Thursday, December 27, 2018

Current Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (Dec 27)

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 adkalmanack@gmail.com.

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 freezing 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 27th, 2018 – SPECIAL NOTICES

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY: The National Weather Service has issued Winter Weather Advisories for the entire Adirondack Region from 1 am Thursday (Dec 27) through Noon Friday (Dec 28). Mixed precipitation expected with snow accumulations of an inch or two and ice accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch expected. Winds gusting as high as 35 to 50 mph. Mixed precipitation overnight will transition to rain late Friday morning. A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain will cause travel difficulties. Expect slippery roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving. Allow extra time for travel. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here and Mountain Forecasts here.

WINTER TRAIL CONDITIONS: Prepare for winter conditions, high water, cold temperatures, ice, and deep snow in the backcountry. Heavy rain and temperatures in the 50s raised the levels of rivers and streams last weekend making stream crossings difficult or impassable. Temperatures in the 40s and rain showers are expected again on Friday with heavy winds 50-60 on summits. Expect high waters and blowdown. Stream crossings may be treacherous or impassable. Low elevation trails may be wet and muddy. Moderate elevation trails will have wet snow and slush. Rain will mix into snow showers, especially at higher elevations Friday night, leaving one to three inches of fresh snow on and near summits, which could extend into Saturday morning. Trails will begin icing up and hardening as temperatures drop below freezing Saturday, when temps will be mostly in the single digits on summits with wind chills in the single digits below zero.  Traction devices should be carried everywhere and snowshoes carried over about 2,500 feet.  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 10 inches – which is currently above about the elevation of Avalanche Camp (2,600 feet). Snowshoes or skis ease travel on snow and prevent “post holing,” which can ruin trails and cause sudden falls resulting in injuries.

WEEKLY SNOW, SKI AND SNOWMOBILE REPORT (12/27)

SNOW COVER: On Thursday afternoon, snow depths range from about 2 to 6 inches at lower elevations around the Adirondack Park, with 8 to 12 inches across much of the Western Adirondacks. There is about 16 inches at Lake Colden (2,750 feet), and 1-3 feet above about 3,000 feet, mostly in the High Peaks and on summits in Central Hamilton County. There remains very little snow in the Hudson River Valley below and East of Warrensburg, and in the Champlain Valley.

Some light fresh snow is expected Thursday night before we warm into the 40s, with dewpoints near 40, and rain for Friday (Dec 28) will lead to additional snow melt of an inch or two. As temperatures cool Friday night higher elevations will see 1-3 inches of fresh snow at the highest elevations by Saturday morning.

The most recent snow depths in inches reported in around the Adirondacks can be found here.

DOWNHILL FACILITIES: Conditions have generally deteriorated overall, and are fast, but some very good skiing remains at Whiteface, which received about 10 inches since last Friday’s warm-up. Warm temperatures and rain expected Friday is limiting facilities relying on natural snow, which looks to remain in limited supply through next week. As temperatures cool Friday night higher elevations will see a few inches of fresh snow by Saturday morning, expect some areas to be icy. Snow-making has continued all week, and will resume when temperatures turn cold Friday night, and through the weekend.

Titus, Whiteface and Gore mountains should all have about half their terrain open for all levels, though no glades or slides this weekend. Smaller Mountains, including those that rely on natural snow have more limited terrain, including West Mountain (open 8:30 am to 9 pm, Mon-Sat, and Sunday 8:30 to 4:30 pm, through January 1st), Oak Mountain (open Saturday and Sunday) and McCauley (2 lifts, six days a week, closed Tuesdays), and Mt. Pisgah (open 10 am to 4 pm through New Years Day). Big Tupper remains closed. Hickory near Warrensburg has announced that they will remain closed for the season.  Additional reports on individual mountains are listed below, by region.

CROSS-COUNTRY SKI REPORT: All cross country facilities around the region will be open this weekend with generally good conditions at groomed facilities, though fast. See cross-country facility reports below, by region.

