Thursday, March 28, 2019

Current Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (Mar 28)

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. Carry proper safety equipment and weather protection and bring plenty of water, lights and a map. When on the trail: keep the group together, watch the time, and be prepared to turn back. Accidents happen to the most experienced people. Be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods in freezing temperatures. Always carry food, a 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 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.

March 28th, 2019 – SPECIAL NOTICES

HAZARDOUS WEATHER: Expect the full range of conditions this weekend from rain, mixed precipitation to snow showers. Before entering the back-country check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here and Mountain Forecasts here.

AVALANCHE DANGER: There is an Increased Risk of Avalanches. Avalanche danger increases during and immediately after major snowfalls and during thaws such as we are having now. At least four skier triggered avalanches, and others, have been observed in the High Peaks, including on Mt. Colden and the west side of Whiteface. Two skiers have been partially buried. Avalanches occur where snow, slope, and weather combine to create conditions such as those the higher elevations are experiencing now. While much of the steep open terrain where avalanches occur is found in the High Peaks, avalanche-prone terrain is found on mountains throughout the Adirondacks, including at Snowy Mountain in Hamilton County. If you are unsure, don’t go. Information on avalanche danger, preparedness, and safety precautions is available on the DEC’s Avalanche Website.

WINTER TRAIL CONDITIONS: Expect to encounter rain, snow, sleet, and freezing rain and deep soft snow and ice on trails, high waters from snowmelt and rain, and some areas of mud, especially at trail heads and in the Southern Adirondacks. Sunday temperatures will turn colder, with highs in the upper 30s, and summit windchills near zero.  Temperatures remain below freezing at the higher elevations, making trails there very icy on Sunday. Carrying snowshoes or skis for backcountry travel is recommended in the Central and Northern Adirondacks, where 1 to 2 feet of snow remains at lower elevations. Everywhere traction devices should be carried this weekend for exposed icy areas, especially Sunday. Snow cover on foot bridges may be above the handrails. Use caution when crossing. Before entering the back-country check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here and Mountain Forecasts here.

SNOW, SKI AND SNOWMOBILE REPORT (3/28/2019)

SNOW COVER: Spring snow conditions and a mix of rain, sleet, freezing rain and snow is expected this weekend, although at higher elevations snow conditions will harden by Sunday morning. Although, there are bare patches in well traveled and southerly exposed areas, on Thursday there remains 1 to 2 feet of soft springtime snow across most of the Adirondacks at lower elevations, except in the eastern valleys, at Keene, and along Lake George and Eastern Essex County where snow is patchy or the ground is bare. The deepest snows are west of the Hudson River, in the Central and Northern Adirondacks, and at higher elevations.   Most areas above about 1,000 feet should have 1-2 feet, with about 5-6 feet of snow at Lake Colden (2,750 feet), and 7-8 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: There will be spring conditions at downhill ski centers this weekend. Most facilities remain open and operating with at least 75% of their terrain open, excepting slides and a few steeper terrain trail at higher elevations, as avalanche advisories remain in effect.  Latest Conditions: Whiteface, Gore, McCauley Mountain, Titus (closed mid-week, reopening Friday for the weekend),  Oak Mountain has closed for the season, Mt Pisgah will close after Sunday, and West Mountain (moving to Spring hours April 1st).

CLASSIC CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: Grooming is limited, but most terrain remains open this weekend around the region, including at Mount Van Hoevenberg.  The Tupper Lake trails remain mostly skiable, with some thin spots. All trails are skiable at  Paul Smiths. Cascade was closed during the week, but should be open this weekend.    Dewey Mountain closed mid-week is re-opening for a final weekend Fri., March 29 from 11 am-4:30 pm through Sun., March 31st). Spring conditions all weekend are expected at Garnet Hill near North Creek, and at Lapland Lake near Northville, which has moved to a weekends schedule.

