Thursday, January 3, 2019

Current Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (Jan 3)

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 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 3rd, 2019 – SPECIAL NOTICES

WINTER TRAIL CONDITIONS: Prepare for winter conditions, high water, cold temperatures, very icy trails, and some areas of deep snow. Expect to encounter blowdown. Some stream crossings may be difficult, as water levels remain higher after recent rain and snowmelt raised the levels of rivers and streams, clearing those drainages of snow. Trails will be a combination of mud, ice and snow. Several inches of new snow fell Thursday. Temperatures in the 40s and rain showers are expected again on Friday but snow showers remain possible through the weekend, especially at higher elevations.  Rain and warm temperatures significantly melted the snowpack, and also left a lot of ice, especially in poorly drained areas – everywhere very icy trail conditions prevail. Traction devices should be worn everywhere and snowshoes are needed over about 2,500 feet. Summit winds are expected to be 40-45 mph this weekend. Cold temperatures Sunday could bring summit wind chills into the 20s below zero. Skiers and snowmobiles should use prudent speed for icy conditions. Before entering the back-country check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here and Mountain Forecasts here.


SNOW COVER: Snow-pack took a hit over the past week. Thanks to several inches of fresh snow Thursday however, snow depths range from about 2 to 6 inches at lower elevations around the Adirondack Park, with 6 to 10 inches in the typically snowier areas of Herkimer and Hamilton Counties. There is about two feet of snow at Lake Colden (2,750 feet), and 2-4 feet above about 3,000 feet, in the High Peaks and on other summits.

Temperatures in the 40s and rain showers are expected again on Friday but snow showers remain possible through the weekend, especially at higher elevations.

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 and icy in places, but some very good skiing remains, especially at ski areas with considerable snow making. The higher elevations of Gore and Whiteface should see some freshing snow through the weekend. Warm temperatures and rain expected Friday will further limit terrain on facilities relying on natural snow, and as temperatures cool Saturday icier conditions will return.

Titus, Whiteface and Gore, and West Mountains will all have about half their terrain open for all levels. Gore will open Burnt Ridge Mountain on Saturday. Titus got more than a foot of fresh snow this week, just in time. Don’t expect too much by way of expert terrain, glades or slides this weekend anywhere.  Oak Mountain (Saturday and Sunday, 3 lifts, seven trails, no difficult terrain) and McCauley Mountain (2 lifts, no advanced skiing, closed Tuesdays) have more limited terrain, and no advanced skiing. Big Tupper remains closed. Hickory near Warrensburg has announced that they will remain closed for the season.

CROSS-COUNTRY SKI REPORT: Some of the best skiing in the Adirondacks will be at groomed cross country facilities. Some terrain will be fast, but everyone picked up some new snow and will have track set this weekend, including the Tupper Lake trails, at Paul Smiths and Mount Van Hoevenberg, which has reopened the biathlon side for intermediates and above. Dewey Mountain has reopened. Cascade will have some skate lanes open, and possibly some smoother classic open by Saturday. There is very good skiing at Garnet Hill near North Creek, and at Lapland Lake near Northville – both of those places picked up 4 to 6 inches of new snow Thursday.

BACK-COUNTRY SKI REPORT: Stick to smoother terrain of the Jackrabbit Trail and early season backcountry road routes. Trails which see a lot of hikers are now post-holed and not generally recommended. Skiing is no longer generally 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 good bets this weekend.

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: 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, thinner cover. Trails are mostly icy and rough and gusty winds Friday and Saturday will increase blowdown. Temperatures are expected to be in the 40s on Friday. Conditions are best in Herkimer and Hamilton counties, but not generally recommended.

The C7 Snowmobile Trail (the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor) has reopened, but is not recommended due to the lack of snow. Local clubs have permission to open the trail. The route remains closed south of Sabattis Road and north of Beaver River.

See additional local snowmobile reports below, by region.


THIN ICE: Many waters still have unsafe ice, and some waters have good ice but will be wet and slushy after temperatures in the 40s 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 above normal for this time of year, and will continue to be si with 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 – 4.89 ft (1/3): 4.20 ft (12/27)
Raquette River at Piercefield – 7.74 ft (1/3): 7.32 ft (12/27)
AuSable River at Ausable Forks – 2.67 ft (1/3): 2.57 ft (12/27)
Hudson River at North Creek – 5.07 ft (1/3): 4.86 ft (12/27)
Schroon River at Riverbank (Route 11) – 4.63 ft (1/3): 5.27 ft (12/27)
Lake Champlain at Whitehall – 97.71 ft (1/3): 97.44 ft (12/27)


SUN AND MOON SATURDAY: Sunrise Saturday in Lake Placid will be at 7:31 am and sunset at 4:31 pm, providing 9 hours of sunlight. The Moon will rise at 7:05 am Saturday morning, and set at 4:21 pm, Saturday afternoon. It will be about 1% 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.

