Thursday, March 29, 2018

High Waters: Current Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (Mar 29)

CompassThis weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks is compiled each Thursday afternoon.

Contribute Your Knowledge: Add a comment below, or send your observations, corrections, updates, and suggestions to [email protected]

Practice Leave No Trace Principles when visiting the Adirondack Park.

SPECIAL NOTICES FOR THIS WEEKEND

SUN AND MOON SATURDAY: Sunrise Saturday in Lake Placid will be at 6:38 am and sunset at 7:21 pm, providing 12 hours 43 minutes of sunlight. The Moon will rise at 7:38 pm Saturday night, and set at 7:32 am, Sunday morning. It will be about 99% illuminated.

EXPECT HIGH WATERS: The combination of moderate rain tonight and snowmelt from mild temperatures will result in significant rises on most rivers and streams across the region on Friday. A few of the larger rivers are expected to crest near or just above flood stage late Friday and Friday night. Although widespread flooding is not expected, normally flood prone areas may be impacted. Some backcountry trail crossings may be difficult or impassable. Follow the latest river forecasts and be prepared with an alternative route.  The Hudson River is forecast to be 6 feet at the North Creek gage on Saturday and the whitewater rafting season has begun.

HAZARDOUS WEATHER: Rainy weather Thursday (and light snow at higher elevations tonight) will carry through Friday raising the levels of rivers and streams (see above). Saturday will be colder and drier before a scattered mix of snow, sleet, rain showers return late Saturday-early Sunday (possibly several inches at higher elevations, and wind chills to -20).  Before entering the back-country check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here and Mountain Forecasts here.

SUMMITS: Expect a variety of conditions this weekend including rain, snow, high winds and cold temperatures. Summit temperatures are expected to be mostly in the teens and single digits through the weekend, with winds to 55 mph early Sunday morning bringing wind chills near 20 below zero. Although many trailhead areas are muddy, there remains at least 6 to 12 inches of snow at lower elevations in sheltered areas around the region, and still several feet of snow at higher elevations, including more than 45 inches at Lake Colden, and 5 or 6 feet in some higher elevation areas. Water crossings are open and waters are expected to be high (see warning above). Snowshoes or skis are needed for back-country travel, and traction devices are recommended everywhere, and those headed to summits and steeper terrain should carry crampons. Expect to encounter blowdown from recent storms.  Consult the High Elevation forecast.

AVALANCHE AWARENESS: The National Weather Service and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation both issued avalanche warnings two weeks ago. Be aware of avalanche dangers, preparedness, and safety precautions on the DEC’s avalanche website.

ICE GOING OUT: The lake and pond ice that remains is largely unsafe. Ice has gone out in some areas, especially near southern exposed shores, and where moving water is present. Ice that holds snow may not hold the weight of a person. Don’t add to the statistics this year.

DOWNHILL SKI REPORT: Conditions at downhill resorts are currently fast, loose granular; with more spring conditions expected Friday. Colder temperatures returning Saturday will make for faster conditions, and some fresh snow is likely Sunday morning. At Whiteface, about 85% of terrain remains open; and 80% of the terrain at Gore. Skiing has ended for the season at Oak Mountain and Mt. Pisgah.  McCauley in Old Forge remains opens this weekend, for what may be their last. Titus Mountain is open Friday and Saturday, and may have skiing (no tubing) for their end of the season shindig Sat., April 7th. The region’s town-operated ski and sledding hills will mostly be open for at least one last weekend.

CROSS-COUNTRY SKI REPORT: Cross-country ski conditions will take a hit with Thursday and Friday’s rains and warm temperatures, but there was a good base thanks to recent heavy snows and continued cold temperatures, so several areas will still have some terrain open, even after the rain, including Cascade, and Mt. Van Hoevenberg, which will end full operations and grooming after this weekend, but remain skiable into next week at least. Dewey has closed for the season, and the winter trails at Paul Smith’s will close Sunday. There remains some good late season skiing at Garnet Hill near North Creek, and at Lapland Lake near Northville, which still has most of its terrain open.