BACK-COUNTRY SKI REPORT: Most backcountry routes remain ski-able, although approaches may be thin so use caution. Conditions are better above Marcy Dam, where plenty of deep snow remains, although trails will be fast on Sunday. Snow cover on foot bridges may be above the handrails. Use caution when crossing. 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. Additional conditions reports for back country skiing can be found on the Adirondack Backcountry Skiing Facebook Group Page.

SNOWMOBILE REPORT: Snowmobile trails remain mostly ride-able, with better opportunities west of Route 30.  Elsewhere, trails are rough, with snirt and bare patches prevalent. Roads and village trails are mostly shot, the rails are showing everywhere, and grooming will be very limited this weekend. Trails are closed in Eastern Essex County, including those at Ticonderoga and Crown Point, and in Southern Warren County. Use caution, prudent speed, keep right, and avoid frozen waterbodies. See additional local snowmobile reports below, by region.

LAKES, RIVERS AND STREAMS

RIVERS AND STREAMS: Rivers and streams around the region are running about normal for this time of year, but will be rising through the weekend. Many rivers and streams are open, higher elevation streams remain mostly covered, some waters are now only covered by thin ice. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here.

LAKE ICE: Ice has been covered in slush and water, and has had repeated thaws. It will be covered with fresh snow this weekend, making obstacles and thin areas difficult to see. Many people and vehicles have gone through the ice this year already, and continue to do so every weekend, including snowmobiles, ATVs, and trucks. Use extreme caution on ice – ice that holds snow, may not hold the weight of a person. Check ice depths frequently while crossing. Avoid ice over in channels and near other running water, near inlets and outlets and near boathouses and docks – especially those with “bubblers” or other ice prevention devices.

ICE SHANTIES MUST BE REMOVED: New York State regulations require ice shanties be removed by March 15, 2019. DEC can and does ticket for this violation. Shanties can be used on ice, but not left unattended. Shanties that fall through the ice can be hazardous to other recreationists.

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 – 3.06 ft (3/28): 4.39 ft (3/21)
Raquette River at Piercefield – 5.83 ft (3/28): 5.92 ft (3/21)
AuSable River at Ausable Forks – 2.07 ft (3/28): 2.25 ft (3/21)
Hudson River at North Creek – 3.94 ft (3/28): 4.09 ft (3/21)
Schroon River at Riverbank (Route 11) – 3.56 ft (3/28): 3.33 ft (3/21)
Lake Champlain at Whitehall – 96.77 ft (3/28): 96.75 ft (3/21)

TROUT SEASON OPEN APRIL 1: Monday, April 1st, is opening day for trout fishing. Rivers and brooks in the southern Adirondacks and the lower elevations will be open but may have ice and snow on the banks. Wear proper footwear and use a hiking stick with a carbide tip to access the water. Currently, rivers and brooks in much of the Adirondacks are dangerous or impossible to access due to snow and ice. Water temperatures are extremely cold. Water levels will rise as snow melts and may even rise significantly from morning to afternoon as the day warms. Monitor water levels to ensure your safety. Anglers new to brook trout fishing should look to the Guide to Brook Trout Fishing in Adirondack Ponds for assistance.

SEASONAL AND SAFETY NOTICES

SUN AND MOON SATURDAY: Sunrise Saturday in Lake Placid will be at 6:41 am and sunset at 7:20 pm, providing 12 hours and 39 minutes of sunlight. The Moon will rise at 4:13 am Saturday morning, and set at 1:45 pm, Saturday afternoon. It will be about 28% 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.

** Bear Canisters Required: Beginning April 1st, overnight visitors to the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness are required to use bear canisters, which can be rented or purchased at the High Peaks Information Center, or at the Mountaineer in Keene Valley. For more information visit the DEC website.

** Lake Placid Boat Launch Closure: The Lake Placid Boat Launch Site on Mirror Lake Drive will close on April 8, 2019 to replace the deteriorating bulkhead. The boat launch and the parking lot will be closed to the public while the work is undertaken. The bulkhead is used to load barges with heavy equipment and materials for transport to water-accessible homes and camps on the lake. DEC expects the worked to be finished and the boat launch reopened to boaters by Memorial Day weekend. However, heavy equipment will be not be allowed on the new bulkhead until late June. This will allow the concrete to cure enough to hold heavy equipment without causing damage.  For more information on other DEC boat launch sites in Essex County, go to the DEC website: https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/23897.html.

