Thursday, March 12, 2020

Current Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (March 12)

adk conditions 3-12This 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 adkalmanack@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.

March 12th, 2020 – SPECIAL NOTICES

HAZARDOUS WEATHER: Low pressure moving to our north tonight will bring widespread precipitation to the North Country overnight. The precipitation will fall mainly as rain, but a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain will be possible at the onset, mainly in the higher terrain of both the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains, along with the sheltered valleys of eastern Vermont. Light snow, sleet, and ice accumulations will be possible. In addition, winds will increase from the south to southeast late tonight. Gusts of 35 to 45 mph will be possible, particularly along the northern slopes of the Adirondacks and the western slopes of the Green Mountains. Gusty winds south to southeast winds will continue through Friday morning. Gusts of 35 to 45 mph will be possible, particularly on the northern slopes of the Adirondacks and the western slopes of the Green Mountains. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather warnings, watches and advisories here.

BURN BAN: Conditions for wildfires will become heightened during this spring. Residential brush burning is prohibited March 16 through May 14 across New York State. More information on reducing wildfires can be found on DEC’s website.

WINTER TRAIL CONDITIONS: Although snow is patchy at the periphery of the Adirondack Park, there remains deep snow and winter conditions around the region. Temperatures will remain in the single digits and teens on summits this weekend, with wind chills there in the single digits below zero through the weekend. Expect summit winds 55-65 mph Friday and 30-40 mph on Saturday. Snow conditions will be variable as temperatures warm Friday well into the 40s, but then cool through the weekend to near and below freezing on Sunday. Snow is still deep, especially off trail, where there remains from 8 inches to as much as two feet across the Central Adirondacks at lower elevations, with 3-5 feet, and more in some places, remaining at higher elevations. Expect trails to be very icy, especially in the morning and on Sunday. Bring snowshoes and ice traction devices for hikes above about 1,750 feet. At higher elevations the risk of avalanches remains. Warm temperatures and snow melt have risen the levels of rivers and streams well above normal for this time of year, which will may make some stream crossings difficult. Main stem river remain mostly open. Most lakes and ponds remain iced over and covered in water and slush. Ice is dangerously thin in places; parts of Lake George and Lake Champlain remain open. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather warnings, watches and advisories here. Check mountain forecasts here and here. Follow Adirondack weather forecasts at Burlington and Albany and consult the High Elevation, Recreation, or Lake Champlain forecasts.

AVALANCHE RISK: Snow depths on high elevation slopes in the High Peaks range from 4 to 6 feet. The current snow pack has distinct layers formed by rain and melt/freeze cycles. Lower snow layers may be reactive to the added stresses of recent snows, creating conditions conducive to avalanches. Avalanches can occur in any situation where snow, slope, and weather conditions combine to create the proper conditions. While much of the steep open terrain is found in the High Peaks region of the Adirondacks, avalanche-prone terrain is found on mountains throughout the Adirondacks, including Snowy Mountain in Hamilton County. Avalanche danger increases during and immediately after major snowfalls and during thaws. Avalanches can have dire consequences which you can read about here. Take the following precautions when traveling in avalanche-prone terrain:

  • Cross-country skiers and snowshoers should stay on trails and avoid steep slopes on summits;
  • Know the terrain, weather, and snow conditions;
  • Dig multiple snow pits to conduct stability tests – do not rely on other people’s data;
  • Practice safe route-finding and safe travel techniques;
  • Never ski, board, or climb with someone above or below you – only one person on the slope at a time;
  • Ski and ride near trees – not in the center of slides or other open areas;
  • Always carry a shovel, probes, and a transceiver with fresh batteries;
  • Ensure all members of the group know avalanche rescue techniques;
  • Never travel alone; and
  • Notify someone about where you are going.

Additional information on avalanche danger, preparedness, and safety precautions is available on the DEC web site.

BACK COUNTRY ACCESS ROADS: Many back country access are 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.

ICE, SNOW, SKI AND SNOWMOBILE REPORT (3/12/2020)

ICE CLIMBING (3/12): There still is ice to climb but the past two days have wiped out a lot of it. A good deal of snow is also gone but the woods still has plenty. Cold enough temperatures at night will keep climbable ice around for a few more weeks but the conditions vary day to day. Great conditions for the Trap Dike and Gothics. Climbing conditions provided by Rock and River Guide Service

SNOW COVER: Although snow is patchy in at the periphery of the Adirondack Park, there remains deep snow and winter conditions around the region. Snow is still deep, especially off trail, where there remains from 8 inches to as much as two feet across the Central Adirondacks at lower elevations, with 3-5 feet, and more in some places, remaining at higher elevations. In Southeastern Warren County, and along the Lake Champlain and Lake George Valleys, there is about 4-6 inches. Deepest amounts of snow can be found in the Western Adirondacks and at higher elevations. Expect at least 2-4 feet of snow this weekend at about 2,500 feet and 4 or 6 feet at the highest elevations. There is about 3 1/2 feet of snow at Lake Colden (2,764 feet) in the High Peaks. The most recent snow depths in inches reported in around the Adirondacks can be found here.

