Thursday, October 17, 2019

Flooding, High Waters: Current Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (Oct 17)

adk atlas homepage 10-17This weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks is compiled each Thursday afternoon and updated on Friday.

Contribute Your Knowledge: Add a comment below, or send your observations, corrections, updates, and suggestions to adklmanack@gmail.com.

Learn and practice the seven Leave No Trace principles. Plan ahead and prepare. Carry out what you have carried in. Do not leave gear, food, or other items at lean-tos and campsites. 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 and lights, and a map. When on the trail, stay together, monitor the time, and be prepared to turn back. Be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods in cold temperatures. Accidents happen to the most experienced people. Always carry food, a space blanket, emergency whistle, first aid kit, fire making tools, extra clothing layers and socks, a map and compass, and the knowledge to use them. Inform someone of your itinerary and 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.

October 17th, 2019 – SPECIAL NOTICES

LEAF CHANGE: There is still plenty of color, at lower elevations, but the leaves are peak or past peak throughout the Adirondacks, and have fallen the highest elevations. Leaves remain near or at peak at the periphery of the Adirondack Park, including the Lake George and Lake Champlain valleys. Check the latest foliage report from Lake Placid or all of New York State.

FLOOD WARNINGS: The National Weather Service has issued Flood Warnings for the East Branch Ausable River At Ausable Forks and the Sacandaga River at Hope. If you live or travel near streams and rivers seek higher ground immediately at first signs of rising water. Obey all road closure
signs, they are there for your safety. Do not attempt to drive through flooded areas, most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Turn around, don`t drown! Stay tuned to developments by listening to noaa weather radio, or check the latest National Weather Service local weather warnings, watches and advisories here.

WIND ADVISORY: A Wind Advisory remains in effect until 8 pm Thursday. North winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 50 mph expected in Eastern Clinton and Eastern Essex Counties from through 8 PM EDT Thursday. Gusty winds could blow around unsecured objects. Tree limbs could be blown down resulting in isolated power outages. Strong and gusty northerly winds developed in the Champlain Valley this morning. Wind gusts from 40 to 50 mph are expected through much of the daylight hours today before lessening early Thursday evening. The strongest gusts will occur near the Lake Champlain shore and over the open waters of the lake. Use extra caution when driving, especially if operating a high profile vehicle. Secure outdoor objects. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather warnings, watches and advisories here.

FLOOD WATCH: A Flood Watch continues through Friday morning for portions of the area, including Hamilton, Northern Fulton, Northern Herkimer, Northern Saratoga, Northern Warren, Northern Washington, Southeast Warren, Southern Fulton, Southern Herkimer, Southern Saratoga, and Southern Washington counties. Moderate to occasionally heavy rain is expected to continue across the watch area into early this afternoon, then the rain will diminish to showers by late this afternoon. A widespread 3 to 4 inch rainfall will occur with locally higher amounts. This rain will result in rising water levels on area streams and rivers and could result in some minor flooding. Also, flooding could occur in low lying areas of poor drainage and where storm drains are blocked from fallen leaves. Some road closures will be possible. 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 develops. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather warnings, watches and advisories here.

HAZARDOUS WEATHER: Some light snow fell again on Thursday at the highest elevations, where temperatures are not expected to rise above the lower 40s this weekend. Rain is expected to end Friday, with daytime highs elsewhere in the 50s and nighttime lows in the 30s. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather warnings, watches and advisories here.

EXPECT BLOWDOWN: Expect to encounter blowdown on and over trails this weekend, following recent rains and high winds, especially on eastern aspects and in the Eastern Adirondacks.

TRAILS ARE MUDDY: Trails are muddy. Expect to encounter mud. Protect trails and trail-side vegetation by walking through mud on the trail, not around it. Wear waterproof boots and pack extra wool socks. Expect to get your feet wet and muddy.