BACK-COUNTRY SKI REPORT: There remains 5-6 feet of snow at higher elevations. At lower elevations, including the Jackrabbiit trail, stick to longer stretches in the woods, and avoid open areas. Prepare for blowdown, wet crossings and high water, and use caution on steeps.

SNOWMOBILE TRAILS: Although the Webb and Inlet trails remain open with fair conditions for one last ride before they close Sunday, elsewhere snowmobiling can no longer be recommended.

BE PREPARED! Start slow, gain experience. Always carry proper safety equipment – including plenty of food, water, extra clothing, a flashlight, and a map and compass – inform someone of your itinerary, and be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods. Just before entering the backcountry or launching a boat check the National Weather Service watches, warnings, and advisories here. Follow Adirondack weather forecasts at Burlington and Albany and consult the High Elevation, Recreation, or Lake Champlain forecasts.

AVOID MINES AND CAVES WHERE BATS ARE PRESENT: DEC has urged outdoor adventurers to suspend exploration of cave and mine sites that may serve as seasonal homes for hibernating bats. Human disturbances are especially harmful to the State’s bat population since the arrival of the disease known as white-nose syndrome, which has killed more than 90 percent of bats at hibernation sites in New York. All posted notices restricting the use of caves and mines should be followed. If New Yorkers or visitors to the State encounter hibernating bats while underground, DEC encourages them to leave the area as quickly and quietly as possible. Anyone entering a northern long-eared bat hibernation site from October 1 through April 30, the typical period of hibernation for bats, may be subject to prosecution. Learn more here.

RIVERS AND STREAMS RISING: The combination of moderate rain tonight and snowmelt from mild temperatures will result in significant rises on most rivers and streams across the region on Friday. A few of the larger rivers are expected to crest near or just above flood stage late Friday and Friday night. Although widespread flooding is not expected, normally flood prone areas may be impacted. Backcountry trail crossings may be difficult or impassable, especially in the afternoons.  Follow the latest river forecasts. The following stream gage readings were observed on Thursday afternoon. These are expected to rise dramatically Friday

Moose River at McKeever – 2.88 feet (3/29); 2.83 feet (3/22)
Raquette River at Piercefield – 5.28 feet (3/29); 6.10 feet (3/22)
AuSable River at Ausable Forks – 1.79 feet (3/29); 1.40 feet(3/22)
Hudson River at North Creek – 3.90 feet (3/29); 3.66 feet (3/22)
Schroon River at Riverbank (Route 11) – 2.79 feet (3/29); 2.91 feet (3/22)
Lake Champlain at Whitehall – 96.32 feet (3/29); 96.72 feet (3/22)

DO NOT RELY ON TECHNOLOGY: Do not depend on electronic technology in the backcountry. Cell phone coverage is spotty at best and often non-existent. GPS signal can be poor under heavy tree cover. Batteries expire quickly in cold temperatures. Plan and prepare carefully before entering the backcountry and always carry a map and compass – and know how to use them.

KEEP PETS LEASHED: Keep your pet under control. Restrain it on a leash when others approach. Collect and bury droppings away from water, trails and camp sites. Keep your pet away from drinking water sources. Dogs must be leashed in the Eastern Zone of the High Peaks when on trails, at primitive tent sites, at lean-to sites, everywhere above 4,000 feet, or at other areas where the public congregates. Dogs should be kept leashed for the safety of your dog, the protection of wildlife and rare plants, and out of courtesy to fellow hikers everywhere in the Adirondack Park.

LEAVE NO TRACE / CARRY IN – CARRY OUT: Learn and practice the seven Leave No Trace principles. Carry out what you have carried in. Do not leave gear, food, or other unwanted or unneeded items at lean-tos and campsites. Do not litter. Take the free online Leave No Trace course here.

GROUP SIZE RESTRICTIONS: Large groups have significantly more impact on the trails, natural resources and other users. DEC regulation restricts group size in the High Peaks Wilderness to no more than 15 hikers (day users) or 8 campers (overnight users) and encourages this practice to be followed in other areas. Outside the High Peaks Wilderness, DEC regulation requires a temporary permit be issued to authorize organized events of more than twenty people; camping at the same location for more than three nights; or camping in groups of more than 10 people.

