Thursday, May 8, 2014

DEC Issues High Peaks Muddy Trails Advisory

DEC LogoIt is the start of a new season of outdoor hiking and recreation on public lands in the Adirondacks and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) urges hikers to be cautious and postpone hikes on trails above 3,000 feet until early June, the agency announced today.

DEC is asking hikers to avoid trails above 3,000 feet, particularly high elevation trails in the Dix, Giant and High Peaks Wilderness Areas in the northern Adirondacks, due to muddy conditions and the potential damage hiking can cause to vegetation and soft ground.

Hikers are advised to only use trails at lower elevations during the spring mud season to avoid damaging natural resources and to promote safety. Lower trails usually dry soon after snowmelt and are on less erosive soils than the higher peaks. DEC asks hikers to avoid the following trails:

*   High Peaks Wilderness Area – all trails above 3,000 feet; where wet, muddy, snow conditions still prevail, specifically: Algonquin, Colden, Feldspar, Gothics, Indian Pass, Lake Arnold Cross-Over, Marcy, Marcy Dam – Avalanche – Lake Colden which is extremely wet, Phelps Trail above John Brook Lodge, Range Trail, Skylight, Wright and all “trail-less” peaks.

*   Dix Mountain Wilderness Area – all trails above Elk Lake and Round Pond

*   Giant Mountain Wilderness Area – all trails above Giant’s Washbowl, *the Cobbles,* and Owls Head.

DEC suggests the following alternative trails for hiking, subject to weather conditions:

*   High Peaks Wilderness:
o   Ampersand Mountain
o   Cascade Mountain
o   Porter Mountain from Cascade Mountain (avoid all other approaches)
o   Big Slide
o   The Brothers

*   Debar Mt. Wild Forest:
o   Azure Mountain

*   Giant Mt. Wilderness:
o   Giant’s Washbowl
o   Roaring Brook Falls

*   Hurricane Mountain Wilderness
o   The Crows

*   McKenzie Mt. Wilderness:
o   Baker Mountain
o   Haystack Mountain

*   Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area:
o   Pharaoh Mountain

*   Saranac Lakes Wild Forest:
o   Panther Mountain
o   Scarface Mountain

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at

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