BACK-COUNTRY SKI REPORT: The Jackrabbit Trail is no longer being recommended. Even smoother early season backcountry routes, although skiable, are icy after the wet Friday and cold Saturday. Trails which see a lot of hikers are now post-holed and not generally recommended and skiing is no longer recommended in the High Peaks from Adirondac Loj or Keene Valley. The best bet remains smoother terrain of less traveled routes such as Gulf Brook and the Newcomb Lake Roads, which are both ski-able and will probably have some fresh snow Saturday morning.

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, and Eastern Essex Counties, which remain closed, most snowmobile trails are open and in MARGINAL to FAIR early season conditions with thin base and thinner cover. Trails generally have thin cover, icy areas, some wet areas and blowdown remaining to be cleared on less popular trails. Conditions are best in Herkimer and Hamilton counties.

The C7 Snowmobile Trail (the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor) is available throughout the Adirondacks, but may not be rideable due to the lack of snow. Local clubs have permission to open the trail. On Friday, December 21, the route was still closed south of Sabattis Road and north of Beaver River do to lack of snow.

See additional local snowmobile reports below, by region.

LAKES, RIVERS AND STREAMS

THIN ICE: Many waters have unsafe ice, and some waters have good ice but will be wet and slushy this weekend after temperatures in the 40s and rain Friday, and temperatures in the 50s and rain last Friday. Use extreme caution on ice – ice that holds snow, may not hold the weight of a person.

RIVERS AND STREAMS HIGH: Waters around the Adirondacks are already above normal for this time of year, and will be rising with rain and temperatures in the 40s expected Friday. Water crossings may be difficult or impassable this weekend.

STREAM GAGES: Stream gages may be affected by snow and ice. The following streamgage readings were observed on Thursday afternoon, these are expected to rise through the weekend. Follow the latest river forecasts here and USGS streamgages here.

Moose River at McKeever – 4.20 ft (12/27): 3.69 ft (12/20)
Raquette River at Piercefield – 7.32 ft (12/27): 6.02 ft (12/20)
AuSable River at Ausable Forks – 2.57 ft (12/27): 1.91 ft (12/20)
Hudson River at North Creek – 4.86 ft (12/27): 3.94 ft (12/20)
Schroon River at Riverbank (Route 11) – 5.27 ft (12/27): 3.11 ft (12/20)
Lake Champlain at Whitehall – 97.44 ft (12/27): 96.07 ft (12/20)

SEASONAL AND SAFETY NOTICES

SUN AND MOON SATURDAY: Sunrise Saturday in Lake Placid will be at 7:31 am and sunset at 4:24 pm, providing 8 hours 54 minutes of sunlight. The Moon will rise at 11:41 pm Friday afternoon, and set at 12:14 pm, Saturday afternoon. It will be about 49% 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.

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.

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, Lake Placid, and Wilmington
These are recent changes, older changes for this area can be found here.

* Trail Conditions (12/27): Warm weather and heavy rains last week significantly reduced snow cover. Trails are mainly ice, ice covering hard snow, and exposed rocks. Drainages blew out snow and are now ice covered. Postholes created during the warmer weather have frozen. No trails are skiable at this time. Trail crampons should be used on all trails.

* Deep Snow – Snowshoes Required (12/27): Lake Colden Caretaker reports 16 inches (40 cm) of snow at the stake (2,750 feet (838 m)) with 1-3 feet (30-90 cm) of snow above 3,000 feet (914 m). Snowshoes are required above Avalanche Camp – 2,600 feet (792 m) elevation.

* Backcountry Ski Conditions (12/27): Skiing is no longer recommended in the High Peaks, except by way of Gulf Brook Road into Boreas Ponds, or the Newcomb Lake Road into Great Camp Santanoni.

* Whiteface (12/27): Packed powder conditions; about half of the their terrain should be open this weekend. Whiteface has a new online trail map showing which lifts and trails are open, and locations of mountain services like restaurants and ski patrol. See the Latest Whiteface Conditions Here.

* Gulf Brook Road (12/27): Gulf Brook Road is skiable, there are a few minor washout. The road is closed to motor vehicles, and is plowed to the parking area. Gulf Brook Road will reopen to motor vehicle at the end of mud season in spring.

