Thursday, December 13, 2018

Current Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (Dec 13)

CompassThis weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks is compiled each Thursday afternoon and fully updated by Friday afternoon.

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

Learn and practice the seven Leave No Trace principles. Carry out what you have carried in. Do not leave gear, food, or other items at lean-tos and campsites. Do not litter. Take the free online Leave No Trace course here.

BE PREPARED! Start slow, gain experience. Always carry proper safety equipment – including plenty of food, water, flashlights, space blanket, emergency whistle, first aid kit, fire making tools, extra clothing layers and socks, and a map and compass – inform someone of your itinerary, and be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods in cold temperatures. 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.

December 13th, 2018 – SPECIAL NOTICES

WINTER CONDITIONS: Prepare for winter conditions – cold temperatures, ice, and deep snow in the backcountry. Scattered light and rain and show showers (especially to the north and at higher elevations) are expected around the region Friday, and Friday night, possibly into Saturday morning, and again on Sunday. Before entering the back-country check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here and Mountain Forecasts here.

SUMMIT CONDITIONS: Snowshoes or skis may be necessary for travel. Ice crampons and traction devices should be carried for use on icy portions of the trails including summits and other exposed areas. Summits temperatures are expected to be in the 30s, and there could be some occasional light snow through the weekend. Summit wind speeds mostly 35 to 40 miles per hour, will keep windchills in the teens Friday. Saturday and Sunday winds are expected to be 10-20 mph, and with windchills in the 20s. Before entering the back-country check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here and Mountain Forecasts here.

SNOWSHOES OR SKIS REQUIRED IN HIGH PEAKS: Snowshoes or skis are required in the High Peaks Wilderness and recommended wherever snow depths exceed 8 inches. Snowshoes or skis ease travel on snow and prevent “post holing,” which can ruin trails and cause sudden falls resulting in injuries.


SNOW DEPTHS (12/13):

Snow depths range from about 4 to 6 inches in the Southeastern Adirondacks, and at the periphery of the Adirondack Park. There is very little snow in Eastern Essex County and in the Warren County snowmobile trails remain closed for lack of snow.  There is however, more than a foot of snow in the Southwestern Adirondacks, including at Old Forge and Inlet, and up at Tupper, and throughout the Northern and Central Adirondacks there is one to two feet. In the High Peaks there is about 30 inches at Lake Colden, and 3-4 feet above about 3,000 feet, and some deeper drifts.

The following snow depths were reported this afternoon, in inches:

Lake Colden 30
Croghan 16
Inlet 14
Old Forge 13
Gabriels 6
Paul Smiths 12
Tupper Lake 12
Keene Valley 9
Newcomb 14
Long Lake 6
Whiteface Base 12
Lake Placid 10
Raquette Lake 9
Essex 0
Peru 0
Chazy 2
Marcy Dam 14
Indian Lake 12
Piseco 7
Northville 0
Olsmteadville 6
North Hudson 4
Chestertown 5
Warrensburg 4
Ticonderoga 0
Lake Luzerne 0

DOWNHILL FACILITIES: It’s been a notably early season for good skiing, but some trails have been icy with the cold temperatures and mostly light snow. Some more light snow and a shot of warmer weather this weekend should soften things up, but icy areas remain. Whiteface and Gore mountains should have about half their terrain open for all levels. No glades or slides where open at Whiteface Thursday, but Gore should have some glades this weekend. Titus Mountain plans to open 100% of their terrain Saturday and begin 7 day a week operation, and West Mountain will open Sunday.  Oak Mountain will open 12-4 Saturday with two trails, and is on a weekend schedule for now.  McCauley is open with limited terrain, now operating six days a week, closed Tuesdays. Mt. Pisgah is expecting to open Friday, December 21st. Big Tupper and Hickory near Warrensburg remain closed.

CROSS-COUNTRY SKI REPORT: All nordic facilities around the region will be open this weekend with generally good conditions, though a little fast. The best bet this weekend would be to stick to the groomed facilities which all have some track set and traditional and most of their terrain open. See cross-country facility reports below, by region.