DOWNHILL FACILITIES: Expect spring-like conditions Friday, but turning icier as it gets colder through the weekend. Nearly all terrain is open. Slides remain closed. The last of the glades were open at Whiteface this week, but may not last the weekend.  The following reports are from Thursday:

Oak Mountain (Speculator) and Mt Pisgah (Saranac Lake) are open, as are most of the region’s smaller ski and sledding hills.

Whiteface (0 trails open, 0 lifts, 0% terrain open).  Whiteface has closed for the season, including uphill travel.

Gore Mountain (0 trails open, 0 lifts, 0% of terrain). Gore has closed for the season.

Titus (18 trails open, 3 lifts, about 9 inches of snow over the last five days).

McCauley Mountain Ski Area (21 trails open, 3 lifts, no new snow over the last five days).

CLASSIC CROSS-COUNTRY SKI REPORT: Expect the best conditions this weekend at groomed ski centers, which still have nearly all their terrain open, including: Cascade, Mount Van Hoevenberg (closing Sunday), Dewey Mountain, at the Paul Smiths VIC, the Tupper Lake trails, at Garnet Hill (closing until the end of April after, effective Monday, March 16), Lapland Lake and Adirondack Woodcraft Camps near Old Forge.

BACK-COUNTRY SKI REPORT: Outside groomed ski centers, surfaces will be somewhat hard and fast. In the Central Adirondacks, most routes remain skiable (barring the hiking routes), though will be thin in places at lower elevations, and patchy in open areas, especially southern exposures. Conditions at higher elevations may be crusty by Sunday and will be fast and icy in places. Elsewhere trails remain skiable, but southern backcountry routes such as Hoffman Notch, Boreas Ponds, and the Newcomb Lake Road, will be softer and thinner this weekend. The Marcy Dam Truck trail remains a better option, than the Loj hiking trail (which is no longer recommended). Avalanche Pass and the VanHoevenberg Trail remain skiable. The Jackrabbit Trail is skiable from the north end to Cascade and van Ho, though fast with thin areas. Updates 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.

SNOWMOBILE REPORT: Although a few trails remain open and ridable, conditions are marginal, and roads are mostly shot and although a few die-hards will be riding here and there, snowmobiling can no longer be generally recommended.  It you do go, call ahead aft the rain Friday and beware of soft snow, water holes and wet spots. Do not ride on closed trails. Riding lake ice is not safe. Local snowmobile trail reports are listed below by region.

LAKES, RIVERS AND STREAMS REPORT (3/12/2020)

WATERS ABOVE NORMAL: Stem rivers remain open, and most rivers and stream are running well above normal for this time of year. Lakes and ponds are mostly iced over, but covered with water and slush. Ice remains dangerously thin in places, and Lake Champlain and Lake George remain open. Check the latest National Weather Service local weather warnings, watches and advisories here.

THIN ICE: Ice is dangerously thin in places and significant warm weather and rain have weakened ice. Numerous people and vehicles have gone through the ice this season around the Adirondacks. Several rescues have been made. Check the depth of ice frequently if you do cross.

STREAM GAGES: 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 – 5.46 ft (3/12): 5.74 ft (3/5)
Raquette River at Piercefield – 6.65 ft (3/12): 6.45 ft (3/5)
AuSable River at Ausable Forks – 3.46 ft (3/12): 1.90 ft (3/5)
Hudson River at North Creek – 5.10 ft (3/12): 3.50 ft (3/5)
Schroon River at Riverbank (Route 11) – 4.19 ft (3/12): 3.33 (3/5)
Lake Champlain North of Whitehall – 97.03 ft (3/12): 96.25 ft (3/5)

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 7:09 am and sunset at 7:01, providing 11 hours and 53 minutes of sunlight. The Moon will rise at 12:10 am Saturday morning, and set at 10:12 am, Saturday morning. The moon will be about 71% illuminated.

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

* 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.

** Lake Placid Olympic Sites (3/15): The New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) managed ski areas and all its venues will suspend operation at the close of today, Sunday, March 15. Closures include all Nordic and Alpine ski resorts; Mt. Van Hoevenberg, Belleayre Mountain Ski Resort, Gore Mountain and Whiteface Mountain.
Additionally, the Lake Placid Olympic sites will be closing; Olympic Jumping Complex, Olympic Sports Complex, The Olympic Oval and The Olympic Center including its museum and retail shops
.

