Thursday, January 24, 2019

Cold Returns: Current Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (1/24)

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

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.

January 24th, 2019 – SPECIAL NOTICES

HAZARDOUS WEATHER, FLOOD, WINTER STORM WARNINGS: A Flood Warning is in effect for Fulton, Southern Herkimer and Montgomery Counties and a Winter Storm Warning is in effect in Lewis and Jefferson Counties. Moderate to briefly heavy rainfall is ongoing Thursday across the Southern Adirondacks and Lake George – Saratoga Area. Poor drainage flooding of low-lying areas is underway. Temperatures will fall below freezing tonight which could result in icy spots forming as wet surfaces freeze. Rain will gradually mix with snow from northwest to southeast, becoming all snow in the St. Lawrence Valley and Adirondacks late, with an inch or two everywhere by Friday morning. Lake Effect snowfall is expected Friday into Saturday morning over the Western Adirondacks. A light to moderate snowfall is possible and a Winter Weather Advisory may be needed. Snow showers and snow squalls are possible throughout the weekend. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here and Mountain Forecasts here.

AVALANCHE DANGER: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a warning of an Increased Risk of Avalanches. There has already been one skier triggered avalanche (no one was caught) and other avalanches observed in the High Peaks. Snow depths in the High Peaks’ high elevation slopes range from three to six feet and additional snow is expected this weekend. The current snow pack already has distinct layers formed by rain and melt/freeze cycles. Due to high winds, snows depths are deeper on leeward slopes or areas of snow deposits, such as gullies. Lower snow layers may be reactive to the added stresses of the recent snows, creating conditions conducive to avalanches. Avalanches can occur in any situation where snow, slope, and weather combine to create the proper conditions. While much of the steep open terrain is found in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks, avalanche-prone terrain is found on mountains throughout the Adirondacks, including Snowy Mountain in Hamilton County. Avalanche danger increases during and immediately after major snowfalls and during thaws such as we’ve had on Thursday. Additional information on avalanche danger, preparedness, and safety precautions is available on the DEC’s Avalanche Website.

DEEP SNOW, LOWS TO -20: Most of the region will receive up to a few inches of fresh snow by Friday morning. Lake Effect snowfall is expected Friday into Saturday morning over the Western Adirondacks. A light to moderate snowfall is possible and a Winter Weather Advisory may be issued. Snow showers and snow squalls are possible throughout the weekend around the region and temperatures will turn sharply colder. Prepare for very cold temperatures. Snowshoes or skis will be required for backcountry travel everywhere this weekend. By Saturday morning trails will have crusted ice over a deep base of snow, making travel more difficult. Expect to encounter blowdown. Daytime temperatures are expected to be mostly in the 20s through the weekend, single digits on summits, with nighttime lows in the single digits below zero. Brisk summit winds are going to bring the wind chill there into the teens and 20s below zero this weekend. Before entering the back-country check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here and Mountain Forecasts here.


SNOW EXPECTED – CURRENT SNOW COVER: Most of the region will receive up to a few inches of fresh snow by Friday morning. Lake effect snowfall is expected Friday into Saturday morning over the Western Adirondacks. A light to moderate snowfall is possible and a Winter Weather Advisory may be issued. Snow showers and snow squalls are possible throughout the weekend around the region and temperatures will turn sharply colder. There is 1 to 2 feet of snow across the Adirondacks with the exception of the the far Southeastern Adirondacks in Warren County around Lake George, where there is about 8-12 inches. There is deeper snow at higher elevations, and fresher snow in the Western Adirondacks. There is about three feet of snow at Lake Colden (2,750 feet), and 3-4 feet above about 3,000 feet, in the High Peaks and on other summits. The most recent snow depths in inches reported in around the Adirondacks can be found here.

DOWNHILL FACILITIES: Groomed downhill conditions will be good this weekend, although some areas may be icy, and ungroomed areas will have a breakable ice crust. Titus, Whiteface and Gore, will all have most of their terrain open, as will Oak Mountain, McCauley Mountain, Mt Pisgah and West Mountain. Big Tupper will remain closed.

CROSS-COUNTRY SKI REPORT: Groomed cross country facilities are the best bet this weekend. Conditions at groomed cross-country ski facilities will be good this weekend, although fast, and some areas may be icy, though fresh snow expected through the weekend should keep conditions from being too icy.  Most terrain should be open this weekend at the Tupper Lake trails, at Paul Smiths, Dewey Mountain, Cascade and Mount Van Hoevenberg, and at Garnet Hill near North Creek, and at Lapland Lake near Northville.

BACK-COUNTRY SKI REPORT: Expect to encounter blowdown. All backcountry routes are skiable, but will be fast, with icy areas and possibly some difficult stream crossings.  The Jackrabbit Trail, all backcountry road routes, the approaches to Marcy Dam from Adirondac Loj and the Truck Trail are skiable and mostly broken out. Beyond Marcy Dam to Lake Colden is being skied as are the approaches to Marcy and Wright, which have been being skied at higher elevations. In from the Garden in Keene Valley is probably skiable, though on somewhat thinner cover. The Lake Road to Lower AuSable Lake remain skiable, as does Gulf Brook and the Newcomb Lake Roads. 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: Snowmobile trails around the Adirondacks are open and in mostly MARGINAL  to FAIR condition, with saturated and slushy snow, and a few wet spots after rain and temperatures near 40 on Thursday.  The warm weather and rain put a halt to most grooming, but the trails should set up once the temperatures drop Friday, and will be icy this weekend.  See additional local snowmobile reports below, by region.