HIGH WATER CONDITIONS: Water levels are running high, some flooding is underway (see ablove)  and low water crossings (fords) may not be accessible Friday and Saturday. Rivers and streams around the  Adirondacks, including those in the High Peaks, Johns Brook, the Bouquet, Ausable, Saranac, and Hudson rivers are running well above normal levels for this time of year.

SLOW DOWN AT TRAILHEADS: Be ware of hikers near trailheads, especially on State Route 73 on either side of the Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead in the town of Keene, Essex County; State Route 73 on either side of the Cascade Mountain and Pitchoff Mountain Trailheads in the towns of North Elba and Keene, Essex County; and State Route 3 on either side of the Ampersand Mountain Trailhead in the town of Harrietstown in Franklin County.

SOME TRAILHEADS REMAIN CROWDED / PARKING LIMITED / LIMIT OVERUSE: With good weather expected, popular trailhead parking lots will fill early. Plan alternatives before you arrive, in the event parking is unavailable. Trailheads that are expected to be busy this weekend include the Upper Works Trailhead, the most popular southern access to the High Peaks; at Adirondack Loj and the Garden Trailhead; the Route 73 trailheads between Chapel Pond and the Rooster Comb Trailhead, including Cascade and Pitchoff mountains; near Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead and at the Jay Mountain Trailhead on Jay Mountain Road in the town of Keene; and at the trailheads for McKenzie and Haystack mountains in Ray Brook, along Route 86 (on the list of the Saranac 6). Also, at Ampersand Mountain Trailhead on Route 3 in Harrietstown will be especially busy and parking limited. You can avoid the crowds and parking difficulties, and help protect the Adirondack Park, by visiting one of the many less busy places, or by visiting on weekdays when there is less demand. Hikes Outside the Adirondack High Peaks and Adirondack hikes under 2,500 feet list a variety of alternate hikes. The Adirondack Almanack publishes regular suggestions for less visited hikes and paddles here.

FIRE DANGER: The fire danger is LOW. An unattended campfire is suspected of being the cause of a small wildfire recently in the Giant Mountain Wilderness. Use care with open fires, never leave an even smoldering fire unattended. Check the DEC Fire Danger Risk Map for the latest fire conditions.

TICKS & OTHER BITING INSECTS: Some biting insects, such as ticks, black flies, and mosquitoes, remain present and people and pets are especially susceptible to ticks anytime temperatures are above 40 degrees. Ticks can carry Lyme disease as well as Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Borrelia miyamotoi disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Powasson virus. Follow these steps to minimize the nuisance of biting insects: Wear light colored long sleeve shirts and long pants; Tuck shirts into pants, button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist, and tuck the bottom of pant legs into your socks; Pack a head net to wear when insects are abundant; and use an insect repellent. More tips to avoid getting bit can be found here. While tick bites can happen year-round, even on 40-plus degree days in the winter, both people and pets are especially susceptible in mid-May through July, when nymphs are out seeking a host. The young ticks are small and more difficult to spot. More information on tick borne diseases can be found here.

SEASONAL ACCESS ROADS: Nearly all seasonal roads typically open at this time of year remain open, but will be muddy, and some washouts are possible after heavy rains this week. Roads that are closed, or recently reopened, are listed below in the Recent Changes by region. Seasonal access roads are dirt and gravel roads that can be rough. Roads may be narrow – use caution, drive slowly, and watch for oncoming vehicles. Four-wheel drive SUVs, pick-up trucks, and other high clearance vehicles are recommended for driving on seasonal backcountry access roads.

BEAR ADVISORY: While preparing for your camping or hiking trip, check area notices below for active bear advisories. If there are active bears present where you are planning to go, either choose an alternative trip or thoroughly educate yourself on how to reduce your chance of a bear encounter with proper food storage, disposal of food waste, and then what to do if you happen to encounter a bear. Learn more about avoiding bears.