* Mt. Van Hoevenberg (12/26): “Skate lanes getting buffed out this morning, still good cover and trackset most everywhere with packed powder conditions. East mountain open up to the cut-off. Perimeter is the choice trail over on the biathlon side, but use Grouse Gully to start as a detour around “Perimeter Lake” (thin ice under that powder).” Open from 9 am 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)

* Mr. Van Ski Trail (12/13): The Mr. Van Ski Trail is not recommended at this time.

* South Meadow Lane – Marcy Dam (12/27): Skiing is not generally recommended. South Meadow Lane is closed to motor vehicle use for the season. Do not block the opening when parking at the entrance. This is used by emergency response vehicles.

* Avalanche Lake / Lake Colden (12/27): Avalanche Ski Trail and Avalanche Pass Trail no longer recommended for skiing. Ice on Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake is thin and non-existent around inlets and outlets. Use caution.

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

Elk Lake Conservation Easement Tract (12/20): 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.

Adirondack Mountain Reserve: Parking is prohibited along the Ausable Club Road and at the trailhead.

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.

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.

* S78 Snowmobile Trail (12/20): S78 Snowmobile Trail (Grass River Railroad) on the Conifer-Emporium Conservation Easement Tract is closed from Intersection 2 to Conifer. DEC has moved the trail closed signs from C7A to S78 (near Intersection 2). A “No Snowmobiling on Plowed Road” sign is located at the Conifer end of the trail.

* C7 Snowmobile Trail (12/27): DOT has completed repairs to the section south of Lake Lila. The C7 Snowmobile Trail is available throughout the Adirondacks, but may not be rideable due to the lack of snow or other conditions.

Lake Lila Road: 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.

* Stillwater Mountain (12/13): The Stillwater Mountain Fire Tower and the trail to it reopens to the public, Friday, December 21st.

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).

NORTHWESTERN ADIRONDACKS
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.

* Snowmobile Trail Closures (12/20): S80 Snowmobile Trail (Railroad Grade and the Lake George Haul Road) on the Tooley Pond Conservation Easement is closed from intersection 33 to the Lake George Road. Trail 710 (New Bridge Connector Road) will be shared with logging trucks between intersections 33 and 34. S80A and S80B Snowmobile Trails (Slouch Pond Road, Second Brook Road and the Ticket Trail) located on the Tooley Pond and Grass River Conservation Easement Tracts. Signs and maps have been posted at appropriate intersections.

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)

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.

* C-7B Snowmobile Route: DEC contractors working on the Brandy Brook project in the Village of Saranac Lake still have wooden mats across a section of track between Brandy Brook Lane and North Country Community College. This section of the C7B Snowmobile Trail is not open. Check local trail conditions before heading out. (12/20)

Santa Clara Tract/ Madawaska-Quebec Brook Primitive Area: The following gates are closed Pinnacle Road, Howe Access Road, Four Mile Road, Vanderwalker Road (East Branch St. Regis River), and Madawaska Flow/Quebec Brook.

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest (12/20): The gate on the Connery Pond Road is closed for the season, the road is not being plowed, and is skiable. Use the nearby trailhead parking area along State Route 86.

* Paul Smith’s VIC Conditions (12/27): “We received another 2″ of fresh cold snow overnight that is being added to our base. Conditions are fantastic today (Thursday 12/27). Looks like everyone will be doing their best to weather the storm predicted Friday, and provide the best skiing and snowshoeing possible for the weekend ahead. We are holding a firm 6″ base on over 30 kilometers of trail. We will be able to assess the scenario Saturday morning, trails are likely to be open for snowshoeing only through the beginning of the year, but time will tell!” For more information click here.

* Mount Pisgah (12/27): Mount Pisgah Recreation Center will be open 10 am to 4 pm through News Year’s Day.

* Dewey Mountain (12/27): Packed powder surfaces, firm base. Lower Groomed Trails (Keough’s K, Natski, Cookie Monster, Peanuts) are open with thin cover in some areas. Upper Mountain Trails are closed until conditions improve. Traction devices are needed for snowshoe trails. Open daily 10 am-4 pm. http://www.deweymountain.com/dewey-events.html

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)

NORTHEASTERN ADIRONDACKS
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.

SOUTHWESTERN ADIRONDACKS
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.

* Stillwater Mountain (12/27): Stillwater Mountain Fire Tower and the trail to it are open to the public.

