Thursday, October 10, 2019

Holiday Weekend Parking Restrictions, Shuttle Info; Current Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (Oct 10)

adirondack atlas 10-10This 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

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 10th, 2019 – SPECIAL NOTICES

LEAF CHANGE NEAR PEAK: The leaves are peak or near peak throughout the Adirondacks, and past peak at the highest elevations. Leaves remain closer to mid-point 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.

HAZARDOUS WEATHER: There remains a chance of showers through the weekend. Expect nighttime temperatures at this time of year to reach into the 30s, with highs expected in the 50s and 60s. Winds 5-10, gusting to 25 mph are expected through Saturday (40s on summits).  Check the latest National Weather Service local weather warnings, watches and advisories here.

SLOW DOWN AT TRAILHEADS: A 45 mile per hour advisory speed is being posted on the following roads Columbus Day Weekend: 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 CROWDED / PARKING LIMITED / LIMIT OVERUSE THIS WEEKEND:  This is a Canadian and American Holiday Weekend. Trailhead parking lots and interior campsites in popular areas will fill early. Plan alternatives before you arrive, in the event parking is unavailable; there will be a law enforcement presence at popular trailheads Friday thru Monday and tickets are being issued. Vehicles illegally parked along Ausable Road will be towed. High Peaks usage will peak this weekend, amid a notable increase in visitor-ship, and it’s expected to stress local infrastructure at the most popular areas this weekend, have patience and expect delays if you plan to join the crowds. Those arriving at High Peaks trailheads along Route 73 after 6 am will not find legal parking. Trailheads will be very busy and parking lots will fill to capacity early at 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, and expect delays this weekend at the Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway toll booth in Wilmington. Crowded conditions and limited parking are expected to continue in some areas over the coming weekends. 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.

GARDEN TRAILHEAD SHUTTLE: The Garden Trailhead Parking Area has reopened, but it will fill very early.  Access to the Garden Trailhead for most hikers will require taking the Town of Keene shuttle from the Marcy Field Parking Area, which operates 7 am to 7 pm – the shuttle will fill to capacity in the mornings this weekend and may require a wait, plan accordingly.  The Town of Keene website has the most up to date shuttle schedule. The Porter and Little Porter Trail from the Garden in Keene remains closed by the landowner – approach Porter Mountain via the trail from Marcy Field. A fee of $10 (USD, $13 Canadian) per calendar day (12:01 AM to Midnight) is assessed for parking at the Garden Lot.

LAKE PLACID HIKERS SHUTTLE: A shuttle will run during the four-day Columbus Day Weekend. Shuttles are scheduled approximately every 60 minutes. The last shuttle leaves Lake Placid from Mirror Lake Park at 2:47 pm. Service dogs are the only animals allowed on the shuttle. The shuttle stops at the following locations: Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort; Mirror Lake Park (across from High Peaks Resort); Whiteface Landing Trailhead; Copperas Pond Trailhead; Bear Den Mountain Trailhead; Whiteface Mountain Ski Lodge (Flume Trail System).

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.

MUD: There have been recent periods of rain and showers are expected. Expect to encounter mud – many trails and back country roads are muddy in places. 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.

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. 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.


WATERS LEVELS: Waters are mostly at about normal or a little above normal levels for this time of year. Many low water paddle routes remain difficult or impassable around the region; all boaters should use extra caution in shallow areas, especially with hazard buoys now being removed. The following streamgage readings were observed on Thursday afternoon. 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 – 4.34 ft (10/10): 4.74 ft (10/3)
Raquette River at Piercefield – 5.50 ft (10/10): 4.65 ft (10/3)
AuSable River at Ausable Forks – 1.87 ft (10/10): 2.03 ft (10/3)
Hudson River at North Creek – 4.16 ft (10/10): 3.17 ft (10/3)
Schroon River at Riverbank (Route 11) – 2.69 ft (10/10): 2.02 ft (10/3)
Lake Champlain North of Whitehall – 94.63 ft (10/10): 94.33 ft (10/3)

COLD WATER TEMPERATURES: Expect water temperatures mostly in the 50s, with the warmest waters only near 60, and colder mountain waters nearer 40. 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 49 degrees (10/10)
Lake Champlain (average) – about 57 degrees (10/10)
Lake George (Warner Bay) – 58 degrees (10/10)
Ausable River (Wilmington) – about 60 degrees (9/27)
Mirror Lake (Lake Placid) – 58 degrees (10/10)

PADDLERS & BOATERS: There remains a chance of showers through the weekend, with winds 5-10, gusting to 25 mph through Saturday. Waters remain at seasonal lows. Low water paddle routes may be more difficult or impassable around the region; all 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).


SUN AND MOON SATURDAY: Sunrise Saturday in Lake Placid will be at 7:06 am and sunset at 6:17 pm, providing 11 hours and 11 minutes of sunlight. The Moon will rise at 6:15 pm Saturday night, and set at 6:36 am, Sunday morning. The moon does not pass the meridian on this day.

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

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.


* indicates new or recent items.

Including Dix Mountain, Giant Mountain, Hurricane Mountain, Jay Mountain, McKenzie Mountain, Sentinel Range Wildernesses, Lake Placid, and Wilmington
These are recent changes, older changes for this area can be found here.

** Lake Placid Classic Half Marathon (10/10): This annual race will be held from 8 am to noon on Saturday.  The race route includes the section of State Route 73 between River Road and Main Street (Route 86). The road will be closed to one lane between Main Street and the Horse Show Grounds. Runners will be crossing the road and running on the left shoulder between the Horse Show Grounds and River Road. Use caution when driving in this area.

* 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 (9/26): 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

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 but will be crowded over the next two weekends. The Town of Keene Shuttle between the Marcy Field Parking Lot and the Garden Trailhead will run over the Columbus Day Weekend, to accommodate overflow parking; expect waits for the shuttle before noon. The Shuttle costs $10 round-trip per person ($13 Canadian). The town’s website has the most up to date shuttle schedule. 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. Vehicles illegally parked along Ausable Road will be towed. 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.

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 (10/3): A 1.3-mile section of the Boreas Road, between the Four Corners Parking Lot and the Brace Brook Parking Lot, will open this weekend. 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 (9/12): 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 Lean-to: The roof of the Bradley Pond Lean-to has recently been repaired by volunteers from the Adirondack 46ers.

* Wilmington Notch Campground Closed: DEC has closed the Wilmington Notch Campground and Day Use Area early to install a new well and water system and to provide for additional time to complete repairs and maintenance work before the onset of winter. Nearby Meadowbrook Campground and Day Use Area remains open until Columbus Day.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

** 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.

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.

Nicks Lake Campground Upgrades Complete: DEC has completed upgrades to Nicks Lake Campground on Bisby Road in Old Forge. The campground features a modern, ADA-accessible playground, volleyball, horseshoes, basketball, and more than three miles of paved roads for bikers and joggers. The campground will be open until Oct. 14, 2019.

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.

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.

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)

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).

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 9/21 – 10/11 from 6 am to 7 pm; and 10/12 – 10/31 from 7 am to 6 pm. 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.

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 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).


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.

Related Stories

Editorial Staff

Stories under the Almanack's Editorial Staff byline come from press releases and other notices.

Send news updates and story ideas to Alamanck Editor Melissa Hart at

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *