Thursday, March 14, 2019

Flood Watch, Ice Jams Possible: Current Outdoor Conditions (Mar 14)

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 14th, 2019 – SPECIAL NOTICES

FLOOD WATCH: On Thursday, the National Weather Service issued a Flood Watch for Northern New York from Friday morning through Saturday evening. Temperatures rising well into the upper 40s Thursday and and upper 50s Friday and light winds will lead to a rapid loss of snowpack, especially in valley locations. The runoff will contribute to river ice breakup, likely beginning during the day Friday and extending through Saturday. With thick river ice in place, in excess of one foot in many areas, the potential exists for localized ice jams and associated flooding as river ice breakup occurs. Those with interests along area rivers and streams should be alert to sudden changes in river levels and localized flooding. Report any observed flooding to local law enforcement. A Flood Watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts. You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible Flood Warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here

ICE JAMS POSSIBLE: River ice is expected to begin to breakup during the day Friday, and continue Friday night and Saturday as most main stem rivers rise several feet. Existing or developing ice jams could result in localized flooding. River ice thickness ranges up to 12-18 inches in places and the cold start to March has maintained the overall integrity/hardness of this ice. Ice is expected to breakup and move, and new ice jams could form Friday and Saturday. While the exact locations of any upcoming ice jams is unpredictable, any areas with existing ice jams that have been frozen in place such as East Branch Ausable River in Upper Jay, will be especially vulnerable to localized
flooding. River levels can change suddenly during the breakup of river ice. Any observed flooding affecting roadways should be reported to local law enforcement. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here.

HAZARDOUS WEATHER: Temperatures rising well into the upper 40s Thursday and and upper 50s Friday and light winds will lead to a rapid loss of snowpack – expect rivers to rise and a Flood Watch has been issued through Saturday. Scattered rain showers, especially in the Western Adirondacks, along with winds gusting to 35 mph region wide, will develop late Thursday and continue through Friday Night when some will turn to snow showers. Summit winds 45-50 mph are expected on Friday. Scattered snow showers will continue in the mountains through Sunday after temperatures turn colder Saturday. Summit windchills Saturday and Sunday and expected to be in single digits below zero. 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. Skier triggered avalanches and other avalanches have been observed in the High Peaks, including on Mt. Colden and the west side of Whiteface Mountain. There is deep snow in the High Peaks’ high elevation slopes and the 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 and thaws, 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. Additional information on avalanche danger, preparedness, and safety precautions is available on the DEC’s Avalanche Website.

WINTER TRAIL CONDITIONS: Snowshoes are recommended for backcountry travel everywhere and traction devices are needed for icy parking lots and icy trails. Conditions on trails this weekend will vary from ice to deep soft snow that will require snowshoes. Summit winds 45-50 mph are expected on Friday. Plan alternate routes in the event you encounter high waters. 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 (3/14/2019)

SNOW COVER: Expect soft spring snow conditions Friday, with a return to below freezing temperatures late Friday night, near and below freezing temperatures on Saturday and highs in the 20s in the Mountains on Sunday. There is currently 1 to 3 feet of snow across the Adirondacks, with the deepest snows West of the Hudson River, in the Northern Adirondacks, and at higher elevations. There is about 1.5 feet in Old Forge. There is about 5 feet of snow at Lake Colden (2,750 feet), and 6-7 above about 3,000 feet in the High Peaks and on other summits.

Temperatures rising well into the upper 40s Thursday and into the upper 50s Friday, along with light winds, will lead to a rapid loss of snowpack, but it will be limited to Thursday and Friday as cold temperatures return on Saturday and Sunday. The new warming trend is expected early next week which will continue through the end of next week.

A few inches of fresh snow fell late this week in the Northern Adirondacks, and their is the possibility of some fresh snow early Saturday, especially in the Western, and to a lesser extent Northern, Adirondacks. The most recent snow depths in inches reported in around the Adirondacks can be found here.