VOLUNTEER FOR TRAIL WORK: No matter what your sport, if you’re a trail user consider contributing your efforts to one of the many organizations dedicated to maintaining the region’s network of thousands of miles of trails.

RECENT CHANGES IN THE ADIRONDACK BACKCOUNTRY

* indicates new or recent items.

HIGH PEAKS REGION
Including Dix Mountain, Giant Mountain, Hurricane Mountain, Jay Mountain, McKenzie Mountain, Sentinel Range Wildernesses
These are recent changes, older changes for this area can be found here.

** Giant Mountain Wilderness: Beginning April 1, all rock climbing routes on Upper and Lower Washbowl Cliffs in the Chapel Pond area are closed to allow peregrine falcons to mate and select nesting sites. Once nest sites are identified DEC will reopen routes that will not interfere with nesting activities. (3/29)

** Mt Van Hoevenberg (3/29): “Starting April 2nd, the lodge will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Limited grooming will be done on those days, temperatures permitting, so ski at your own risk. Also, this Saturday will be the last day this season our cafe will be serving food. Limited grooming again this AM due to warming temps. Pisten Bully is on the XC side, and has hit most of the flats, East mt. and the ladies outer loop. Ginzus on the biathlon side have freshened up the skate lanes. Still great cover with all 50km open. Skating has been AWESOME THE PAST FEW DAYS! For you classic skiers, “happy hour” should be around 10 to 11, when the trackset has had a chance to soften a bit for some kick.”

** Lake Colden Caretaker Report (3/29): “Lake Colden Caretaker reports 45 inches (115 cm) of snow at the stake on the shores of Lake Colden (Elevation 2,750 ft./838 m) with up to 4 to 5 feet snow (150 to 180 cm) in the higher elevations. Snow on trails is wet and soft; Snowshoes or skis are required on all trails; Beware of ice falling from the cliffs above Avalanche Pass; Water has begun accumulating on the ice on Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake, avoid the inlets and outlets.”

** Avalanche Pass: Beware of ice falling from the cliffs above Avalanche Pass. (3/29)

Corey’s Road Closure: Corey’s Road in the Western High Peaks is closed beyond the Calkins Brook/Raquette River Trailhead Parking. Do not block the gate or park in the plow turn around area. It will remain closed through mud season. The road will reopen when it has dried and hardened, and all routine maintenance and repairs have been completed. (3/22)

Cascade Day Use Area/ High Peaks Wilderness: The Cascade Day Use area, located off State Route 73 between Lower and Upper Cascade Lakes, is closed until further notice due to the icy condition of the un-maintained entry road. (2/22)

McKenzie Mountain Wilderness: A small section of the Whiteface Mountain Trail just above the junction with the Whiteface Highway (Wilmington Turn) has been rerouted to avoid the hazard created by variable ice conditions and the “rock cut” of the highway. (1/18)

Boreas Ponds Tract: The lower gate on the Gulf Brook Road is closed until the end of the spring mud season. The road is being skied. (3/22)

Elk Lake Trails – Clear Pond Gate: The Clear Pond Gate on the Elk Lake Road is closed through the spring mud season. This adds four miles to a round-trip hike.

South Meadow Lane – Marcy Truck Trail: South Meadow Lane is closed to public motor vehicle traffic until the end of the spring mud season. Vehicles can park at the barriers just off the Adirondac Loj Road. Do not block the opening as it used for emergency access. The closed gate adds nearly two miles to a round trip to the Marcy Truck Trail.

Mr. Van Ski Trail: A large tree has fallen on the Mr. Van Lean-to on the Mr. Van Ski Trail causing severe damage and rendering the lean-to unsafe and unusable. DEC is working with partners to evaluate the extent of the damage and the requirements and timing of repairs.

* Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake: Avoid the inlets and outlets of Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake, snow is covering thin ice around the open water. (3/22)

Upper Johns Brooks Valley: Several sections of the Phelps Trail in the Upper Johns Brook Valley contain extensive amount of blowdown. Use caution when in and around this area.

Western High Peaks: Blowdown has been cleared from the Blueberry Horse Trail between the Calkins Creek Horse Trail and Ward Brook Horse Trail in the Western High Peaks and the trail has been “brushed out” (trailside vegetation has been trimmed).

Bradley Pond Trail: A new section of Bradley Pond Trail to Sanatanoni Mountain has been constructed near the beginning of the trail to avoid the two crossings which had unusable bridges. The new trail section crosses Santanoni Brook on a newly constructed bridge and then joins the old trail a short distance later.

Owls Head Trail: The trail to the summit of Owls Head in the town of Keene is closed to public access by the landowners.

* Fat Bike Trails: Trail stewards responsible for bike and fat bike trails in the Wilmington-Lake Placid-Saranac Lake ask riders to abide by trail closures posted on TrailHUB.

Ouluska Brook Bridge: The bridge over Ouluska Brook on the Northville-Placid Trail has collapsed into the brook. Crossing the brook is possible only during low water conditions.

WESTERN ADIRONDACKS
Including Aldrich Pond Wild Forest, Bog River Complex, Cranberry Lake Wild Forest, Five Ponds & Pepperbox Wildernesses, Watson’s East Triangle Wild Forest, William C. Whitney & Round Lake Wilderness
These are recent changes, older changes for this area can be found here.

William C. Whitney Wilderness: The gate on the North Branch Road near the entrance is closed and all of the roads are closed to public motor vehicle access until the end of the spring mud season.

Five Ponds Wilderness: An 800-foot portion of the Plains Trail (part of the Cranberry 50) has been rerouted to avoid a dangerous log crossing of a beaver dam. The new route has been brushed out and marked with red trail markers.

Pigeon Lake Wilderness: There is an area with significant blowdown on the Norridgewock Trail about 1.5 miles south of Beaver River Station. A rough and temporary reroute has been flagged with pink flagging. All users should exercise caution when traveling through this area.

NORTHWESTERN ADIRONDACKS
Including Grass River Complex, Raquette Boreal Complex, Whitehill Wild Forest
These are recent changes, older changes for this area can be found here.

Grass River Complex: DEC Region 6 Operations staff and the St. Lawrence County Snowmobile Association have replace the deficient Chap Hill Bridge on a snowmobile trail in the town of Colton with a stronger, portable bridge from the nearby Goldmine Tract Conservation Easement.

NORTHERN ADIRONDACKS
Including the Saranc Lake and Paul Smith’s Area, DeBar Mountain Wild Forest, Kushaqua Tract, Santa Clara Tract, Saranac Lakes and the St. Regis Canoe Area
These are recent changes, older changes for this area can be found here.

Kushaqua Conservation Easement Tract: Lyme Adirondack Forest Company, the private landowner of the Kushaqua Conservation Easement Tract, is conducting a timber harvest in the area of the Loon Lake Mountain Trail. Be prepared to encounter logging trucks and heavy equipment at any time on the trail and the easement lands in the area during this active harvest operation. (3/9)

Paul Smith VIC (3/22): Cold to mild temperatures have kept our snow in fantastic condition with minimal freeze/thaw. We will be touching up our trails and covering our tracks from the work we’ve been doing @the sugarbush. (Current Paul Smith’s Conditions) Winter Trails at Paul Smith’s close April 1st.

** Lake Flower Boat Launch: The Lake Flower Boat Launch parking area will close from April to November 18. The Boat Launch is planned to remain open while DEC addresses contamination in Pontiac Bay. The public will need to find alternate parking after launching their boats or use the DEC Second Pond Boat Launch. Paddlers and others with car tops boats are encouraged to use the DEC Ampersand Bay Hand Launch.