* McCauley Mountain (12/27): Running 2 Lifts servicing limited terrain. Ski With caution. McCauley Mountain is open from 9 am to 4:00 pm and some cross country trails. Open six days a week, closed Tuesdays. The latest conditions at McCauley can be found here.

* Webb-Inlet Snowmobile Trails Systems (12/27): The towns of Webb—Inlet Snowmobile Trail System has GOOD to FAIR conditions overall with 3” of new snow on up to 4” of frozen base. Interior trails are the best. All trails are very slick, with ice covered by light, dry snow. Roads have minimal coverage. Trail #4 and Trail #6 below Thendara are MARGINAL due to lack of snow. Please use caution and watch for areas of ice, thin coverage and unexpected hazards.

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.

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.

* Raquette Lake – Long Lake Snowmobile Trails (12/27): “Overall conditions – icy hard base with 1inch of fluff. Temps overnight were cold hitting -3 degrees.” The latest Long Lake- Raquette Lake Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* 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. (12/20)

Perkins Clearing / Speculator Tree Farm Easement (112/6): 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.

* Newcomb Trail- C7B (12/27): 1/2 inch fresh snow cover over icy base. Marginal Early Season conditions prevail. The latest Newcomb Trail- C7B Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Tupper Trail / Kickerville – C7B (12/27): Ice Base. Light dusting. Running water/Wet in middle section near Grampus. Marginal. The latest Tupper Trail / Kickerville – C7B Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Sabattis Road C7B (12/20): Marginal to Fair Shoulders widened / cut for sleds on Friday 12/14 The latest Sabattis Road C7B Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Powerline Trail S80 (formerly known as C8B) (12/27): Trail is open, but marginal to fair early season, thin base. The latest Powerline Trail S80 Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Lake Eaton S86 (12/27): Gates open, but thin and marginal conditions. Some blowdown may be present and there may be wet areas on the backside of Lake Eaton. The latest Lake Eaton / S86 Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Train Tracks / c7 Snowmobile Trail (12/27): Open in both directions – washout now repaired.

* 7th Lake Mt. Trail (12/27): This Class II Community Connector Trail is open, but rough and marginal, 1 inche base (thin). The latest Seventh Lake Mountain Trail Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Uncas Road / Browns Tract / Dump Road (12/27): Open, icy base with very lioght snow cover. 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)

EAST CENTRAL ADIRONDACKS
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 (12/13): 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.

* Oak Mountain (12/27): Skiing through Tuesday, January 1, 2019 9 am to 4 pm on limited terrain. The Acorn will be open Thurs and Friday night 4-8; Sat 11-8, Sun 11-5. Snowtubing is now open.

* Essex Chain Lakes Complex (11/26): 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.

Jessup River Wild Forest: The Oxbow Trail has reopened.

EASTERN ADIRONDACKS
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.

* Lake George Wild Forest (12/27): Due to poor the poor conditions – ice and mud – on Dacy Road, the gate has been closed. DEC will reopen the gate when snow conditions improve.

* Gore Mountain (12/27): Gore Mountain will have about 50 percent of their terrain open this weekend. They have been making snow on Pine Knot, Tahawus, Lower Sunway, 3b and Jamoboree. Latest Snow Report

* Schroon Lake / North Hudson Snowmobile Trails: Schroon Lake / North Hudson snowmobile trails are not yet open for the season (12/27).

* Warren County Snowmobile Trails (12/27): 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)

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

* Lapland Lake Ski Conditions (12/27): “We have an inch of fresh snow from Christmas Eve and morning, with several light dustings after that. We will have approximately 10K of XC trail snowcat groomed with most areas trackset. Groomed surface is a mix of packed powder and granular, fast smooth skating and good classic. Open trails include Lake Trail, Vasa, some west side trail sections, practice field, and connector trails. We also have ungroomed skiing on frozen Woods Lake which we counted as 2K. Snowshoe trails open. Woods Lake is open for ice skating and ungroomed skiing. Pond is not open for ice skating. One junior tubing hill open.” 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)

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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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Stories under the Almanack's Editorial Staff byline come from press releases and other notices. To have your news noticed here at the Almanack contact our editor John Warren at adkalmanack@gmail.com.




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