When it comes to mud and the Adirondacks, you really need to think like your children, according the experts (Adirondack Mountain Club and Department of Environmental Conservation), and hike directly through it! When you walk around it, you are actually widening the trail, and that’s a problem.
Both the ADK and DEC have advice for us right now as ice and snow are melting and making trails slippery and vulnerable to erosion by hikers. The two organizations ask that we avoid the higher elevations (DEC says trails above 2,500 feet; ADK says over 3,000).
Check out this ADK video all about mud and how to navigate it.
DEC suggests avoiding the following trails right now:
- High Peaks Wilderness Area – all trails above 2,500 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, including Ampersand Mountain, Mt. Van Hoevenberg and Mt. Jo;
- Giant Mt. Wilderness, including Giant’s Washbowl, Roaring Brook Falls and Owl’s Head Lookout;
- Hurricane Mountain Wilderness, including the Crows, Hurricane Mountain from Route 9N, and Jay Mountain Wilderness and Jay Mountain;
- McKenzie Mt. Wilderness, including Baker Mountain, Haystack Mountain, and McKenzie Mountain; and
- Saranac Lakes Wild Forest, including Panther Mountain, Scarface Mountain, and Floodwood Mountain.
Be Prepared: Properly prepare and plan before entering the backcountry. Visit DEC’s Hiking Safety webpage and Adirondack Trail Information webpage for more information about where you intend to travel. The Adirondack Almanack reports weekly Outdoor Conditions each Thursday afternoon.
Photo: screen grab from Adirondack Mountain Club video.