ICE: After 1 to 2 feet of snow fell over most of the Adirondacks Saturday and Sunday, on Thursday temperatures reached near 40 in some areas melting ice and leaving slushy ice conditions with large puddles of water on many frozen waterbodies. Use extreme caution on ice – ice that holds snow, may not hold the weight of a person. Check ice depths frequently while crossing.

RIVERS AND STREAMS HIGHER: Waters in the Southern half of the Adirondacks are mostly well above normal for this time of year, but waters remain near normal elsewhere. Some water crossings remain unfrozen and may be difficult.

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 stream gages here.

Moose River at McKeever – 6.14 ft (1/24): 4.53 ft (1/17)
Raquette River at Piercefield – 5.44 ft (1/24): 6.57 ft (1/17)
AuSable River at Ausable Forks – 3.77 ft (1/24): 2.43 ft (1/17)
Hudson River at North Creek – 3.95 ft (1/24): 4.15 ft (1/17)
Schroon River at Riverbank (Route 11) – 3.25 ft (1/24): 3.21 ft (1/17)
Lake Champlain at Whitehall – 96.99 ft (1/24): 97.07 ft (1/17)


SUN AND MOON SATURDAY: Sunrise Saturday in Lake Placid will be at 7:20 am and sunset at 4:57 pm, providing 9 hours and 37 minutes of sunlight. The Moon will rise at 11:48 pm Saturday night, and set at 11:13 am, Sunday morning. It will be about 66% 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.


* 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.

* Can-Am Pond Hockey On Mirror Lake (1/24):  The annual CanAm Pond Hockey tournament will take place this weekend (January 25-27, 2019) in Lake Placid. There will be more than 20 hockey rinks cleared across Mirror Lake, and also a plowed skating loop.

* Deep Snow – Snowshoes Required (1/24): Snowshoes or skis are required everywhere in the High Peaks Wilderness. Snow depths range from 1 to 2 feet at lower elevations. At Lake Colden there is about 3 feet of snow. Snow depths above 3,000 feet (914 m) range from 3 to 5 feet.

* Gulf Brook Road (1/24): Gulf Brook Road is skiable, there are a few minor washouts. The road is closed to motor vehicles, and is plowed to the parking area. Gulf Brook Road will reopen to motor vehicles at the end of mud season in spring.

Elk Lake Conservation Easement Tract (1/17): The trails through the Elk Lake Conservation Easement Tract – to Mt. Marcy via Panther Gorge and to Dix Mountain – are open for public use. However, 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.

** Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail (10/5): 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.

* Mr. Van Ski Trail (1/24): Although some blowdown may remain, the Mr. Van Ski Trail should be ski-able.

* South Meadow Lane – Marcy Dam (1/24): Skiable. 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 (1/24): Avalanche Ski Trail and Avalanche Pass Trail is skiable. 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.

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.

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.

Aldrich Pond Wild Forest (1/3): Powell Road leading to South Creek Lake often experiences flooded conditions due to beaver activity. Users should exercise caution and be aware of changing road conditions throughout the seasons.

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 (1/25): Lake Lila Road is closed to motorized vehicles but is open to the public for skiing and snowshoeing. Remain on the road and do not trespass on adjacent privately-owned lands.

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.

* Snowmobile Trail Closures (1/18): A section of the C8D Snowmobile Trail on Cayey Road is temporarily closed. Snowmobilers can use the S86 or the 705 Trail to connect with the C8E to detour around the closed section. (1/17)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)

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.

C8 Snowmobile Route (1/17): The C8 Snowmobile Trail in Franklin County is now open from County Route 26 in the Town of Franklin to Saint Lawrence County.

C-7B Snowmobile Route (1/3): Gates on the D&H rail bed (C-7B Snowmobile Route) are open. DEC contractors have removed the wooden mats from the tracks between Brandy Brook Lane and North Country Community College. This section of the C7B Snowmobile Trail is open, but check local trail conditions before heading out.

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 (1/3): 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.

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.

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

* Webb-Inlet Snowmobile Trails Systems (1/24):  The Town of Webb & Inlet Snowmobile Trail System has FAIR to MARGINAL conditions on up to 8″ of soft base. Rain and warm temps have resulted in soft, saturated conditions and have pre-empted grooming. Watch for flooded areas and standing water. Conditions immediately off the packed surface are soft, deep and mushy.

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. DEC plans to install a bridge to replace the former culvert in 2019. (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.

* Raquette Lake – Long Lake Snowmobile Trails (1/24): Good. Expect with riding, typical detoriation of the trails and pockets of heavy snow here and there. Icy in corners on busiest trails, especially after the temp drops after the rain.. The latest Long Lake- Raquette Lake Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road / Moose River Plains Road (1/17): The Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road (aka the Moose River Plains Road) and other state designated snowmobile trails are open for use and reported to be in good condition.