Santa Clara Tract: The Madawaska gate is open to allow snowmobile access along the C8 designated snowmobile trail. (12/28)

Debar Mountain Wild Forest: The Meacham Lake Campground and Debar Meadow gates are open to provide access to the C8 designated snowmobile trail. (12/28)

Debar Mountain Wild Forest: Vanderwalker Road gate for access to East Branch St. Regis Canoe Launch is closed and the road is closed to public motor vehicle use until the after the spring mud season. (12/21)

Santa Clara Tract: The Pinnacle Road gate is closed and the road is closed to public motor vehicle access until the end of the spring mud season. (12/21)

DeBar Mountain Wild Forest: The foot bridge on the access trail to Debar Pond has been removed. Debar Pond may now be accessed near the lodge building using the road beyond the gate at the parking area. A new gate is expected to be installed that will allow easier passage of people with boats in the very near future. Trespassing in the lodge or any other building is prohibited.

NORTHEASTERN ADIRONDACKS
Including Chazy Highlands Wild Forest, Lake Champlain Islands Complex, Sable Highlands Tract, Taylor Pond Complex, Wilmington Wild Forest
These are recent changes, older changes for this area can be found here.

Sable Highlands Tract: Snowmobiling is allowed on Wolf Pond Road and Liberty Road only. All other roads in the easement are closed to snowmobile use. This includes Goat Path Road, Piney Ridge Road, and D&H Road which are being used by logging trucks. The gate on Barnes Pond Road is closed and road is closed to public motor vehicle use until the opening of next year’s big game season. (1/25)

* Fat Bike Trails: Trail stewards responsible for bike and fat bike trails in the Wilmington-Lake Placid-Saranac Lake ask riders to abide by trail closures posted on TrailHUB.

SOUTHWESTERN ADIRONDACKS
Including Black River Wild Forest, Fulton Chain Wild Forest, Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness, Independence River Wild Forest, Pigeon Lake Wilderness

These are recent changes, older changes for this area can be found here.

** Independence River Wild Forest: The Erie Canal Trail Bridge over Otter Creek has been damaged and is closed indefinitely. (3/29)

* Independence River Wild Forest: The 10 Mile Crossing Road gate at Otter Creek and the Mt. Tom Trail East gate are both closed. (3/9)

St. Lawrence County: DEC has upgrades to two bridge projects critical to the St. Lawrence County snowmobile trail network. The Chap Hill Bridge, located in the town of Colton, on the Grass River Conservation Easement (CE), is part of a main snowmobile route. DEC determined the bridge to be structurally deficient for use as a public snowmobile bridge and replaced it with a stronger, portable bridge. The Morgan Road Bridge, located on the South Colton CE, was also deemed unsafe for public snowmobile use after it was destroyed by a contractor’s overweight vehicle. Plans are in the works to replace the bridge with a permanent one. In the meantime, DEC has installed a portable bridge at this site.

Black River Wild Forest: Stone Dam Trail north of Stone Dam Lake to its intersection with the Chub Pond Trail is overgrown and can be hard to find and follow.

Black River Wild Forest: The bridge across the inlet to Little Woodhull Lake on the Little Woodhull Lake Trail is out. The stream may not be passable in times of high water. Nick’s Lake Outlet Trail to Remsen Falls may be rough and grown in. Nelson Lake Loop Trail has several blowdown trees. The gate at the end of the Wolf Lake Landing Road has been vandalized. Motor vehicle access beyond the gate is prohibited except by permit. Most blowdown has been cleared from the first two miles of Twin Lakes Trail from the Farr Road, the trail is in poor shape beyond to the marsh.

Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness: Moose River Mountain Trail has heavy blow down and is difficult to follow at times. East Pond-Lost Creek Trail between East Pond and the Big Otter Lake East Trail is rough, grown in and may contain blowdown. The trail is difficult to follow at times.

Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness: Blackfoot Pond Trail off of the East-Pond Lost Creek Trail remains rough, grown in and may contain blowdown. The trail is difficult to follow at times. The sign at the junction of the trails is missing, the turn off to Blackfoot Pond is not readily marked or noticeable. DEC will be replacing the sign soon.