DOWNHILL FACILITIES: With colder temperatures expected Saturday and Sunday, downhill ski conditions should be good, but fast this weekend. All facilities are operating with nearly all of their terrain open, excepting slides and a few steeper terrain trail at higher elevations, as avalanche advisories remain in effect. Latest Conditions: Titus, Whiteface, Gore, Oak Mountain, McCauley Mountain, Mt Pisgah and West Mountain.

CLASSIC CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: With colder temperatures expected Saturday and Sunday nearly all of the terrain should remain open with good conditions, though some trails will be fast, 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: Backcountry routes remain ski-able and with colder temperatures expected Saturday and Sunday, conditions will be good, though variable. Everywhere downhills will be fast, and there will be some icy areas. Some areas may be windblown to frozen granular, but there will remain a solid base everywhere through Thursday and Friday’s thaw, with the exception of some exposed south facing terrain at lower elevations east of the Hudson River. 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 should remain ride-able Saturday and Sunday when below freezing temperatures return, but clubs prefer that riders avoid trails during thaws such as we’re having to allow the trails to remain intact. Expect to encounter icy areas, especially on popular trails, and typically wet trails may have waterholes Saturday. Use caution, prudent speed, and keep right.  There are some rails showing between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid and the causeway is almost bare of snow. The C7 has been covered, but the rails will surely be showing some places by Saturday. See additional local snowmobile reports below, by region.

LAKES, RIVERS AND STREAMS

ICE JAMS POSSIBLE: River ice is expected to begin to breakup during the day Friday, and continue Friday night and Saturday as most main stem rivers rise several feet. Existing or developing ice jams could result in localized flooding. River ice thickness ranges up to 12-18 inches in places and the cold start to March has maintained the overall integrity/hardness of this ice. Ice is expected to breakup and move, and new ice jams could form Friday and Saturday. While the exact locations of any upcoming ice jams is unpredictable, any areas with existing ice jams that have been frozen in place such as East Branch Ausable River in Upper Jay, will be especially vulnerable to localized flooding. River levels can change suddenly during the breakup of river ice. Any observed flooding affecting roadways should be reported to local law enforcement. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here.

RIVERS AND STREAMS: Plan alternate routes in the event you encounter high waters. Rivers and streams around the region are running about normal for this time of year, but main stem rivers are expected to rise several feet by Saturday. These should remain below flood stage, except in localized areas where ice jams may form. Many rivers and streams remain open, or covered in thin ice. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here

LAKE ICE: Ice will be covered in slush and water this weekend after rain and temperatures reaching into the 50s. Most ice is very thick, but 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 – 4.03 ft (3/14): 4.19 ft (3/7)
Raquette River at Piercefield – 5.69 ft (3/14): 5.28 ft (3/7)
AuSable River at Ausable Forks – 1.80 ft (3/14): 1.95 ft (3/7)
Hudson River at North Creek – 1.80 ft (3/14): 3.61 ft (3/7)
Schroon River at Riverbank (Route 11) – 2.76 ft (3/14): 3.07 ft (3/7)
Lake Champlain at Whitehall – 96.22 ft (3/14): 96.60 ft (3/7)

SEASONAL AND SAFETY NOTICES

SUN AND MOON SATURDAY: Sunrise Saturday in Lake Placid will be at 7:06 am and sunset at 7:03 pm, providing 11 hours and 56 minutes of sunlight. The Moon will rise at 4:17 am Saturday morning, and set at 1:43 pm, Saturday afternoon. It will be about 78% 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.

* Deep Snow – Snowshoes Required (3/14): Snowshoes or skis are required everywhere in the High Peaks Wilderness. Snow depths range from 1 to 3 feet at lower elevations. At Lake Colden there is about 5 feet of snow and more above 3,000 feet (914 m).

** Upper Jay Ice Dam (3/14): The ice jam on the East Branch Ausable River in Upper Jay remains in place. Be aware of the ice jam situation in this area, especially Friday and Saturday. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here. Learn more about ice and ice jams on the Ausable River Association’s website.

** Snowmobile Trails (3/14): There are exposed 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, use Lake Colby.

* Gulf Brook Road (3/14): Gulf Brook Road is 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 (3/14): 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 (3/14): 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 (3/7): No report, may be skiable but thin. 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 (3/14): 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.

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 (3/14): The Town of Webb & Inlet Snowmobile Trail System has GOOD conditions overall with up to 10 inches of a packed base. Warm temps and rain Thursday and Friday will soften the snowpack and diminish grooming capabilities until Saturday. 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 (3/14): Reporting good conditions overall. The latest Long Lake Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Raquette Lake Snowmobile Trails (3/14): 7th Lake Mountain Trail, Uncas Road/Browns Tract & Dump Road are good and groomed. The latest Long Lake Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Perkins Clearing / Speculator Tree Farm Easement (2/28): 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.

* Newcomb Trail- C7B (3/14): Rough and wet at the Long Lake end. Logging on this trail from Long Lake Transfer Station beyond the swamp to about 6 Mile Road. Currently no gas available in Newcomb. The latest Newcomb Trail- C7B Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Tarbell Hill/ Jim Bird to Spur to Dock Road (3/14): Road & Bank Riding. C7B Banks cut by Town of Long Lake. Spur trail connecting end of Jim Bird to Dock Road is open. The latest Tarbell Hill/ Jim Bird to Spur to Dock Road Conditions can be found here.

* Tupper Trail / Kickerville – C7B (3/14): Grange Park Road is a private road. All Long Lake Town Roads 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 (3/14): Fair to Good where its shelved. Groomed 3/13. There is a 2 mile section of Road Riding near Bear Pond due to narrow road. We KNOW we have LOW HANGING BRANCHES. Our packed side bank has grown vertically due to snow pack and as a result the branches are very low-hanging as the bank gets higher. We have had volunteers clip when riding, but the road is 12 miles long. We apologize and ask that you use CAUTION and be aware there are areas where it is hazardous. See the latest Sabattis Road C7B Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Raquette Lake Spur Trail connecting Raquette Lake to Northpoint Road (2/28): Open and in good condition.

* Powerline Trail S80 (formerly known as C8B) (3/14): Groomed 3/12. Trail on North Point cut all the way to Power Line Trail S80. Stay on the ROAD all the way to the S80 -POWER LINE TRAIL. Do not use Steamboat Road – this is not a designated snowmobile trail. Section of trail linking Emerson Road to Sandpit – rough and narrow – can’t get a groomer through that section. Use caution.  The latest Powerline Trail S80 Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Northpoint Road S80 (3/14): Banks cut and shelved being maintained. This is “road” riding Stay on the shoulders when you can. Good. Get on the SHELF as the shelf is high and not accessible from the road once you start riding. This trail gets rough on weekends during day, but it’s shelved by Hamilton County and groom early Saturday and Sunday mornings 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. The latest Northpoint Road S80 Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Lake Eaton S86 (3/14): Groomed Tuesday, 3/12. Can be rough in some sections when trails are wet. The latest Lake Eaton / S86 Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Train Tracks / C7 Snowmobile Trail Beaver River to Sabattis (3/14): Rails covered, groomed Tuesday.

* Forked Lake Road (3/14): Bumpy. Road riding. Groomed Tuesday.

* 7th Lake Mt. Trail (3/14): Good. Groomed. The latest Seventh Lake Mountain Trail Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road / Moose River Plains Road (3/14): The Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road (aka the Moose River Plains Road) and other state designated snowmobile trails are open, in good condition.

* Uncas Road / Browns Tract / Dump Road (3/14): Good. Uncas is among the first to have bare spots, use the Dump Road when necessary. The latest Uncas Road / Browns Tract / Dump Road Snowmobile Trail Conditions can be found here.

* 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.

Northville-Placid 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.

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.

* Last Camp Santanoni Winter Weekend (3/14): Winter Weekend at Camp Santanoni is this weekend, 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. The road is skiable, and conditions should be good Saturday.

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.

Jessup River Wild Forest: The Oxbow Trail has reopened.

* 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.

* Shelving Rock Road (3/12): 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 (3/14): 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 (3/14): Schroon Lake / North Hudson snowmobile trails are open and in good condition.

** Warren County Snowmobile Trails (3/14): Snowmobile trails in Warren County are open and good condition. 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.

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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