* Trail Conditions (1/3): Trails are mix of ice, ice covered hard snow, and exposed rocks all covered in a several inches of light snow. Drainages are icy with a thin layer of snow. Postholes created during the warmer weather have frozen. Trail crampons (traction devices) should be used on all trails to avoid slips, falls, and injury!

* Deep Snow – Snowshoes Required (1/3): Lake Colden Caretaker reports 22 inches (55 cm) of snow at the stake (2,750 feet (838 m)) on Wednesday 01/02. Snow depths above 3,000 feet (914 m) range from 2 to 4 feet (60 to 120 cm). Snow depths currently range from 6 to 8 inches (15 to 25 cm) in the lower elevations.

* Backcountry Ski Conditions (1/3): Skiing is no longer generally recommended in the High Peaks, except by way of Gulf Brook Road into Boreas Ponds, or the Newcomb Lake Road into Great Camp Santanoni. However, higher elevation trails do have better conditions, though the approaches are poor.

* Gulf Brook Road (1/3): 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 (1/3): 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 (1/3): The Mr. Van Ski Trail is not recommended at this time.

* South Meadow Lane – Marcy Dam (1/3): Skiable, but 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 (1/3): Avalanche Ski Trail and Avalanche Pass Trail is in poor condition and not generally 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.

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: 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.

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 (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)

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 (1/3): Gates on the D&H rail bed (C-7B Snowmobile Route) have been opened.

* 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 (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 (1/3): The towns of Webb—Inlet Snowmobile Trail System has FAIR to GOOD conditions overall with 3” of new snow on up to 3” of frozen base. Much ice, and areas of thin coverage remain. Grooming is limited. Roads have minimum coverage, Trail #4 also. Trail #6 below Thendara is MARGINAL and needs more snow to facilitate grooming. Please use extreme 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. 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 (1/3): “Overall conditions – 4 inches of fresh snow fell! YAY. Hoping it sticks to the ice base. Packing trails, expect water holes and some dirt and rocks popping through.” The latest Long Lake- Raquette Lake Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road / Moose River Plains Road (1/3): The Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road (aka the Moose River Plains Road) and other state designated snowmobile trails are open for use.

* Perkins Clearing / Speculator Tree Farm Easement (1/3): Some snowmobile trails are open, but thin and rough. 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.

* 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 (1/3): 3-4 inches of fresh snow cover over a thin and marginal base. 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. The latest Newcomb Trail- C7B Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Tupper Trail / Kickerville – C7B (1/3): 3-4 inches of fresh snow cover over a thin and marginal base. The latest Tupper Trail / Kickerville – C7B Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Sabattis Road C7B (1/3): 3-4 inches of fresh snow cover over a thin and marginal base.  See the latest Sabattis Road C7B Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Powerline Trail S80 (formerly known as C8B) (1/3): Trail is open, but 3-4 inches of fresh snow cover over a thin and marginal base.  The latest Powerline Trail S80 Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Lake Eaton S86 (1/3): Gates open, but 3-4 inches of fresh snow cover over a thin and marginal base.  The latest Lake Eaton / S86 Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Train Tracks / c7 Snowmobile Trail (1/3): Marginal. Open in both directions, lost snow pack. Washout now repaired, but needs snow.

* 7th Lake Mt. Trail (12/27): This Class II Community Connector Trail is open, but 3-4 inches of fresh snow cover over a thin and marginal base.  The latest Seventh Lake Mountain Trail Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Uncas Road / Browns Tract / Dump Road (12/27): 3-4 inches of fresh snow cover a thin and marginal base. The latest Uncas Road / Browns Tract / Dump Road Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Blue Mountain (1/1): 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)

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)

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 (1/3): Three Winter Weekend events at Camp Santanoni have been set for Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, January 19-21; 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 (1/3): 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 (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.

* 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: 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.

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 (1/3): 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.

* Schroon Lake / North Hudson Snowmobile Trails (1/3): Schroon Lake / North Hudson snowmobile trails are not yet open for the season.

* Warren County Snowmobile Trails (1/3): Snowmobile trails in Warren County are not yet open for the season.

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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