WEST CENTRAL ADIRONDACKS
Including Blue Mountain Wild Forest, Township 19 Easement, Township 20 Easement, Blue Ridge Wilderness, Moose River Plains Complex, Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Easement, Sargent Ponds Wild Forest, West Canada Lakes Wilderness
These are recent changes, older changes for this area can be found here.

** The town of Lake Pleasant has closed the gates on Perkins Clearing Road and Jessup River Road to public motor vehicle use for mud season. However, both tracts remain open to snowmobiles at this time. The roads will reopen once they have dried, hardened, and annual maintenance and repairs are completed. (3/29)

** Perkins Clearing: Brister Brook Parking Area is closed. (3/29)

* Jessup River Wild Forest: The Oxbow Trail is closed. (3/9)

Perkins Clearing: The following trails have been closed for logging operations, the roads will be very active with log trucks and other logging related traffic: The south end of Perkins Clearing road between State Route 30 and Mud Lake Road (a bypass route has been created to allow snowmobiles to access Perkins Clearing from the south).; Mud Lake Road; Elm Lake Road is closed and plowed from the entrance of the Speculator Tree Farm to Long Level Road; Long Level Road is closed and plowed to Fly Creek Road; Fly Creek Road is closed and plowed from Long Level Road south to about Pine Mountain. (12/29)

Stillwater Fire Tower: Stillwater Fire Tower on the Big Moose Rd. between Stillwater and Big Moose Station has reopened.

Perkins Clearing: The bridge over the Kunjamuk River on the Pine Lakes Road on the Speculator Tree Farm is closed for safety purposes. DEC is developing plans to repair the bridge.

** Webb-Inlet Snowmobile Trails (3/29): The Town of Webb Snowmobile Trail System has GOOD to FAIR conditions overall, with up to 5″ of base. Interior trails are holding up. Some exposed trails have bare spots. Trail #5 above Rondaxe has no coverage. Access from North Street is good, Town access is poor. Fuel is available only at FasTrac.

Wakely Mountain Fire Tower: remains closed until further notice due to safety concerns with the Wakely Mountain Fire Tower. The fire tower was closed to public access in December 2016 due to structural deficiencies.

EAST CENTRAL ADIRONDACKS
Including North Creek, Indian Lake, Newcomb, Camp Santanoni, Essex Chain Lakes, Hoffman Notch, Hudson Gorge, Jessup River, Siamese Ponds and the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest
These are recent changes, older changes for this area can be found here.

Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest: The North Warren Snowmobile Trail System has closed for the season. (3/29)

Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest: Snowmobile trail gates have been closed at Scaroon Manor Campground and Camp Cayuga. (3/9)

All gates to the Essex Chain Lakes Complex Area are closed for winter. This includes: Chain Lakes Road North, Cornell Road, and Chain Lakes Road South. The outermost parking areas will be used from now until after spring mud season. All other seasonal access roads remain open until conditions warrant their closing.

Eagle Cave -Siamese Ponds Wilderness: Eagle Cave on Chimney Mountain is closed to the public to protect hibernating bats through April 30th.

Siamese Ponds Wilderness: Two foot bridges have collapsed. The 55-foot bridge over the East Branch Sacandaga River on the Botheration Pond Loop Trail has collapsed and cannot be crossed. Do not attempt to scramble over it. During low water, rock hopping is possible. A 30-foot bridge on the Puffer Pond Trail over a tributary to the Thirteenth Lake south of the lake collapsed earlier this year and cannot be crossed.

EASTERN ADIRONDACKS
Including Hammond Pond Wild Forest, the Lake George Valley, Pharaoh Lake Wilderness, Lake Champlain, Split Rock Wild Forest, and Champlain Area Trails Society Trails
These are recent changes, older changes for this area can be found here.