LAKES, RIVERS AND STREAMS

SACANDAGA RIVER FLOODING: The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for the the Sacandaga River at Hope. If you live or travel near streams and rivers seek higher ground immediately at first signs of rising water. Obey all road closure signs, they are there for your safety. Do not attempt to drive through flooded areas, most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Turn around, don`t drown! Stay tuned to developments by listening to noaa weather radio, or check the latest National Weather Service local weather warnings, watches and advisories here.

EAST BRANCH AUSABLE RIVER FLOODING: The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for the East Branch Ausable River At Ausable Forks. If you live or travel near streams and rivers seek higher ground immediately at first signs of rising water. Obey all road closure signs, they are there for your safety. Do not attempt to drive through flooded areas, most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Turn around, don`t drown! Stay tuned to developments by listening to noaa weather radio, or check the latest National Weather Service local weather warnings, watches and advisories here.

FLOOD WATCH: A Flood Watch continues through Friday morning for portions of the area, including Hamilton, Northern Fulton, Northern Herkimer, Northern Saratoga, Northern Warren, Northern Washington, Southeast Warren, Southern Fulton, Southern Herkimer, Southern Saratoga, and Southern Washington counties. Moderate to occasionally heavy rain is expected to continue across the watch area into early this afternoon, then the rain will diminish to showers by late this afternoon. A widespread 3 to 4 inch rainfall will occur with locally higher amounts. This rain will result in rising water levels on area streams and rivers and could result in some minor flooding. Also, flooding could occur in low lying areas of poor drainage and where storm drains are blocked from fallen leaves. Some road closures will be possible. 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 develops. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather warnings, watches and advisories here.

WATERS LEVELS: Water levels are running high, and rising, some flooding is underway (see ablove)  and low water crossings (fords) may not be accessible Friday and Saturday. Rivers and streams around the  Adirondacks, including those in the High Peaks, Johns Brook, the Bouquet, Ausable, Saranac, and Hudson rivers are running well above normal levels for this time of year.  Boaters should use extra caution where they may encounter debris washed into area waterways. Most hazard buoys have now been removed. The following streamgage readings were observed on Thursday afternoon at 2:30 pm, rivers are rising. Follow the latest river forecasts here and USGS stream gages here. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here.

Moose River at McKeever – 6.36 ft (10/17): 4.34 ft (10/10)
Raquette River at Piercefield – 5.67 ft (10/17): 5.50 ft (10/10)
AuSable River at Ausable Forks – 4.46 ft (10/17): 1.87 ft (10/10)
Hudson River at North Creek – 5.73 ft (10/17): 4.16 ft (10/10)
Schroon River at Riverbank (Route 11) – 3.68 ft (10/17): 2.69 ft (10/10)
Lake Champlain North of Whitehall – 95.80 ft (10/17): 94.63 ft (10/10)

COLD WATER TEMPERATURES: Expect water temperatures mostly in the lower 50s, and 40s, with the warmest waters in the mid-to upper 50s. Wear a personal flotation device. Waters at these temperatures are well cold enough to present a danger from hypothermia.

The following water temperatures were recently reported:

Arbutus Lake, Newcomb (average) – about 48 degrees (10/17)
Lake Champlain (average) – about 55 degrees (10/17)
Lake George (Warner Bay) – 61 degrees (10/17)
Ausable River (Wilmington) – about 56 degrees (10/14)
Mirror Lake (Lake Placid) – 55 degrees (10/17)

PADDLERS & BOATERS: Waters are high – see above. Boaters should use extra caution in shallow areas, especially since the removal of buoys from areas waterways. Water temperatures are cold enough to present a danger from hypothermia. Follow the latest river forecasts here and USGS stream gages here. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather watches, warnings and advisories here. Wear a personal flotation device (PFD) (required before May 1, and for all children under 12 at all times).