BACK-COUNTRY SKI REPORT: The Jackrabbit Trail and early season backcountry routes remain skiable, though early season warnings apply. Most popular trails have been broken out. The best bet is smoother terrain such as Connery Pond, Fish Pond, Hays Brook, Gulf Brook and especially Newcomb Lake Road. Note that Lake Lila will is being plowed this season. Whiteface Highway is still being plowed. The Marcy Dam Truck trail is skiable, the hiking trail from Adirondac Loj is not recommended. There is now enough snow to ski from Marcy Dam through the pass to Avalache Lake and Lake Colden, which is both crossable (beware at inlets and outlets). Marcy and Wright Peak are yet not recommended due to thin approaches. An update with more detailed conditions in the Tri-Lakes and High Peaks area can be found here, courtesy the Adirondack Ski Touring Council / Barkeater Trails Alliance.

SNOWMOBILE REPORT: Lakes are unsafe for snowmobiles! Excepting Warren, Eastern Hamilton and Eastern Essex Counties, which remain closed, most snowmobile trails are open and in FAIR to GOOD early season conditions, including some icy areas, wet areas and blowdown remaining to be cleared on less popular trails. Conditions are best in Herkimer and Hamilton counties (GOOD to VERY GOOD). The C7 Snowmobile Trail (the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor) between Beaver River and County Route 10/Sabbattis Road in the Towns of Webb and Long Lake, Herkimer and Hamilton Counties is closed to snowmobile traffic while emergency work takes place to repair several sections of trail which have been washed out. See additional local snowmobile reports below, by region.


THIN ICE: Open waters are in the 30s, and many waters have unsafe ice, although some lakes and ponds have iced over including Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake. Use extreme caution on ice – many lakes have not frozen over yet and warm temperatures are expected this weekend. Ice that holds snow, may not hold the weight of a person.

RIVERS AND STREAMS: Waters around the Adirondacks are about normal for this time of year.

STREAM GAGES: Stream gages may be affected by snow and ice. The following streamgage readings were observed on Thursday afternoon. Follow the latest river forecasts here and USGS streamgages here.

Moose River at McKeever – 3.12 ft (12/13): 4.57 ft (12/6)
Raquette River at Piercefield – 6.49 ft (12/13): 6.86 ft (12/6)
AuSable River at Ausable Forks – 1.92 ft (12/13): 2.49 ft (12/6)
Hudson River at North Creek – 4.13 ft (12/13): 4.81 ft (12/6)
Schroon River at Riverbank (Route 11) – 3.56 ft (12/13): 4.09 ft (12/6)
Lake Champlain at Whitehall – 96.35 ft (12/13): 96.33 ft (12/6)


SUN AND MOON SATURDAY: Sunrise Saturday in Lake Placid will be at 7:24 am and sunset at 4:17 pm, providing 8 hours 53 minutes of sunlight. The Moon will rise at 12:34 pm Saturday afternoon, and set at 12:18, Sunday morning. It will be about 64% illuminated.

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.

BE ALERT FOR MOOSE AND DEER: The peak period for vehicle collisions with whitetail deer and moose is October through December. This is the peak of the annual breeding cycles when deer and moose are more active and less cautious in their movements. Motorists should be alert especially at dawn and dusk, which are times of poor visibility when these animals are most active. Much larger than deer, moose-car collisions can be very dangerous. The best way to avoid a collision with deer or moose is to reduce speed, be alert for their presence on or near the highway. When you see one, you are likely to see others nearby. Slow down immediately if you see deer or moose on the side of the road.

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 you encounter hibernating bats while underground, DEC encourages you 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.

KEEP PETS LEASHED: Keep your pet under control. Restrain your pet 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 everywhere in the Adirondack Park for the safety of your dog, the protection of wildlife and rare plants, and out of courtesy to fellow recreationists.

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 (which now includes the former Dix Mountain 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.


* indicates new or recent items.

Including Dix Mountain, Giant Mountain, Hurricane Mountain, Jay Mountain, McKenzie Mountain, Sentinel Range Wildernesses, Lake Placid, and Wilmington
These are recent changes, older changes for this area can be found here.

* Whiteface (12/11): Whiteface received more than four feet of snow so far and snowmaking continued overnight on nine more trails. On Thursday, five lifts and 47 trails were open.  The opening of the Bear Trail is expected before the end of the week. About 50% of the their terrain should be open this weekend.