** Lake George Wild Forest: Beginning April 1, all rock climbing routes on the Main Wall of Shelving Rock Mountain, and all climbing routes on Sleeping Beauty Mountain are closed to allow peregrine falcons to mate and select nesting sites. Once nest sites are identified DEC will reopen routes that will not interfere with nesting activities. (3/29)

** Lake George Wild Forest: Both the South Warren Snowmobile Trail System and the North Warren Snowmobile Trail System are closed for the season. Seasonal access roads on Forest Preserve and Conservation Easement lands will reopen for public motor vehicle use once they have dried, hardened, and annual maintenance and repairs are completed. (3/29)

* Garnet Hill Trail Conditions (3/29): “Though we have begun to lose base to the spring weather, most classic favorites like Old Faithful remain in great shape for some late season skiing! Limited grooming will be happening this morning while it stays wet; groomed surfaces will be soft and damp underfoot, ungroomed surfaces will be frozen and variable. 25 km of spring skiing is still available, stop in and say hello!”

Lake George Wild Forest: The Town of Fort Ann has closed Shelving Rock Road for mud season. Parking along the road before the gate is prohibited. During this period there is no access to Hogtown; Sleeping Beauty; Buck Mountain (east trail head); Shelving Rock; Dacy Clearing; Log Bay; Shelving Rock Day Use Area; and Shelving Rock Falls. Buck Mountain from Pilot Knob and Inman Pond are still open (3/9)

Lake George Wild Forest: DEC crews have dismantled and removed the Thomas Mountain Cabin. Crews will return in the spring to rake and complete clean up of the site. The cabin was removed because it did not comply with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan and was not compatible with the Forest Preserve. Additionally, vandals had started misusing the cabin, such that it had become an attractive nuisance. (12/29)

Lake George Boat Launch: The boat launching ramp at Lake George Beach is operational year round with parking for vehicles with trailers limited to 26 parking spots. Access is free of charge beginning after Labor Day until the Friday before Memorial Day.

Boquet River Nature Preserve: The Nature Conservancy and the Town of Willsboro have opened a new, 1.5-mile loop universal access trail at the Conservancy’s 110-acre Boquet River Nature Preserve. Access to the Uplands Trailhead is located behind the Paine Public Library, off Rt. 22/Main Street. This multi-use trail, which meets the Federal Trail Accessibility Guidelines, is one of the longest accessible forest trails in the Adirondacks.

SOUTHERN ADIRONDACKS
Including Ferris Lake Wild Forest, Shaker Mountain Wild Forest, Silver Lake Wilderness, Wilcox Lake Wild Forest
These are recent changes, older changes for this area can be found here.

** Wilcox Lake Wild Forest: Beginning April 1, all rock climbing routes in the Amphitheatre section of the Black Arches Wall, and the Hang Time and Black Arch Arête routes on the Main Wall of Crane Mountain are closed to allow peregrine falcons to mate and select nesting sites. All other routes are open. Once nest sites are identified DEC will reopen routes that will not interfere with nesting activities. (3/29)

* Lapland Lake Cross Country Ski Center (3/29): “Forecasts indicate rain will hold off until late afternoon so we expect another day of nice spring skiing. We are not grooming today because of warm temperatures. Conditions will be fast in places in the morning and will slow as temperatures increase. Overall base and coverage remains very good but thin and hard pack spots are appearing. We have approximately 26K of XC trails open including Vasa, Era Polku, Lake Trail, Kippis, Sisu with shortcuts, Karhu (without the upper expert loops) and Napa Piiri. The loop on frozen Woods Lake is closed. All snowshoe trails open. One junior tubing hill open. Ice skating pond closed. (Latest Conditions Here)

Wilcox Lake Wild Forest: The cab of the Hadley Mountain Fire Tower and the observer’s cabin are closed and locked for the season.

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DEC Trail Supporter PatchBe sure to 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. Check the Adirondack Almanack Outdoor Conditions Reports each Thursday afternoon. A map of the Adirondack Park can be found here; active alerts are updated by noon Friday here.

This weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks is compiled by Adirondack Almanack founder and editor John Warren for publication each Thursday afternoon. John’s condensed version for radio can be heard Friday mornings on WSLP Lake Placid, and the stations of North Country Public Radio.

The NYS 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 help maintain and enhance non-motorized trails throughout New York State.

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