SEASONAL AND SAFETY NOTICES

SUN AND MOON SATURDAY: Sunrise Saturday in Lake Placid will be at 7:15 am and sunset at 6:05 pm, providing 10 hours and 50 minutes of sunlight. The Moon will rise at 10:02 pm Saturday night, and set at 1:51 pm, Sunday afternoon. The moon will be about 72% 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 can expire quickly. Plan and prepare carefully before entering the backcountry and always carry a map and compass – and know how to use them.

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.

BIKE TRAILS: Stewards for the region’s bike trails are asking riders to follow trail reports closely and stay off wet trails. Reports of mountain bike trail conditions in the Wilmington Wild Forest, Saranac Lakes Wild Forest, and networks in the Adirondack Tri-Lakes Region are reported by BETA on TrailForks.com.

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.

REPORT MOOSE SIGHTINGS: DEC is asking the public to report moose sightings and observations. DEC and its research partners use these public sightings as indices of moose distribution and abundance in New York. This is part of a multi-year research project to obtain information on the status of New York State’s moose population, health of the moose, and the factors that influence moose survival and reproductive rate. Use the moose sighting form.

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.

* East Branch Ausable River Flooding: The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for the East Branch Ausable River At Ausable Forks. If you live or travel near streams and rivers seek higher ground immediately at first signs of rising water. Obey all road closure signs, they are there for your safety. Do not attempt to drive through flooded areas, most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Turn around, don`t drown! Stay tuned to developments by listening to noaa weather radio, or check the latest National Weather Service local weather warnings, watches and advisories here.

* State Route 86 (9/27): Repaving of two sections of State Route 86 between Lake Placid and Ray Brook is underway and expected to continue through mid October. Department of Transportation will work Monday through Thursday to repave 3.7 miles of the road. Expect delays.

* Bears Active On Marcy Trail (10/17): Bears remain active at Marcy Dam and through Avalanche Pass and along the Marcy Trail from Lake Colden at the Opalescent River, including near the Up-Hill and Feldspar Lean-tos. Avoid problems with bears: Cook early, Secure canister immediately after taking food out, and Consider bear spray for unexpected close encounters. All food, toiletries and garbage must be stored in bear-resistant canisters. Do not cook or eat in sleeping areas!

* Bear Canisters Required: Overnight visitors to the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness are required to use bear canisters between April 1 and November 30. These can be rented or purchased at the High Peaks Information Center, or at the Mountaineer in Keene Valley. All food, toiletries and garbage must be stored in bear-resistant canisters. DEC encourages the use of bear-resistant canisters throughout the Adirondacks. For more information visit the DEC website.

Bike Trails: Stewards for the region’s bike trails are asking riders to follow trail reports closely and stay off wet trails. Reports of mountain bike trail conditions in the Wilmington Wild Forest, Saranac Lakes Wild Forest, and networks in the Adirondack Tri-Lakes Region are reported by BETA on TrailForks.com.

Route 73: Parking is prohibited, and tickets are being issued, on a four-mile section of State Route 73 between Chapel Pond and the Rooster Comb Trailhead, especially near the AMR and and Roaring Brook Parking area (trailhead for Giant), and the climbing areas north of Chapel Pond. Parking will still be allowed at trailheads and other designated pull-offs. Hikers can discover and visit numerous hiking opportunities in the area or visit on weekdays when there is less demand. Hikes Outside the Adirondack High Peaks lists a dozen alternate hikes.

Garden Trailhead Parking Lot Open: The Garden Parking Lot at the Garden Trailhead has reopened. A fee of $10 (USD, $13 Canadian) per calendar day (12:01 AM to Midnight) is assessed for parking at the Garden Lot. The daily fee continues through the month of October. An attendant is at the Garden Lot from 1:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Fridays and from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays during this period. Town Employees and DEC Rangers monitor the lot during the week.

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.

Ausable Club / Adirondack Mountain Reserve: Parking is prohibited along the Ausable Club Road and at the trailhead. Hikers planning to use the AMR parking lots and hike any of the nearby trails should identify alternate hikes before arriving as the lots will fill quickly this weekend.