* Mr. Van Ski Trail (12/13): The Mr. Van Ski Trail makes numerous water crossings which will remain difficult until more snow arrives.

* Elk Lake Conservation Easement Tract (12/13): The Clear Pond Gate is closed for the winter. The Clear Pond Parking Area is two miles from the Elk Lake Trailhead – plan your travels accordingly.

* Gulf Brook Road (12/13): Gulf Brook Road is skiable, is closed to motor vehicles, and is not being plowed. Gulf Brook Road will reopen to motor vehicle at the end of mud season in spring.

* Deep Snow (12/13): Lake Colden Caretaker reports 2 feet (61 cm) of snow at the stake (2,750 feet (838 m) elevation) with 3-4 feet (91-122 cm) of snow above 3,000 feet (914 m).

* Marcy Dam (12/13): Snowshoes are required above Marcy Dam – 2,360 feet (719 m) elevation.

* Lake Colden / Avalanche Lake: Lake Colden is being crossed, avoid the inlet and outlet.  Skis or snowshoes should be worn by those choosing to cross the ice. (12/6)

* South Meadow Lane: South Meadow Lane is closed to motor vehicle use. Do not block the opening when parking at the entrance. This is used by emergency response vehicles. (12/6)

* Corey’s Road Closed (12/13): The gate on Corey’s Road is closed to accommodate logging operations in Ampersand Park. Parking is available at Raquette Falls Trailhead.

* Mt. Van Hoevenberg (12/13): Mount Van Hoevenberg has all 50k of trails open from 9am to 4:30 pm. Children six and under ski free.

** Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail: The new Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail is now open to public use. The 1.7-mile trail, located in the town of North Elba, Essex County, climbs 920 feet to the 2,940-feet summit of the trail. The trailhead is located the Olympic Sports Complex, while the summit is located in the High Peaks Wilderness. (10/5)

Adirondack Mountain Reserve: Parking is prohibited along the Ausable Club Road and at the trailhead. (10/11)

Garden-Porter Mtn. Trail – Cascade Mtn.: The Porter and Little Porter Trail from the Garden in Keene are closed due to the decision of a private landowner. A reroute is being planned. As this will limit access to Cascade via Porter – further crowding the Route 73 Cascade trailhead – approach Porter Mountain via the trail from Marcy Field until the reroute is complete.

Owls Head: Owls Head in Keene is open to hikers mid-week only. The public is prohibited from parking on the private road leading to the trailhead between 4 pm Friday and 7 am Monday. The trail to the summit of Owls Head is not an official DEC trail nor is there an easement for public use of the trail. Public use of the trail is at the landowner’s discretion.

* 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.

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. (2018)

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.

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.

* Lake Lila Road (12/13): Lake Lila Road is closed for the season. The road will be plowed so trucks and other heavy equipment can access and work on the rail corridor near the Nehasane Station. The road will not be skiable until the work is complete.

* C7 Snowmobile Trail (12/13): The C7 Snowmobile Trail (the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor) between Beaver River and County Route 10/Sabbattis Road in the Towns of Webb and Long Lake, Herkimer and Hamilton Counties is closed to snowmobile traffic while emergency work takes place to repair several sections of trail which have been washed out.

* Stillwater Mountain (12/13): The Stillwater Mountain Fire Tower and the trail to it is closed to public through December 20.

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 (7/5).

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

Raquette Boreal Complex: DEC has improved access and recreational opportunities at Jamestown Falls on the Raquette River along State Route 56. Improvements include: Rehabilitated access road, A hand launch on the river, Information kiosk, and ADA compliant primitive campsite with the following accessibly designed feature: hardened tent pad, picnic table, fire ring, and privy. (8/2)

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.

* C-7B Snowmobile Route: Gates on the D&H rail bed (C-7B Snowmobile Route) have been opened. (12/13)

* C-7 Snowmobile Route: The C-7 Snowmobile Route has been groomed from Lake Clear to Loon Lake. (12/13)

* Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: The gate on the Connery Pond Road is closed, the road is not being plowed, and is skiable. Use the nearby trailhead parking area along State Route 86 (12/13).

