Thursday, April 16, 2020

Adirondack Outdoor Conditions (4/16): Closures abound

This weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks sent out from the NYS DEC.

DEC Boat Launches

Use of all DEC, Canal Corp., and State Parks-owned boat launches is temporarily suspended for recreational boaters to limit the community spread of COVID-19.

For the safety of all visitors and to reduce the community spread of COVID-19, DEC and State Parks are undertaking steps to reduce public density:

  • Closing all playgrounds;
  • Limiting access to athletic courts and sporting fields;
  • Canceling all public programs and events at state parks, lands, forests and facilities until further notice;
  • Closing all indoor visitor facilities, such as nature centers, environmental education centers, visitor centers, and historic houses to the public until further notice;
  • State Parks has closed all State Parks golf courses;
  • DEC is closing access to DEC-controlled fire towers to the public. Trails and the summits to the towers remain open, but the towers themselves present a potential risk with multiple people climbing the stairs, in close quarters, unable to appropriately socially distance, and using the same handrails; and
  • Limiting parking. If the parking lot is full, visit a different location to recreate responsibly. For visitor safety and the safety of others, do not park on roadsides and only park in designated parking areas.

Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures

DEC has closed certain rock climbing routes in the Adirondacks to protect nesting peregrine falcons. Status of rock climbing routes:

  • Chapel Pond Area
    • Upper Washbowl Cliffs – CLOSED
    • Lower Washbowl Cliffs – CLOSED
    • Spider’s Web – OPEN
  • Wilmington Notch Area
    • Moss Cliffs – OPEN
    • Notch Mountain – CLOSED
  • Poke-O-Moonshine – The climbing routes between and including Opposition and Womb With View are OPEN, all other routes are CLOSED.
  • Crane Mountain – All climbing routes are OPEN, except the Amphitheater section of the Black Arches Wall is CLOSED including Torcher, Eatin Tripe and Lichen It, Hang Time, and Black Arch Arete
  • Shelving Rock – All routes on the Main Wall are CLOSED which includes routes #11 Lunar Manscape through #37 Princess Bride. All other routes on Shelving Rock are OPEN.
  • Potash Mountain – All routes are CLOSED.
  • Sleeping Beauty Mountain – All routes are CLOSED.

Once peregrine nest sites are determined, climbing routes that will not disturb nesting will be reopened. We anticipate reopening by the beginning of May although in some years it has taken longer to confirm nesting. Routes that remain closed will reopen after the young have fledged. Thank you for your cooperation. For more information please contact the Bureau of Wildlife at (518) 623-1240.

DEC Campgrounds

All DEC Campgrounds remain closed at this time, including campsites, bathrooms, playgrounds, pavilions, picnic sites, beaches, and other day use areas and facilities. The public may enter DEC campgrounds to access trails on the Forest Preserve or to walk or bike on the campground roadways. Motor and motorized vehicles are prohibited from entering DEC campgrounds. Visit in small groups limited to immediate household members and practice social distancing.

Trailhead Registers

Trailhead registers provide vital information, so please continue to sign in and out. During the COVID-19 public health crisis, special precautions should be taken while using trailhead registers to minimize spread of the virus through commonly touched surfaces, such as pencils and the registers themselves. Follow these guidelines when using trailhead registers to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

  • Only one person per group should register. Others in the group should stay away from the register.
  • If someone is at a register when you approach, stand at least six feet away and wait for them to leave before you approach.
  • Bring your own pencil or pen.
  • Minimize touching surfaces.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and use it immediately before and after using the register.
  • Don’t cough or sneeze while at the register. If you must cough or sneeze, move away from the register and hand sanitize before returning.