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.

** Mt. Van Hoevenberg Summit Trail (9/19): The new Mt. Van Hoevenberg Summit Trail in the High Peaks Wilderness (accessed from the Olympic Sports Complex), has been temporarily rerouted for this summer due to construction. The trail starts at the Biathlon building just past the overpass, goes over the overpass and then winds its way up through the cross-country ski trails before joining the new Mt. Van Hoevenberg Summit Trail (a.k.a. the Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail). The distance is currently about .7 longer to the summit – 2.4 miles rather than the 1.7 miles it was before construction got underway. The trail climbs about 920 feet to the 2,940-feet summit in the High Peaks Wilderness. Hikers may also reach the summit using the traditional 2.2-mile (4.4-mile round trip) Mt. Van Hoevenberg West Trail which begins at the trailhead on Meadows Lane.

Upper Works Improvements Planned (2020): The Open Space Institute has announced improvements at Tahawus and the Upper Works Trailhead which provides southern access to the High Peaks from Newcomb. Plans include expanding the Upper Works Trailhead parking area; renovating the now stabilized MacNaughton Cottage, built in 1845; providing space for guide equipment; adding additional interpretive signage, and continuing preservation efforts at the blast furnace. You can read more about OSI’s effort to increase High Peaks access from Newcomb at Adirondack Explorer. Read about the history of the area here at Adirondack Almanack and learn what’s been happening over the last few years here.

** Boreas Ponds (10/10): A new ADA accessible lean-to has been constructed on a site overlooking Boreas Ponds. This was a combined effort of DEC Staff, DOCCS Moriah Shock Camp Crew, and members of Lean2Rescue.

Boreas Ponds: A 1.3-mile section of the Boreas Road, between the Four Corners Parking Lot and the Brace Brook Parking Lot is open. Parking is limited to the four numbered parking spaces in the parking lot. Parking is prohibited on the shoulders of the road. There are no developed trails or campsites. Access to the surrounding lands is via bushwhack only. Campers can camp at large provided they are more than 150 feet from any road, trail, or surface water. The road and parking lot will remain open until the end of the northern zone regular big game hunting season unless snow or other conditions warrant an early closure.

Boreas Ponds: Gulf Brook Road is now open to motor vehicle use to the Four Corners Parking Lot. Hikers and horseback riders may travel .8 between the parking lot and the Boreas Ponds Dam. Hikers and horseback riders may also travel on any of the roadways. Bicyclists may ride on Gulf Brook Road and the roadway to Boreas Ponds as far as the gate located 500 feet from the Boreas Ponds Dam. Paddlers may carry one mile from the Four Corners Parking lot to Boreas Ponds Dam or can use the hand launch on LaBier Flow, 0.1 mile before the Four Corners Parking Lot. Paddlers may paddle halfway down LaBier Flow and carry 0.4 mile to the hand launch at Boreas Ponds Dam. Camping is allowed more than 150 feet from any road, trail, or surface water.

Bradley Pond Trail – Upper Works (5/23): The roadway on the Bradley Pond Trail has been washed out by the Harkness Lake Outlet approximately a half mile from the parking lot. Hikers will be unable to cross the outlet when water levels are high.

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.

Lows Lower Dam (2020): A major dam rehabilitation project is currently being planned for the Lows Lower Dam (aka Bog River Dam) – the paddlers access site for Hitchens Pond and Lows Lake. The project will likely begin in Spring of 2020. Possible impacts to public access include: Temporary road and access closures; Traffic controls including flag persons, construction fence, etc.; Shared road/parking areas with construction vehicles; Different parking, drop-off, and launching schemes; Increased informational signage. More details will be provided as they become available.

Aldrich Pond Wild Forest: All seasonal access roads, including Streeter Lake Road, are open to public motor vehicle access.

