This weekly report of outdoor recreation conditions in the Adirondacks sent out from the NYS DEC.
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.
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 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.
- 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.
What’s in your backyard? You might be surprised to discover how much wildlife passes by your window when you’re not looking. It’s not just birds and squirrels, either. Many small mammals pass by our homes undetected – animals such as fox, raccoons, possums, skunks and even, on occasion, larger mammals like deer and bear. While you’re staying home responsibly social distancing, take advantage of this time to look out the window for watchable wildlife.
Under the guidance of New York State on Pause, visiting a designated watchable wildlife location is not recommended at this time. That said, DEC’s watchable wildlife page provides great tips for bird and animal watching that can apply to your own backyard as well. When you see something cool, keep your distance, snap a picture and share it with us.
Keep it simple, to reduce the number of potential search and rescue incidents take short hikes that are easily within your physical and navigational abilities. During the current public health crisis, DEC Forest Rangers and other first responders are needed to respond to COVID-19 related incidents.
Contribute Your Knowledge: Add a comment below, or send your observations, corrections, updates, and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Emergency Situations: If you get lost or injured; keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service, call 911 or the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch, 518-891-0235.
Give the mountains a break for mud season anyway.