Thursday, November 14, 2019

Snow Is Here! Skiing Has Begun! Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (Nov 14)

adirondack conditions 11-14This 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.

November 14th, 2019 – SPECIAL NOTICES

WINTER CONDITIONS: There is 4-8 inches of snow across most of the Adirondacks, with deeper snows – about 6-10 inches – across the Northern Adirondacks, and at higher elevations in the High Peaks. Snow showers and snow squalls are possible Friday afternoon across Northern New York which may include brief white-out conditions due to heavy snow and gusty winds up to 30 mph. Following an arctic cold front on Friday record low temperatures are possible Friday night and again on Saturday night, including below zero temperatures at night, and day time highs only in the teens on Saturday, 20s to lower 30s on Sunday.

SNOWSHOES AND TRACTION DEVICES RECOMMENDED: Snowshoes are recommended at above about 2,500 feet, and all hikers should carry traction devices for use on icy trails and water crossings. Lower leg injuries, and injuries from falls on icy conditions are a major source of rescue missions at this time of year.

TRAILS:  Trails will be icy in places, and summit temperatures are not expected to rise about freezing this weekend, with windchills below zero through most of the weekend. Carry traction devices and snowshoes are recommended above about 2,500 feet. High winds have caused a large amount of downed trees and debris on trails. No ice is safe, and stream crossing are generally not yet frozen. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather warnings, watches and advisories here. Check mountain forecasts here and here.

BACK COUNTRY ACCESS ROADS: Some back country access and secondary town roads remain closed around the region. Expect all backcountry and seasonal roads to be snow covered and icy. 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 highly recommended for driving on seasonal backcountry access roads at this time.

HUNTING SEASONS: The Northern Zone (which includes all the Adirondacks) regular big game, small game, and waterfowl hunting seasons are open. Hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters bearing firearms or archery equipment while hiking on trails, who have a legal right to participate in these activities on Forest Preserve and Conservation Easement lands. Hunting accidents involving non-hunters are rare, but hikers can wear bright colors as a precaution.

SNOW, SKI AND SNOWMOBILE REPORT

SNOW COVER: There is 4-8 inches of snow across most of the Adirondacks, with deeper snows – about 6-10 inches – across the Northern Adirondacks, and at higher elevations in the High Peaks. The most recent snow depths in inches reported in around the Adirondacks can be found here.

DOWNHILL FACILITIES: Both Gore Mountain and Whiteface will open Friday morning. They will remain open through the weekend, but close during the week.  Titus will be open Saturday and Sunday, from 9 am to 4: 30 pm.  Oak Mountain is Speculator is hoping to open Dec 7th. McCauley Mountain has been making snow. Mt Pisgah and West Mountain remain closed.

CLASSIC CROSS-COUNTRY SKI REPORT: Cascade has opened for the season as has Garnet Hill near North Creek. Mount Van Hoevenberg will open Saturday.  At Paul Smiths there is about 5.5″ of snow on their trail system with a fresh inch Thursday. Grooming will start Saturday November 30, but the trails are being skied. No skiing reported yet at the Tupper Lake trails, Dewey Mountain, or at Lapland Lake near Northville.

BACK-COUNTRY SKI REPORT: Expect to encounter blowdown, after the Halloween Storm, which was accompanied by high winds. Stream crossing are not yet frozen, but the smoother terrain, including roads, golf courses, and the Whiteface highway are are being skied (avoid the road to Raquette Falls). The Ausable Lake Road is skiable.  The Marcy Dam Truck Trail is skiable, but beware of obstacles, there is about 6-8 inches of snow there. The Jackrabbit Trail has been reported ski-able from the from the top of McKenzie Pass above Whiteface Inn Lane to Rock and River in Keene (skiing downto McKenzie Pond is not recommended). 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 TRAIL REMAIN CLOSED: Snowmobile trails remain closed. Do not ride on closed trails.