* Paul Smith’s VIC Conditions (12/13): “We had a great weekend this past weekend, and trail conditions have held wonderfully with the cold temperatures. We will be refreshing our grooming throughout the system for the weekend with fresh classic track set and touched up skate lanes. Firm bases and great coverage across the system.” For more information click here.

* Mount Pisgah (12/13): Mount Pisgah Recreation Center is expected to open on Friday, Dec. 21.

* Dewey Mountain (12/10): Lower mountain groomed trails (Natski, Keough’s K, Peanuts, and Cookie Monster) are in excellent condition with some tack set. Upper mountain groomed trails (Thanks Coach, Timinator, & Iron Bill) were hit hard by last weeks rain and in need a a few more inches. Upper mountain ungroomed trails are skiable with thin cover and some open trail in wet areas. Lighted trails are expected next week. The next open house and registration for Dewey Mountain Youth Ski League, Lil’ Shufflers, and Outdoors and Active for Adults will be on Thursday, December 13th, from 3:30-5:30pm. Season passes are now available. Hours of operations through December are 10 am-4 pm.

Loon Lake Mountain Trail: 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. Contact the DEC Ray Brook Office at 518-897-1291 for questions regarding this harvest operation. (2018)

Including Chazy Highlands Wild Forest, Lake Champlain Islands Complex, Sable Highlands Tract, Taylor Pond Complex, Wilmington Wild Forest, Five Mile Conservation Easement Tract, Gold Mine Conservation Easement Tract
These are recent changes, older changes for this area can be found here.

Sable Highlands Tract: The gate on Barnes Pond Road is closed until the 2019 Big Game Hunting Season. Hikers and skiers may still use the road to access the six campsites along the road. (12/6)

* 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.

Including the Old Forge Area, 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.

* C7 Snowmobile Trail: The C7 Snowmobile Trail (the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor) between Beaver River and County Route 10/Sabbattis Road in the Towns of Webb and Long Lake, Herkimer and Hamilton Counties is closed to snowmobile traffic while emergency work takes place to repair several sections of trail which have been washed out.

* McCauley Mountain (12/13): McCauley Mountain has 4 trails open from 9 am to 4:00 pm and some cross country trails. Open six days a week, closed Tuesdays.

* Webb-Inlet Snowmobile Trails Systems (12/13): The towns of Webb—Inlet Snowmobile Trail System has GOOD to VERY GOOD conditions overall on up to 6” of hard-packed base. Pick Trail for Today is #3, including Deer Yard and Pine Grove. Trail #1 and Upper #5 from Rondaxe are VERY GOOD. Lower Doe Pond Trail through Trail #9 to Rondaxe is plowed for vehicles. Trail #6 below Thendara is MARGINAL due to lack of snow. Please use caution: Early Season Conditions prevail.

* Independence River Wild Forest: Big Otter Lake Road has been rehabilitated up to Tommy Roaring Brook. The road will be temporarily blocked beyond Tommy Roaring Brook until further rehabilitation occurs. (11/7)

Pigeon Lake Wilderness: A permanent reroute has been constructed on the Norridgewock Trail around the area of significant blowdown about 1.5 miles south of Beaver River Station. (9/27)

Black River Wild Forest: Loop Road at North Lake is open for public motor vehicle use to Campsite #18. The road remains closed beyond this point due to a major washout at Golden Stair Creek. (7/12)

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.

Independence River Wild Forest: The Erie Canal Trail Bridge over Otter Creek has been damaged and is closed indefinitely.

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.

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.

* C7 Snowmobile Trail: The C7 Snowmobile Trail (the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor) between Beaver River and County Route 10/Sabbattis Road in the Towns of Webb and Long Lake, Herkimer and Hamilton Counties is closed to snowmobile traffic while emergency work takes place to repair several sections of trail which have been washed out.