* Garden Trailhead Parking Lot Closing (3/28): The Garden Parking Lot at the Garden Trailhead – one of the main access points to the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness and the nearest trailhead to Johns Brook Lodge – will be closed to public motor vehicles during the spring and summer of 2019 due to the replacement of the Johns Brook Bridge. Construction is expected to begin as soon as weather and road conditions allow. No vehicles or pedestrians will be able to cross the bridge once construction is started. Hikers and backpackers should gain access to the Garden Trailhead by parking at Marcy Field Parking Lot and using the Town of Keene Shuttle between the Marcy Field parking lot and the Garden Trailhead. This will be the only means for accessing the Garden Trailhead during the closure period. Public use of the private detour is prohibited.  The Town of Keene plans to operate the Shuttle from 7 am to 7 pm seven days a week. The cost will be $10 round-trip per person ($13 Canadian). However, due to the current lack of bus drivers this schedule may be reduced.  The town’s website will have the most up to date shuttle schedule.  More information about the closure can be found HERE.

* Deep Snow (3/28): Expect to encounter deep fresh snow, blowdown, and to have to break trail. Snowshoes or skis are required everywhere in the High Peaks Wilderness. Snow depths range from 15 to 25 inches in the lower elevations of the High Peaks Region. At Lake Colden there is about 4-5 feet of snow and 7 to 8 feet above about 3,000 feet (914 m).  Snowshoes or skis are required in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness.

** Snowmobile Trails (3/21): The rails showing between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, use caution and avoiding the track switching area around the Saranac Lake Station. There is almost no snow on the causeway.

* Gulf Brook Road (3/28): Gulf Brook Road should be skiable. 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: 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: 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.

* South Meadow Lane – Marcy Dam Truck Trail (3/21): 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 (3/21): Avalanche Ski Trail and Avalanche Pass Trail are skiable with good conditions. Ice on Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake is thin and non-existent around inlets and outlets. Use caution.

Corey’s Road Closed: 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 / Ausable Club (3/21): Should be thin, but ski-able by Saturday. Parking is prohibited along the Ausable Club Road and at the trailhead. Parking is available on Route 73.

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.

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.

Lake Lila Road: 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).

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.

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.

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.

* Connery Pond Road (3/21): The gate on the Connery Pond Road is closed, the road is not being plowed. Use the nearby trailhead parking area along State Route 86.

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.

** Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain (3/28): Effective Monday, April 1, all rock climbing routes on the Main Face of Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain are closed to protect peregrine falcon nest sites except the routes between and including Opposition and Womb with a View, as described on pages 39-45 of Adirondack Rock – A Rock Climber’s Guide.

* Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area (3/21): The gate on the access road to the Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area has been closed due to flooding on the road. This WMA sets on the shores of Lake Champlain in northeast corner of the Adirondacks. (3/21)

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.

* Webb-Inlet Snowmobile Trails Systems (3/21): The Town of Webb & Inlet Snowmobile Trail System has GOOD to FAIR conditions on up to 8” of base. Spring conditions prevail, with very hard snow until midday. Coverage is very thin in some areas. Trail #5 above Daiker’s is marginal with bare spots. Grooming is extremely limited by temps and conditions. Recent accidents and deteriorating trail conditions highlight the importance of safe speeds, good judgement, courtesy and caution. Lapses in attention and caution carry serious consequences for all riders. Please help make safety the prime ingredient of a fun experience, and drive defensively. The latest Webb and Inlet trail conditions can be found here.

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.

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.