** Cummings Road Closure Planned (Lake Placid): A portion of Cummings Road between Wesvalley Road and Main Street in Lake Placid is expected to be reduced to one lane in May, and completely from June to late November or early December. ORDA is expected to provide more details by May 11th, with the road closing June 9th. ORDA is building a “spectator tunnel” beneath Cummings Road, to connect the Herb Brooks Arena to the Olympic Speedskating Oval. The road is expected to reopen by Dec. 21. More information about the project can be found online.

dec high peaks region* Lake Colden Caretaker Report (3/11): 41 inches (105 cm) of snow is present at the stake at the cabin. 5+ feet (150) of snow is present in the higher elevations. Use skis or snowshoes is required on all trails in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness – and strongly recommended throughout the High Peaks Region – wherever are a foot or more. South Meadows trail is thin and icy in spots the first 1/2 mile. VanHoevenberg Trail to Marcy Dam has bare and icy spots. Stream crossings may be tricky due to high waters.

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 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 is 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.

2020 High Peaks Hiker Shuttles Planned: Plans are in the works to create two new hiker shuttle routes connecting parking lots and trailheads in the High Peaks during the coming hiking season. The existing Marcy Field – Garden Trailhead Shuttle will also operate. The new shuttles will also begin at Marcy Field. One is expected to Southeast on Route 73 to the junction of Route 9 (Dysfunction Junction), presumably with stops at Adirondac Loj and the Garden Trailhead. The second shuttle will connect with the Mount Van Hoevenberg Olympic Sporting Complex encompassing the trail heads for Cascade, Porter, Giant, the Dix Range, at Roaring Brook, PItchoff and Rooster Comb. The shuttles are expected to run most days from the end of the school year in June through Labor Day, and then weekends and holidays until about Columbus Day

Garden-Porter Mtn. Trail – Cascade Mtn.: The Porter and Little Porter Trail from the Garden in Keene remain 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 (1/23): The new Van Hoevenberg East Trail cannot be accessed due to construction activity at the Olympic Sports Center. The new Mt. Van Hoevenberg Summit Trail in the High Peaks Wilderness (accessed from the Olympic Sports Complex), has been temporarily rerouted 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 (3/12): Gulf Brook Road is closed to public motor vehicle use until after the spring mud season and necessary repairs are made. It should remain skiable this weekend, but there are washouts and cover may be thin in places. A large washout is present about a half mile from the Blue Ridge Road – the washout can be problematic to traverse but is passable. There are several smaller washouts along the road that are easily traversed. The there is some blowdown on the road but all of it is easy to pass around.

* Corey’s Road (3/13): The gate has closed on the Corey’s Road. It’s an additional three miles to the Seward Trailhead.

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: Trails through the Elk Lake Conservation Easement to the Dix Mountain Range and Panther Gorge are open to public use. Elk Lake Road is open to the Clear Pond Gate. This will add four miles round trip to hikes. Plan accordingly.

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.

* Seasonal Roads (3/16): Department of Environmental Conservation has closed all mud gates to trails and seasonal access roads on Forest Preserve, State Forest, and Conservation Easement lands in Region 6 due to spring thaw and muddy conditions. Motor vehicle use during the spring mud season will damage roads and result in road opening delays. DEC will reopen the roads once any necessary maintenance is completed and the roads become dry enough to safely handle motor vehicle traffic.

DEC western adirondacksLake Lila Road / William C. Whitney Wilderness: Lake Lila Road is closed to motor vehicles for the season.

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
DEC northwestern adirondacksIncluding 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.

* Seasonal Roads (3/16): Department of Environmental Conservation has closed all mud gates to trails and seasonal access roads on Forest Preserve, State Forest, and Conservation Easement lands in Region 6 due to spring thaw and muddy conditions. Motor vehicle use during the spring mud season will damage roads and result in road opening delays. DEC will reopen the roads once any necessary maintenance is completed and the roads become dry enough to safely handle motor vehicle traffic.

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
DEC northern adirondacksIncluding 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.

* Lake Flower Boat Launch Closed: The Lake Flower Boat Launch is closed to public use until construction of an accessible full-service restroom is completed. Boaters will need to use the Second Pond Boat Launch and the Lower Lock to access Kiwassa Lake, Oseetah Lake, Lake Flower, and portions of the Saranac River until completion of the project. The restroom will be built in the western corner of the boat launch property near the sidewalk along River Street and is expected to be ready for use during next year’s boating season. The facility, with restrooms for both men and women, will have four toilets and two sinks.

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.

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.

DEC northeastern adirondacksBike 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.

* S83 Snomobile Trail (1/23): A section of the S83 Snowmobile Trail is closed north of the Goldsmith Road this winter due to logging activity.

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.

