features to protect the water quality of Lake George. When the project is completed it will match the porous pavement and stormwater management infrastructure constructed by Warren County on the rest of Beach Road.
Santa Clara, Tupper and Saranac Lakes, St. Regis, Lake Lila
Blue Mountain Road: The Quebec Brook Bridge on the Blue Mountain Road in the Town of Waverly, Franklin County has reopened. Azure Mountain may be accessed from either end of the road again.
Madawaska Flow / Santa Clara Easement: Public access to the Santa Clara Tract Easement Lands and Madawaska Flow from Route 458 is unavailable at this time. DEC continues to work to reopen public access to this area.
Poke-O-Moonshine Fire Tower: The Poke-O-Moonshine Fire Tower (Taylor Pond Wild Forest) is closed until next summer. Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine who provided interpretation and public access to fire tower.
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.