Thursday, April 4, 2019

Fire Danger High: Current Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (Apr 4)

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.

April 4th, 2019 – SPECIAL NOTICES

FIRE DANGER HIGH: There is an elevated risk of brush fires across eastern and southeastern Adirondacks into early Thursday evening. Dry, windy conditions will result, especially in areas which no longer have snow cover, such as the entire Champlain Valley. Relative humidities Thursday afternoon will lower into the 18 to 28 percent range, while winds will gust 25 to 35 mph and localized gusts to 40 mph. Fires that start in these conditions can become difficult to contain. Use extreme caution with fire in drive areas. An ban on open burning is in effect until May 15th throughout New York State.

HAZARDOUS WEATHER: Expect to encounter rain showers, mixing or changing to snow showers Friday, leaving light snow over high terrain, and ending Saturday as warmer and drier weather moves in. Cloudy skies and then rain and/or snow showers are expected to arrive later Sunday. 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 and Eastern Adirondacks. On Friday there will be spring conditions with temperatures in the 40s at lower elevations, but in the 30s on summits in the High Peaks, where a few inches of fresh snow is expected to fall. Lows will mostly be in the 20s on Friday and Saturday night, but returning to the 40s during the day on Saturday and Sunday. Carrying snowshoes or skis for backcountry travel in areas above about 1,500 feet, especially in the Central and Northern Adirondacks, where 1 to 2 feet of snow remains at lower elevations in sheltered areas. Everywhere traction devices should be carried this weekend for exposed icy areas. 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 (4/4/2019)

SNOW COVER: Spring snow conditions and a mix of rain, sleet, freezing rain and snow is expected Friday. Bare patches in well traveled and southerly exposed areas have expanded, but there remains 10 to 20 inches of soft springtime snow across most of the Adirondacks at lower elevations west of the Hudson River, in the Southwestern, Central, and Northern Adirondacks, and at higher elevations. Most areas above about 1,000 feet have at least a foot, with about 4-5 feet of snow at Lake Colden (2,750 feet), and 6 to 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 this weekend at the downhill ski centers that remain open and Saturday looks good weather wise. Gore and Whiteface still have about 70 percent of their terrain open. Latest Conditions: Whiteface (closed Monday and Tuesday April 8-9, re-opening Wednesday April 10-14, 2019), Gore (great spring skiing, most terrain open in the Adirondacks), McCauley Mountain (possibly reopening this weekend, but call ahead), Titus, Oak Mountain, Mt Pisgah, and West Mountain have closed for the season.

CLASSIC CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: Best bets for are at Mount Van Hoevenberg, Paul Smiths and Garnet Hill near North Creek, which all have skiable terrain. No reports from the Tupper Lake Trails or Cascade. Dewey Mountain and Lapland Lake near Northville, are both closed for the season.

BACK-COUNTRY SKI REPORT: Most higher elevation backcountry routes remain ski-able, although approaches are thin or bare, and blowdown could be a hassle after recent high winds. Die hards can find a few trails here and there at lower elevations  – in the Siamese Ponds, or the Boreas Pond Road for example, where skiing remains. Conditions are much better above about 2,500 feet, where there is still deep snow. Snow cover on foot bridges may be above the handrails and waters may be high from snowmelt. 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: Snowmobiling can no longer be generally recommended, and most clubs have closed their trails. Trails that aren’t closed are rough, with snirt and bare patches prevalent and limited connections. Roads and village trail are shot, the rails are showing everywhere, and grooming has ended. Avoid frozen waterbodies.

LAKES, RIVERS AND STREAMS

RIVERS AND STREAMS: Rivers and streams around the region are open and running about normal for this time of year, but will be rising through the weekend. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here.

LAKE ICE: Lake ice should not be considered safe. Ice that holds snow may not hold the weight of a person.