** Perkins Clearing / Speculator Tree Farm Easement (1/25): Pine Lakes Road and Cave Hill Road, on the Speculator Tree Farm Tract are open to snowmobiling. Some snowmobile trails are open, in FAIR to GOOD condition. Trails on adjacent Forest Preserve lands are not rough and not recommended 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.

Northville-Placid Trail (1/3): A logging operation is occurring on the conservation easement lands along the Northville-Placid Trail south of Tirrell Pond. Logging equipment will be crossing the Northville-Placid Trail at one location. There is a 100-foot buffer on either side of the trail outside of that crossing. Be attentive for logging activity when on that section of trail.

* Newcomb Trail- C7B (1/24): Good.  Logging on this trail from Long Lake Transfer Station beyond the swamp to about 6 Mile Road.  It is bumpy in this section, use caution. The latest Newcomb Trail- C7B Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Tarbell Hill/ Jim Bird to Spur to Dock Road (1/24): C7B Banks cut by Town of Long Lake. Spur trail connecting end of Jim Bird to Dock Road is open – sometimes it’s rough, sometimes a plow covers up the access. The latest Tarbell Hill/ Jim Bird to Spur to Dock Road Conditions can be found here.

* Tupper Trail / Kickerville – C7B (1/24): Groomed Wed 1/23. All Long Lake town Roads side banks are shelved. Use caution/watch speed on local roads and near driveways. The latest Tupper Trail / Kickerville – C7B Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Sabattis Road C7B (1/24): Good. Bank was shelved on 1/23 by Hamilton County Highway. Groomed. See the latest Sabattis Road C7B Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Powerline Trail S80 (formerly known as C8B) (1/17): Good groomed, icy in spots. Watch out for low-hanging branches. The latest Powerline Trail S80 Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Northpoint Road S80 (1/17): The shoulders/banks cut and shelved by Hamilton County 1/22. The entire length of Northpoint road all the way to the Raquette Lake Spur Trail/Canoe Carry is cut. Use caution. Stay to the right. Groomed shelf. Spur trail may be rough. Please note this is “road” riding Stay on the shoulders when you can. This trail gets rough on weekends during day, but groomers do go out early mornings Sat/Sun when conditions permit. The entire length of Northpoint road all the way to the Raquette Lake Spur Trail/Canoe Carry is cut to AVOID Forked Lake Road. Follow Northpoint all the way to Long Lake/Powerline trail into town.

* Lake Eaton S86 (1/24): Groomed. Rough in some sections with water holes. It’s a fairly wet trail. The latest Lake Eaton / S86 Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Train Tracks / C7 Snowmobile Trail (1/24): BRASS has cleared C7 from Sabattis to Thendara has good snow coverage. No report on grooming.

* Forked Lake Road (1/24): no info

* 7th Lake Mt. Trail (1/24): Open, be wary of low-hanging branches. The latest Seventh Lake Mountain Trail Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Uncas Road / Browns Tract / Dump Road (1/17): Overall good conditions. Road coverage was wearing thin so someone put the snow back in the road. On Wed there was some freezing rain and wind. The latest Uncas Road / Browns Tract / Dump Road Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

Blue Mountain: The access road to the radio towers on Blue Mountain is a private road. The use of the road by people other than authorized personnel with administrative duties is prohibited and is considered trespassing.

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)

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)

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.

* Camp Santanoni Winter Weekends: Two Winter Weekend events at Camp Santanoni remain: Presidents Day holiday weekend, February 16-18, and the weekend of March 16-17. Cross-country skiers and snowshoers will have access to the historic camp properties located in the town of Newcomb in Essex County to rest, tour the buildings, and view interpretative displays.

Goodnow Flow Road: Goodnow Flow Road is a private road beyond the intersection with the Chain Lakes Road North and should not be used by the public.

Siamese Ponds Wilderness (2018): 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.

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.

* C8 Snowmobile Trail (1/17): The C8/Sabael Trail south of Pashley Road has been closed by a property owner, closing for now the connection between Speculator and Indian Lake. It’s rumored a deal is in the works.

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 (1/25): Gates at Hogtown, Dacy Clearing, Shelving Rock, and Log Bay are open to snowmobile use. All designated snowmobile trails on Forest Preserve lands on the eastern shore of Lake George are open. Check with local snowmobile clubs for trail conditions.



* Schroon Lake / North Hudson Snowmobile Trails (1/17): Schroon Lake / North Hudson snowmobile trails are now open and in good condition, with at least a foot of new snow expected by Sunday.

** Warren County Snowmobile Trails (1/25): Snowmobile gates and trails to Long Pond in town of Horicon and Palmer Pond in town of Chester are open.  Snowmobile trails in Warren County are now open for the season, but in fair to marginal condition, and will be rough and icy this weekend.

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.

Jockeybush Lake Trail: Hikers on the Jockeybush Lake Trail may have difficulty crossing the Jockeybush Lake Outlet during high waters following periods of rain.

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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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

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