* O’ Neil Flow Road: O’Neil Flow Road (aka Newcomb trail) is being plowed for the first 4 miles off Route 28/30. Tentative plan for this section is shared-use for snowmobiles and logging trucks. That would be a very tight fit and extreme caution would be necessary. The safest time to be ride would be after dark with reduced truck traffic, when snowmobilers are able to see headlights from oncoming vehicles. (12/7)

* Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road / Moose River Plains Road: The Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road (aka the Moose River Plains Road) and other designated snowmobile trails are open for use. (12/6)

Perkins Clearing / Speculator Tree Farm Easement: Some snowmobile trails are open but trails on adjacent Forest Preserve lands are not suitable for snowmobiling at this time. The south end of Perkins Clearing Road will be plowed for logging for much of this winter. Snowmobiles will need to used the southern bypass trail. (12/6)

* Long Lake – Raquette Lake Snowmobile Trails (12/13): The NYS Trail gates are now open. The Long Lake – Raquette Lake snowmobile trails have a thin base, including in most sections of trail in Long Lake.  Raquette reports better conditions, 1 inch base, 2 inches snow cover.  The latest Long Lake- Raquette Lake Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Newcomb Trail- C7B (12/13): Early Season conditions prevail.  Rough between the “swamp & 6 Mile” due to on-going logging, use caution.  Riders near Kempshall Mt. Club and the Minerva Club will have the best section of trail, but over all early season conditions prevail and riders should use caution.  Groomer has been through to remove blowdown are are packing a base.  The latest Newcomb Trail- C7B Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Tupper Trail / Kickerville – C7B (12/13): Long Lake Highway is cutting banks on roads for snowmobiliers and the gates are open on a thin base.  Early conditions prevail. Interior trails from Kickerville north to Number 5 road, commonly known as the “Tupper Trail” has mixed riding conditions with some wet areas outside the logging roads. The latest Tupper Trail / Kickerville – C7B Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Sabattis Road C7B (12/13): The tracks north to Tupper Lake/Horseshoe are open.  The tracks South to Beaver River are currently CLOSED until further notice for a repair project expected to be completed this season.  The latest Sabattis Road C7B Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Powerline Trail S80 (12/13): (formerly known as C8B) (12/13):  Trail is open, but with early season conditions and thin base.  The latest Powerline Trail S80 Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Lake Eaton S86 (12/13): Gates open, but thin and marginal conditions with some blowdown and wet areas on the backside of Lake Eaton.  The latest Lake Eaton  / S86 Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* 7th Lake Mt. Trail (12/13): This Class II Community COnnector Trail is open, but rough with a thin base and thin snow cover. The latest Seventh Lake Mountain Trail Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Uncas Road / Browns Tract / Dump Road (12/13):  Open, grooming on-going. The latest Uncas Road / Browns Tract / Dump Road Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Blue Mountain Wild Forest: The following roads are closed to public motor vehicle use: O’Neil Flow Road, Minerva Club Road, and Pickwickett Pond Road. (11/29)

* Blue Mountain Wild Forest: Four miles of the southern end of Snowmobile Route 538 between Indian Lake and Newcomb will be plowed to allow for transportation of timber by logging trucks. Snowmobilers should reduce speed and expect to encounter log trucks when traveling this route. (11/29)

* Sargent Ponds Wild Forest: The road system remains open at this time but is covered in more than a foot of snow. Only four-wheel drive vehicles should be used to travel on the road. (11/21)

* West Canada Lakes Wilderness: Spruce Lake Lean-tos #1 and #2 were restored this season by volunteer crews from Lean2Rescue. (11/15)

* Northville-Placid Trail: A broken foot bridge spanning Lamphere Brook in the West Canada Wilderness was recently replaced with a new 35-foot bridge. (10/11)

Otter Brook Truck Trail: Crews from the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Corps cleaned and brushed out an approximate seven-mile section of the Otter Brook Truck Trail from the gate off the Otter Brook Road to a mile east of the intersection with the trail to Lost Pond. DEC expects to clean and brush out the remainder of the trail between the trail to Lost Pond and the Moose River Plains Road next summer. (9/27)

Moose River Plains Complex: Lean2Rescue has completed three lean-to projects on Eighth Lake. Dunning Lean-to located on the northern shore of the lake has been completely rehabilitated. Volunteers with the organization replaced the roof, the floor, and select logs that were in poor condition. They also stained the lean-to. The “Double-wide Lean-to” on the western shore of Eighth Lake has been completely rehabilitated. The four base logs, the floor, and the roof were all replaced and the lean-to was stained. Earlier this summer the lean-to located on a small island near the western shore of Eighth Lake was removed. Due to the small size of the island it cannot sustain camping. The site has been converted into a day use site (9/27)

* Sargent Ponds Wild Forest: The Sargent Ponds Wild Forest road system remains open but is covered in more than a foot of snow. Only four-wheel drive vehicles should be used to travel on the road. (11/21)

Including 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.