* Seasonal Roads (3/16): Department of Environmental Conservation has closed all mud gates to trails and seasonal access roads on Forest Preserve, State Forest, and Conservation Easement lands in Region 6 due to spring thaw and muddy conditions. Motor vehicle use during the spring mud season will damage roads and result in road opening delays. DEC will reopen the roads once any necessary maintenance is completed and the roads become dry enough to safely handle motor vehicle traffic.

DEC southwestern adironacks* Town of Wells (2/28): West River Road which accesses Whitehouse and the Northville -Placid Trail is a seasonal road and in unmaintained 12/1 through 4/1.

* Black River Wild Forest (1/9): The bridge across Little Woodhull Creek on the Stone Dam Trail has washed out, likely due to Halloween flood.

* Black River Wild Forest (2/28): All seasonal access roads are closed to public motor vehicle use until after the spring mud season. Designated snowmobile trails are open.

* 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.

DEC west central adirondacks* Eighth Lake Campground (1/16): Reservations are open for the May 15th start of the camping season at DEC’s Eighth Lake Campground in Inlet, Hamilton County.

* Speculator Tree Farm (12/9): Gates to Cave Hill Road (C4 snowmobile trail) are open.

* Speculator Tree Farm/Perkins Clearing (12/12): The Brister Brook Parking Area is closed this winter due to damage from the Halloween Storm. The Town of Lake Pleasant has created a larger parking area off NYS Rt 30 near the turn for Jessup River Road.

* West Canada Lakes Wilderness (12/12): All seasonal access roads on adjacent private, Wild Forest, and Conservation Easement lands are closed.

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.

Township 19 Conservation Easement Lands (12/12): Logging operations will continue this winter on the Township 19 Conservation Easement Lands. Snowmobilers will be sharing the roads with logging trucks and other equipment. Be alert and proceed with caution.

* 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.

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.

DEC east central adirondacks* Gasoline Limited (2/1): The One Stop on Route 30 is no longer selling gasoline (likely for the remainder of the winter). Gasoline is available at Stewart’s near the intersection of Routes 30 and 28.

* Indian Lake (1/1): Crotched Pond Road is closed due to washouts.

* Great Camp Santanoni Winter Weekends: The grounds of Great Camp Santanoni in Newcomb will be host one more designated Winter Weekend, when the rustic historic site is staffed with guides offering tours, and snowshoes are provided at the gate for the ten-mile round trip: March 14 and 15. A 9.8-mile round trip cross-country ski or snowshoe requires moderate physical activity. More information about Great Camp Santanoni and the upcoming winter weekends is available online.

* Essex Chain Lakes Complex (12/12): All seasonal access roads are closed to public motor vehicle use until after the spring mud season.

* Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest (1/23): Blowdown is present on the recently built Wolf Pond Trail.

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.

DEC eastern adirondacks** Cook Mountain Trail Closure (1/28): Lake George Land Conservancy has closed the Ridges Trail to the summit at Cook Mountain Preserve (at Baldwin, on Lake George in the Town of Ticonderoga) due to downed trees and the theft of trail markers. The lower loop trail remains open.

Ticonderoga Ferry: The Ticonderoga Ferry remains closed for the winter.

* Rogers Rock Campsite (1/30): DEC has announced that campers and day-users will now be able to make online reservations for group camp sites at the Rogers Rock Campground and Day Use Area.

Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Parkway: Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Parkway is closed for the season.

* Lake George Wild Forest (3/5): Shelving Rock Road is closed for the winter. The Town will reopen it in the spring when conditions allow.

Lake George Wild Forest (12/12): All seasonal access roads are closed to public motor vehicle use. Dacy Clearing Road is closed to automobile traffic at the Hogtown Parking Lot.

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.

* Seasonal Roads (3/16): Department of Environmental Conservation has closed all mud gates to trails and seasonal access roads on Forest Preserve, State Forest, and Conservation Easement lands in Region 6 due to spring thaw and muddy conditions. Motor vehicle use during the spring mud season will damage roads and result in road opening delays. DEC will reopen the roads once any necessary maintenance is completed and the roads become dry enough to safely handle motor vehicle traffic.

DEC southern adirondacks* Shaker Mountain Wild Forest (1/9): Tolmantown Road is a seasonal road and is unmaintained 12/1 through 4/1.

* Shaker Mountain Wild Forest (1/2): Green Lake Road which accesses Kane Mountain Trailhead is temporarily closed due to downed trees and powerlines from the recent icy weather.

* Wilcox Lake Wild Forest (12/12): Spruce Mountain Trail is open for public use.

* Silver Lake Wilderness (12/1): is a seasonal road and is not maintained 12/1 through 4/1.

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.

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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 93-3 /102.1 The Mix 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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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 editor@adirondackalmanack.com.




2 Responses

  1. Ruth Olbert says:

    There is gas at the Newcomb Cafe and Campground located on 28n near the Newcomb School.

  2. John Gray says:

    Great info for the outdoorsman preparations.

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