LAKES, RIVERS AND STREAMS REPORT

WATERS NEAR NORMAL: Waters have returned to normal levels for this time of year. Water crossing generally remain open and unfrozen, no ice should be considered safe. Most boat launch docks have been removed for the season. Water temperatures are very cold, skim ice is developing on most lake and ponds and some are covered by dangerously thin ice.

The following streamgage readings were observed on Thursday afternoon. Streamgage readings can be affected by snow and ice. 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 – 3.81 ft (11/14): 5.19 ft (11/7)
Raquette River at Piercefield – 8.13 ft (11/14): 9.49 ft (11/7)
AuSable River at Ausable Forks – 1.81 ft (11/14): 2.33 ft (11/7)
Hudson River at North Creek – 4.40 ft (11/14): 5.32 ft (11/7)
Schroon River at Riverbank (Route 11) – 4.55 ft (11/14): 6.84 ft (11/7)
Lake Champlain North of Whitehall – 96.95 ft (11/14): 97.47 ft (11/7)

SEASONAL AND SAFETY NOTICES

CHECK THE WEATHER: 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.

SUN AND MOON SATURDAY: Sunrise Saturday in Lake Placid will be at 6:43 am and sunset at 4:35 pm, providing 9 hours and 53 minutes of sunlight. The Moon will rise at 3:42 pm Saturday afternoon, and set at 4:27 am, Sunday morning. The moon will be about 94% illuminated.

BEAR ADVISORY: The Bear Canister regulation remains in effect until November 30th in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. 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.

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.

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.

DRONES: Drones are motorized equipment and the operation of drones on lands classified as Wilderness, Primitive, or Canoe is prohibited.

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 (Updated 11/14/2019)

* 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.

* Bears Active On Marcy Trail (11/7): 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 (11/6): Gulf Brook Road is closed due to culvert damage and washout.

** East River Trail (11/7): Opalescent Bridge has been washed out along the East River Trail to Allen/Hanging Spear Falls. River is impassable at this time.

** Calamity Brook Trail (11/7): Calamity Brook Trail has several bridges out. Some sections may be impassable.

Elk Lake Conservation Easement (10/24): Trails through the Elk Lake Conservation Easement to the Dix Mountain Range and Panther Gorge will be closed to public use. The trails will open December 9th at the end of the Northern Zone Regular Big Game Season.

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 Saranac 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.

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.

** Westport Boat Launch (10/31): The Westport Boat Launch remains temporarily closed thru November 29th. DEC is removing 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.

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.

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.

** Ferris Lake Wild Forest (11/6): Powley Piseco Road has severe washouts on either end and is closed for the foreseeable future. Edick Road is closed.

** Town of Wells (11/6): West River Road is closed until further notice due to flooding and washouts.

** Black River Wild Forest (11/14): The Loop Road at North Lake is passable with high clearance 4WD vehicles. Most of the flood damage occurred at the section of the Loop Road that passes through private lands. Loop Road continues to be closed past campsite #18 due to a washout at Golden Stair Creek. The Wolf Lake Landing Road in McKeever is passable with high clearance 4WD vehicles.

** Wolf Lake Landing Road (11/4): The Wolf Lake Landing Road in McKeever has sustained some erosion from the October 31, storm. It is passable with high clearance 4wd vehicles. The roadway may still be soft in places, stay in the center of roadway surface.

** Fulton Chain Wild Forest (11/6): The Safford Pond Snowmobile Trail has experienced a large beaver dam failure approximately one-quarter mile north of Safford Pond Road, at the Safford Pond inlet. The trail is impassable there.

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, Cedarland Conservation Easement, Jessup River Wild Forest
These are recent changes, older changes for this area can be found here.

** Speculator Tree Farm/Perkins Clearing (11/14): Roads have been repaired and Easements are now reopened to the public. Use caution as roadwork may still be occurring.