* Siamese Ponds Wilderness: The former site of the 55 foot bridge over the East Branch of the Sacandaga River on the Botheration Pond Loop Trail is now a foot crossing (rock hopping). Hikers may have trouble crossing during times of high water following heavy rain or during spring snow melt. Wear trail crampons and use hiking poles with steel or carbide tips when traversing ice covered rocks. A 30-foot bridge on the Puffer Pond Trail over a tributary to the Thirteenth Lake south of the lake has collapsed and cannot be crossed. (12/13)

* Oak Mountain (12/13): Oak Mountain plans to re-open this weekend and is on a weekend schedule for now.

* Essex Chain Lakes Complex: Due to deep snow, all gates are closed and locked, and all seasonal access roads are closed to motor vehicle use for the winter. The closed roads are: Cornell Road, Deer Pond Road, Chain Lakes Road North. Drakes Mill Road, Camp Six Road, and Chain Lake Road South. (11/26)

Jessup River Wild Forest: The Oxbow Trail has reopened.

Including Hammond Pond Wild Forest, North Creek, Schroon Lake, 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.

* Gore Mountain (12/13): Gore Mountain has 27 down hill trails and 3k of cross-country open from 8:30am to 4pm. They have been making snow on seven trails (including one on the North Side): Sleeping Bear, The Rumor, Upper Steilhang, Showcase, Pot Luck, The Arena and Pine Knot. There is a mix of groomed Greens and Blues trails in the Northwoods Area, as well as Intermediate and Expert Trails up top. Freestylers can slide throughout Lower Sleighride’s mix of jumps and rails. Terrain Park Open 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.” Latest Snow Report

* Schroon Lake / North Hudson Snowmobile Trails: Schroon Lake / North Hudson snowmobile trails are not yet open for the season (12/6).

* Warren County Snowmobile Trails (12/13): Snowmobile trails in Warren County are not yet open for the season.

Garnet Lake: The water access site at Garnet Lake has been gated to prevent the launching of trailered boats. Canoes, kayaks and small boats can be easily carried over the gate and to the water’s edge for launching. The gate was installed for several reasons according to DEC: In the Adirondacks, trailered boats may only be launched at designated boat launches on lakes 1,000 acres or larger. The site on 330-acre Garnet Lake is a designated waterway access site (aka hand launch). Use of the lake by larger motorboats has increased in recent years exceeding the capacity of the small lake. Eliminating the use of trailers access to the water decreases the threat of the spread of aquatic invasive species into the lake. (8/30)

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: The trail to Spruce Mountain Fire Tower is open for public use. (12/6)

* Lapland Lake Ski Conditions (12/13): “Trail surface today is a packed mix of powder and frozen granular. Good classic tracks, nice conditions for both classic and skate, a bit fast in the early morning but will soften as the day warms. Today we have have approximately 10K of XC trail open: Lake Trail, Vasa, connector trails, practice field, and Sisu with shortcuts. One junior tubing hill is open. We expect to be opening the blue rated section of Karhu this afternoon or Friday. Latest forecast calls for possible light snow today!” Open Weekends & Holidays 9am – 4:30pm & non-holiday Mon-Fri 10am- 4:30pm.  Latest conditions can be found here.

West Branch Sacandaga River: A new paddlers’ take-out site has been completed along the West Branch Sacandaga River in the Shaker Place Conservation Easement Tract, in the town of Arietta, Hamilton County. There are no public access rights beyond the Shaker Place take-out. There is also no public access on the adjacent lands. Paddlers must stay on the roadway, in the parking area, and on the path to the river. (10/5)

Northville-Placid Trail: A new lean-to was constructed by DEC staff along the trail just north of the West Stony Creek crossing. (9/27)

Northville Placid Trail: The trail is brushy between Silver Lake and Mud Lake and may be difficult to follow in areas. This section is scheduled to cleaned and brushed out in Summer 2019. (9/27)


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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