General Conditions

  • HIKE SMART NY by always being prepared for your trip, variable trail conditions, and unexpected weather when you go out on the trail.
  • Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has recommendations for responsible outdoor recreation (leaves DEC website) during the COVID-19 public health crisis.
  • Adirondack Mountain Reserve (aka Ausable Club) is immediately reducing the parking capacity on its lot near the intersection of Ausable Road and State Route 73 to a maximum of 28 vehicles in response to COVID-19. Parking is not permitted along Ausable Road, on Ausable Club lands, or along the nearby stretches of State Route 73.
  • Adirondack Mountain Club’s High Peaks Information Center will remain closed through May 14 in response to COVID-19. Parking at Adirondak Loj Trailhead remains open to the public for a fee. The restrooms on the back porch of the High Peaks Information Center are also open.
  • DEC-controlled fire towers are closed to the public to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 during the current public health crisis. Trails to the towers and the summits remain open.
  • Seasonal access roads are closed for the spring mud season. The roads will reopen to public motor vehicle use once they have thawed, dried and hardened and all necessary repairs and maintenance are complete.
  • Trails are a mix of mud, ice and snow. Mud and ice are present at low to moderate elevations. Ice and deep snow are present in the higher elevations. Trail crampons should be carried on all hikes and snowshoes should be carried on high elevation hikes.
  • Ice is thin if it is present at all. No ice should be considered safe at this time.
  • Water levels in streams and rivers are high, currents are swift, and water temperatures are extremely cold.

Related Stories

Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

20 Responses

  1. Rose Kittle, says:

    Will lake Eaton be open for camping in July? If not will we get refund?

    • At the moment, the campground reservations are on hold/not accepting new reservations and at the same time honoring existing ones. I believe the reservation system has waived cancellation fees for people who wish to cancel/change plans. Will keep you posted as we know more!

  2. Lee Schaller says:

    Are DEC canoe and kayak launch sites still open?

  3. Boreas says:

    I know the road isn’t open yet, but does anyone now if the washout on Gulf Brook Road leading into Boreas Ponds has been repaired?

  4. Nancy c. Hill says:

    Thank you for all of the information posted here. I hope everyone pays attention and protects the Park, and it’s resident’s. We all need to stay safe and healthy and work together. Please!!

  5. Brian Hockenberry says:

    Just like to know if,bald mountain an rock point will be open in if limekiln lake will open for camping this summer..thank you.

    • At the moment, the campground reservations are on hold/not accepting new reservations and honoring existing ones. Will keep you posted as we know more!

      • Sandor says:

        When the NYC pandemic is over and the NYC Gov. taxes us upstate property owners to pay our “fair share ” to support his democRats leeches in the city then maybe by 2025 will he open Gulf Brook rd to the Subaru’s. So mean while stay home while his bro Fredo wanders freely in Long Island and while our fake Gov. is on lark st. In Albany yesterday w/ out a mask talking to NYC residents who drove to Albany for Thai food!!!Wake up peeps he is a babbling fool and the next step to communist control.His NYC legislative reps are pleading still to him to shut down buses/subways! MAGA!

        • Sula says:

          Please, give it a rest.

        • Balian the Cat says:

          Hey Sandor!

          So, as you probably know, I do yoga with Che Guevara, Betty Friedan, AOC, and the King of the fourth moon of Neptune every Thursday night. Well, I am here to tell you that you’re right – Their coming to get your AK tonight after dark! Sorry for ever doubting you – there’s commies everywhere I tell ya ahhhhh….

          • Sula says:

            Hey, Balian, want to drive up to Lark Street for some Thai food? I’ll pay the bill if you’ve got the Subaru . . . Che is welcome to join us . . . he can tell us about that there communism so we can be indoctrinated like them “democRats leeches” . . .

  6. Upstate strong says:

    As soon as the world wide pandemic is over in NYC and the state recovers by 2025 maybe then Gulf Brook rd will be drivable to Subaru’s.

  7. Sandor says:

    B.kitty cat you might try gummies and some fine marijuana to calm you.When anyone wants to come take my firearms, sorry I would never own a communist American killing weapon by the way,be known me and my neighbors will be the ones protecting your freedom.???

  8. daniel sweatt says:

    Closing boat launch sites is a poor decision and should be reconsidered. Blanket policies put in place to “protect” the public are responsible for the many of the protests that are taking place across the Nation. Access to our waterways to relieve some of the stress we’re all under should be given more weight than the possibility that people may congregate and fail the social distance guidelines. As is apparent from numbers, we in the Adirondacks are doing an outstanding job in practicing what needs to be done in the face of this pandemic. We’ve got more sense that what we’re being credited with. Open the boat launches.

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