* Long Lake Snowmobile Trails (3/28): Long Lake is still boasting winter conditions rideable trails. Best bets continue to be the Tupper Trail C7B and Newcomb Trail C7B & Power Line S80 both groomed Tuesday. The latest Long Lake Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Raquette Lake Snowmobile Trails (3/28): reports good conditions on the inner trails but Uncas Road is not good. The latest Long Lake Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Perkins Clearing / Speculator Tree Farm Easement (3/28): Best bet for this weekend, still good snowmobiling conditions. Pine Lakes Road and Cave Hill Road, on the Speculator Tree Farm Tract are open to snowmobiling. Trails on adjacent Forest Preserve lands are rough. 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. A broken foot bridge spanning Lamphere Brook in the West Canada Wilderness was replaced with a new 35-foot bridge in the fall of 2018.

* Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road / Moose River Plains Road (3/28): The Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road (aka the Moose River Plains Road) and other state designated snowmobile trails are open, in fair condition, except a couple miles beyond the Limekiln Gate, which is very thin, with bare spots.

* O’Neil Flow Road (2/21): The O’Neil Flow Road (Snowmobile Route 538 between Indian Lake and Newcomb) no longer has shared use with logging trucks.

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.

West Canada Lakes Wilderness: Spruce Lake Lean-tos #1 and #2 were restored in 2018 season by volunteer crews from Lean2Rescue.

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 in the summer of 2019. (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.

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): 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.

* C8 Snowmobile Trail (2/28): The C8/Sabael Trail south of Pashley Road has been reopened, reconnecting Speculator and Indian Lake. Stay within the snow fencing and on the trail.

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.

** Rock Climbing Routes (3/28): Effective Monday, April 1, the following rock climbing routes are closed to protect peregrine falcon nest sites:  Shelving Rock Mountain: All routes on the Main Wall are closed. Sleeping Beauty Mountain: All rock climbing routes are closed. Potash Mountain: Potash Cliff: Haley’s Nose (18) and Goes Both Ways (19) as described on page 86 of Adirondack Rock Volume 2, A Rock Climbers Guide, Second Edition, are closed. In addition, the 4th class scramble to access the Pitch 1 ledge of most routes, is closed. All open routes must be led ground-up.

** Essex County Snowmobile Trails (3/21): Trails in Eastern Essex County are closed for the season, including those at Ticonderoga and Crown Point.

* Shelving Rock Road (3/21): Shelving Rock Road is closed until further notice due to mud.

Split Rock Wild Forest (2/21): The gate at Lewis Clearing Bay Trailhead along Lake Shore Road is open. Anglers can use the Lewis Clearing Bay Trail to access the ice on Lake Champlain.

* Ongoing Route 9N Closure, Hague: A short segment of Route 9N (Lakeshore Drive) in Hague will be closed starting Monday, Feb. 25, until Thursday, May 23, to allow the New York State Department of Transportation to make repairs to a retaining wall. The closure — just south of the Hague town beach park and Route 9N’s intersection with Route 8 — will be between Streeter Hill and Holman Hill Road and Dock Road. During the work, Streeter Hill Road and Holman Hill Road will only be accessible by motorists from the north; Dock Road will only be accessibly from the south. The signed detour from Route 9N involves Warren County Route 11, the Adirondack Northway (Interstate 87) between Exit 24 and Exit 25, and Route 8.

* Lake George Wild Forest (3/21): Gates at Hogtown, Dacy Clearing, 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 (3/28): Schroon Lake / North Hudson snowmobile trails are mostly open but in poor condition, trails east of Fleming Pond are closed.

** Warren County Snowmobile Trails (3/28): Snowmobile trails in Northern Warren County are open, but in poor condition and grooming has ended for the season. Trails in Southern Warren County are closed. There are logging operations on the East Side of Brant Lake that are making the trails unsafe in some areas so use extreme caution in that area.

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.

** Crane Mountain (3/28): Effective Monday, April 1, rock climbing routes on Crane Mountain are closed to protect peregrine falcon nest sites as follows: The Amphitheater section of the Black Arches Wall along with routes Hang Time and Black Arch Arête on the Main Wall are closed. All other routes are open.

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)

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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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