** West Canada Lakes Wilderness (11/14): West Canada Lake Wilderness is accessible from the Pillsbury Mountain Parking Area and the Spruce Lake Parking Lot. Due to the closure of the Indian River Road at the Otter Brook Bridge the unit is also inaccessible from the northern trailhead within Moose River Plains Wild Forest’s Brook Trout Lake Parking Area. Those seeking to access the unit from Sucker Brook Trail from Indian Lake/Route 30 should be advised that the Sucker Brook Trail is unmaintained beyond the Height of Ground or approximately 4.4 miles in. The Northville Placid Trail trailhead on Haskell Road in Piseco is open. However, please be advised that an assessment of backcountry facility damage has yet to be conducted. Given the level of damage on the periphery of the unit it is likely backcountry facilities (notably stream crossings) will be impacted

** Northville-Placid Trail (11/6): The Northville Placid Trail trailhead on Haskell Road in Piseco is open. However, be advised that an assessment of backcountry facility damage has yet to be conducted. Given the level of damage on the periphery of the unit, it is likely backcountry facilities, notably stream crossings, will be impacted.

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.

** Blue Ridge Wilderness: The bridge across Rock Pond is out. Cascade Pond and the Cascade Pond Lean-To can now only be accessed via the Wilson Pond and Crossover Trail or via the Northville-Placid Trail.

** Moose River Plains Complex (11/4): Otter Brook road is closed at the gate at Otter Brook. There is severe washout beyond the gate.

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.

** Indian Lake (11/6): There is damage to roads and infrastructure on Crotched Pond Road in Indian Lake. The road may be difficult or impassable.

** Essex Chain Lakes Complex (10/24): Gates on two seasonal access roads providing hunters and others motor vehicle access to additional lands and roadside primitive tent sites are open: Camp Six Road has three roadside primitive tent sites and a parking lot at the end – one mile from the Chain Lakes North Road. The gate at the Outer Gooley Club on the Chain Lakes Road South provides access to three primitive tent sites and a parking area 1.5 miles beyond the gate. Two additional tent sites are located past the gate at the seasonal parking area – one further north on the Chain Lakes Road South and one at Pine Lake.

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 (11/8): The Cisco Brook Trailhead is not accessible due to impassable road washouts leading to the trailhead. 13th Lake Road has been washed out. The public can still access 13th Lake Trailhead by detouring on Harvey Road and meeting back up with 13th Lake Road beyond the washout. The 13th Lake trailhead and accessible trails have also sustained damage. The public is advised to use caution at this location. The seasonal road to Old Farm Parking Lot and Trailhead has washed out at a culvert. Temporary parking is being determined. Barton Mines Rd to the Halfway Brook and Raymond Brook Trail parking is passable to 4WD vehicles only.

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).

** Jessup River Wild Forest (11/6): Watch Hill and Snowy Mountain trails are closed due to the closure of Route 30.

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 Ticonderoga Ferry is closed for the 2019 season.

** Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Parkway (11/14): Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Parkway is closed.

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 (11/7): 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.

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.

** Shaker Mountain Wild Forest (11/14): Tolmantown Road, which provides access to the Benson Tract, is closed from the Mayfield end. The Bleecker end is still open to the Big T.

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

** Wilcox Lake Wild Forest (11/14): Tower Hill Road is closed from the Eddy Road intersection to the Hadley Mountain Trailhead due to extensive washout. Hadley Mountain can be accessed from Hadley Hill Road.

** Ferris Lake Wild Forest (11/7): Powley Piseco Road and Edick Road have severe wash outs and are closed for the foreseeable future.

** Silver Lake Wilderness (11/14): West River Road is closed until further notice due to flooding and washouts.

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.

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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.




4 Responses

  1. Paul says:

    Hopefully another record breaking long season for the face this year!

  2. Pete Nelson says:

    Paul (and readers):

    I was there all three days this weekend. They have only one series of runs open, but those were midwinter condition. Good snow, crisp bluebird days. Get out there, man, it’s a solid start to the season.

    Pete

  3. Boreas says:

    John,

    With the weather and washout, is it safe to assume Gulf Brook Road at Boreas Ponds will remained closed until spring?

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