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 – 4.08 ft (4/4): 3.06 ft (3/28)
Raquette River at Piercefield – 6.69 ft (4/4): 5.83 ft (3/28)
AuSable River at Ausable Forks – 2.65 ft (4/4): 2.07 ft (3/28)
Hudson River at North Creek – 4.91 ft (4/4): 3.94 ft (3/28)
Schroon River at Riverbank (Route 11) – 4.86 ft (4/4): 3.56 ft (3/28)
Lake Champlain at Whitehall – 97.64 ft (4/4): 96.77 ft (3/28)

TROUT SEASON OPEN: Trout season opened Monday, April 1st. 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 6:28 am and sunset at 7:29 pm, providing 13 hours and 1 minute of sunlight. The Moon will rise at 7:28 am Saturday morning, and set at 8:52 pm, Saturday night. It will be about 2% 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: Overnight visitors to the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness are now 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 (Spring and Summer 2019): 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 (4/4): Expect to encounter deep snow, and considerable blowdown from recent high winds. Snowshoes or skis are required most everywhere in the High Peaks Wilderness. Snow depths range from 1 to 2 feet in the lower elevations of the High Peaks Region. At Lake Colden there is about 4-5 feet of snow and 6 to 8 feet above about 3,000 feet (914 m). Snowshoes or skis are required in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness.

** Snowmobile Trails (4/4): The rails are no longer ridable between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. There is no snow to speak of on the causeway.

* Gulf Brook Road (4/4): Gulf Brook Road remains 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 (4/1): Skiable, but rough and thin. 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 (4/4): Avalanche Ski Trail and Avalanche Pass Trail are skiable. 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 (4/4): Probably no longer skiable. 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.

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.

** C8 Snowmobile Route (4/4): Gates on the C8 Snowmobile Trail in Franklin County are now closed for the season.

** C7B Snowmobile Route (4/4): Gates on the C-7B Snowmobile Route are now closed for the season.

** Loon Lake Mountain Logging (3/30): Lyme timber is logging the base of Loon Lake Mountain again. They are accessing on Mullins Road. The Loon Lake Mt. trail follows Mullins Road for about 200 yards, soon after the trailhead parking. Be aware of logging trucks.

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): 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.

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.

* 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.

** Black River Wild Forest Snowmobile Routes (4/4): All snowmobile gates are closed at this time.

** Road Closures (4/4): The following Forest Preserve Access Roads in the Black River Wild Forest have been closed for mud season; Wolf Lake Landing Road (access to Bear Lake and Woodhull Lake), Mill Creek Road (access to the Gull Lake Parking Area), and Loop Road (access to campsites along North Lake). Forest Preserve Access Road gates will be re-opened as conditions permit.

* Webb-Inlet Snowmobile Trails Systems (4/4): The Town of Webb & Inlet Snowmobile Trail System is closed.

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 (4/4): Still reported to have some snowmobile ridable trails. 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.

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 (4/4): The Town of Fort Ann has reopened Shelving Rock Road for mud season. Sleeping Beauty, Shelving Rock, and the Buck Mountain East Trailhead are now accessible.

** Dacy Clearing Road (4/4): Dacy Clearing Road remains closed at this time due to muddy conditions.

 

** Essex County Northway Bridge Construction; Oversize Truck Detour (4/3): Motorists are advised to watch for reduced lane widths on the southbound bridge carrying the Adirondack Northway (Interstate 87) over Underpass Road in the town of Chesterfield, Essex County, between Exit 34 and Exit 33 beginning April 15. As part of this bridge rehabilitation project, southbound oversized trucks will be detoured off the Northway at Exit 34 from April 15 through mid-July. Southbound oversized trucks should then follow the detour from Route 9N northbound to Route 9 southbound, where they can re-enter the Northway at Exit 33. Also, Underpass Road underneath the Northway will be closed from April 15 through October, with a signed detour posted. Motorists are urged to slow down and drive responsibly through the work zone and to avoid distractions while driving. For up-to-date travel information, call 511, visit the 511NY website.

** Warrensburg Road Closures (4/3): Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County will be conducting Bike Rodeo session on the following dates: Sagamore Street from the crosswalk to about 100 ft past the school on Friday, May 17th from 8 am to noon (rain date is 5/20); Orchard Street from Lawrence Street to the school playground on Tuesday, May 21st from 12:30 to 3:30 pm (rain date 5/23); Big Cross Street from 2nd to 3rd on Tuesday, June 11th from 7 am to noon (rain date 6/12). Use alternate routes on these days. For more information contact Dan Carusone at (518) 668-4881.

* Route 9N Closure, Hague (4/4): A short segment of Route 9N (Lakeshore Drive) in Hague will be closed 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.

** Rock Climbing Routes (3/28): 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.

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.

* Schroon Lake / North Hudson Snowmobile Trails (4/4): Schroon Lake / North Hudson snowmobile trails are in poor condition and not recommended for riding.

** Warren County Snowmobile Trails (4/4): Snowmobile trails in Warren County are closed.

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): 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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