Bog River Complex: All seasonal access roads are open to public motor vehicle use including the access road to Lows Lake/Hitchens Pond Waterway Access Site.

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.

Grass River Complex: The roads are in reasonable but no maintenance has been done at this time. Only high clearance vehicles are appropriate for use at this time. Caution should be used when driving on the roads. The Pleasant Lake Access Road on the Grass River Conservation Easement Tract and the Allen Pond and Spruce Mountain Access Roads on the Tooley Pond Conservation Easement are all open to public motor vehicle use.

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.

Bike Trails: Stewards for the region’s bike trails are asking riders to follow trail reports closely, and stay off wet trails. Reports of mountain bike trail conditions in the Wilmington Wild Forest, Saranac Lakes Wild Forest, and networks in the Adirondack Tri-Lakes Region are reported by BETA on TrailForks.com.

Kushaqua Tract: Mountain Pond Road is open for motor vehicle use.

North Branch Road (8/22): Logging trucks will be using the North Branch Road for the next month or more. Drive slowly, watch and listen for logging trucks when driving on the road. Move safely off the road to allow them to pass.

Spider Creek – Route 30 Culvert: The Department of Transportation is replacing the culvert on State Route 30 at Spider Creek. Spider Creek is the waterway that flows out of Follensby Clear Pond to Fish Creek Ponds. During the construction watercraft will not be able to pass through the culvert. A temporary canoe carry to bypass the culvert may be established, but people visiting the area should consider using existing canoe routes that avoid this culvert entirely. Parking will be available at the nearby water access site, but the northern entrance will be blocked. The parking area may be congested on holiday and weekends. The culvert may be closed for the entire 2019 construction season. When construction is complete, the culvert can be used once again for paddling. For information on alternate paddling routes, visit the DEC website.

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.

Bike Trails: Stewards for the region’s bike trails are asking riders to follow trail reports closely, and stay off wet trails. Reports of mountain bike trail conditions in the Wilmington Wild Forest, Saranac Lakes Wild Forest, and networks in the Adirondack Tri-Lakes Region are reported by BETA on TrailForks.com.

** Westport Boat Launch (10/11): The Westport Boat Launch will be temporarily closed October 15th thru November 29th. DEC will remove sediments accumulated in front of the ramp of the Boat Launch. The removal of sediments will improve access for boaters who launch and retrieve boats during periods when the water is low.

Boquet River Nature Preserve (9/9): The Adirondack Chapter of The Nature Conservancy has opened a new half-mile trail connecting Willsboro’s Main Street with the Boquet River Nature Preserve’s existing trail network. The natural dirt and stone trail, which features 60 stone steps, is the latest improvement the Conservancy’s Adirondack Chapter has made to the preserve. A new trailhead kiosk, additional interpretive signs, and educational materials to further enhance the visitor experience are slated to be installed by next spring.

Sable Highlands Tract (5/23): Piney Ridge Road and D&H Road are open to public motor vehicle use. Both roads have some minor washouts, but should be passable by four-wheel drive SUVs, pick-up trucks, and other high clearance vehicles. There also some trees bent or handing over the road. Drivers should use caution and proceed slowly

Sable Highlands Tract: The gate on Barnes Pond Road is closed until the 2019 Big Game Hunting Season. Hikers may still use the road to access the six campsites along the road.

Terry Mountain State Forest (8/1): Terry Mountain Road in the Terry Mountain State Forest remains closed.

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 Trails (5/30): Wolf Lake Landing Road which provides access to Bear Lake and Woodhull Lake is open to public motor vehicle use to the gate just before Woodhull Lake. Beaver Lake had flooded and damaged the road. Roadway may still be soft in places, stay in the center of roadway surface. The bridge across the inlet to Bear Lake on the Bear Lake Trail is currently out, all users should be prepared to ford the stream or cross elsewhere. 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 Trails: The Erie Canal Trail Bridge over Otter Creek has been damaged and is closed indefinitely. Horses may ford Otter Creek at the old bridge site.

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.

** Sacandaga River Flooding: The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for the the Sacandaga River at Hope. If you live or travel near streams and rivers seek higher ground immediately at first signs of rising water. Obey all road closure signs, they are there for your safety. Do not attempt to drive through flooded areas, most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Turn around, don`t drown! Stay tuned to developments by listening to noaa weather radio, or check the latest National Weather Service local weather warnings, watches and advisories here.

New Northville-Placid Spur to Long Lake: A new 2.2-mile spur trail connects the Northville-Placid Trail to the hamlet of Long Lake. The spur trail provides ease of access to food, supplies, and lodging for backpackers through-hiking the NPT and enhances the local economy. Located in the Blue Mountain Wild Forest, the spur trail connects with the NPT approximately 1.9 miles south of Route 28N. The connection is marked with yellow trail markers. The trail terminates at a gravel parking lot at the intersection of State Route 30/28N, South Hill Road, and Pavilion Lane. Overall, using the spur trail eliminates an estimated 1.4 miles of hiking, including 1.3 miles of hiking on the shoulder of the state highway. In the winter, cross-country skiers can ski from Long Lake to the Three Brook Ski Loop Trail along the NPT and back for a pleasant 5.5-mile round trip ski.

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

Blue Mountain Wild Forest: The O’Neill Flow and Barker Pond Roads are open for public motor vehicle use.

Moose River Plains Complex (7/25): Rock Dam Road is open to public motor vehicle access. The shoulders of the road remain soft. Use caution when using the road. Four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended.

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. (2018)

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.

Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest (6/13): The new Wolf Pond Trail and Wolf Pond Lean-to are open to public use. The 2.3-mile Wolf Pond Trail may be access from Boreas River/Wolf Pond Parking Area on the Blue Ridge Road near the bridge over the Boreas River. The gently rolling and easy to navigate trail crosses Wolf Pond Brook and proceeds northeast. The trail ends at the outlet of Wolf Pond and the new lean-to is located up a short spur trail on the south-western side of the pond. Wolf Pond provides scenic views of the High Peaks and surrounding mountains as well as excellent fishing opportunities. The 59-acre pond is home to stocked wild strain brook trout.

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: 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. During winter 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 (2018).

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.

** Ticonderoga Ferry: The last day of operation for the 2019 season will be Sunday, October 20th.

Lake George Boat Launches: DEC is closing the gates overnight at the Mossy Point and Rogers Rock Boat Launches on Lake George as part of a pilot program to increase protection from aquatic invasive species. Boat launch stewards will open the gates at the boat launches from 7 am to 6 pm through October 31, 2019. More information is available online.

Lake George Wild Forest (8/8): Gay Pond Road remains closed due to the large amount of blowdown on the road caused by a recent wind event.

Shelving Rock Road: Shelving Rock Road is open.

Dacy Clearing Road: Dacy Clearing Road is open.

* I-87 Essex County Northway Bridge Construction; Oversize Truck Detour: 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. Underpass Road underneath the Northway will be closed through October, with a signed detour posted.

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.

** Sacandaga River Flooding: The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for the the Sacandaga River at Hope. If you live or travel near streams and rivers seek higher ground immediately at first signs of rising water. Obey all road closure signs, they are there for your safety. Do not attempt to drive through flooded areas, most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Turn around, don’t drown! Stay tuned to developments by listening to noaa weather radio, or check the latest National Weather Service local weather warnings, watches and advisories here.

Crane Mountain Climbing Routes Open: Rock climbing routes on Crane Mountain are open.

Wilcox Lake Wild Forest: Pumpkin Hollow Road is open to public motor vehicle traffic.

Ferris Lake Wild Forest: Powley Road is open and passable. It is still soft in spots – some soft spots are marked hazardous. Drivers should use 4-wheel drive vehicles and use caution.

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: 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 (2018).

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Be 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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