This bulletin provides only the most recent notices. Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for more detailed information on access, outdoor recreation infrastructure, and conditions.
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.
Updated: Many DEC Campgrounds and Day Use Areas in the Adirondacks are open this weekend and most others are scheduled to open July 1. Check the current status
of DEC Campgrounds and Day Use Areas.
To maintain social distancing and reduce the density of facilities and protect visitors, DEC is currently not accepting additional reservations or walk-in camping for the 2020 season – only existing reservations will be honored at DEC campgrounds. Only reservations for the 2021 season may be made now.
DEC is issuing permits for groups of fewer than 10 people who plan to stay for more than 3 nights at a primitive campsite. DEC has temporarily stopped issuing permits for backcountry camping for groups of 10 or more. Use of lean-tos should be restricted to members of a single household at a time to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Due to dry conditions, nuisance bear activity is high in the front country and the backcountry. Please take steps to prevent attracting bears in the backcountry. The use of bear resistant canisters by overnight campers is required in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness and recommended throughout the Adirondacks.
DEC Boat Launches
DEC boat launches not located within DEC campgrounds are open for recreational use by individuals and households that adhere to guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Boaters and other day users should continue to social distance on the water and on shore and avoid crowded sites. Boaters and day use visitors should use mainland bathroom facilities before going out on the water, as outhouse facilities at DEC day use sites and campsites are not currently maintained or sanitized.
The Adirondack Watershed Institute Stewardship Program is underway. Stewards will be present at public boat launches throughout the Adirondacks to check for invasive species on water vessels and educate users about proper clean, drain, and dry techniques and other methods of preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species. Boaters are encouraged to have their boats inspected and cleaned at the Adirondack Welcome Center’s boat wash, located between Exits 17 and 18 on the Northway, before entering the Adirondacks.
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 guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus while using trailhead registers.
Updated: DEC-controlled fire towers are open to visitors. Only one household group should be in the fire tower cab at a time, groups should social distance on the summit while waiting to climb to the cab, sanitize hands before and after being on the fire tower, and wear masks.
Please avoid visiting crowded areas. For visitor safety and the safety of others, do not park on roadsides and only park in designated parking areas. If parking lots are full, please choose a different area to visit, or return another time or day when parking is available. If you’re headed to the High Peaks, check 511NY for parking lot statuses along the Route 73 corridor.
Hike within the Limits of Your Physical Abilities and Experience
Adirondack lands and forests are patrolled by forest rangers and environmental conservation police officers (ECOs) and other staff. These officers and staff respond to, and assist, local agencies with search and rescue missions, wildfire suppression, and more. Following this guidance will prevent unnecessary burdens on, and dangers to, state resources and frontline emergency first responders during the ongoing COVID-19 response.
Travel: Check 511NY for road closures and travel conditions. NEW: If you plan on hiking in the High Peaks, use 511NY to check the status of parking lots along the busy Route 73 corridor. Have back-up plans in place and, if the parking lot at your desired destination is full, move on to your back-up plan. Status of parking lots is being updated throughout the day on weekend days by patrolling DEC forest rangers and forest ranger assistants.
Seasonal Access Roads: Seasonal access roads are dirt and gravel which can be rough. Four-wheel drive SUVs, pick-up trucks, and other high clearance vehicles are recommended for driving on these roads. Roads may be narrow – use caution, drive slowly, and watch for oncoming vehicles.
Water Conditions: Water levels remain lower than is typical for this time of year. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for stream flow of selected waters.
Biting Insects: Black flies, mosquitoes, deer flies, biting gnats (no-see-ums) and ticks are present. 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 plentiful and use an insect repellant – follow label directions. Additional tips for tick prevention.
Before you hit the trail, check out DEC’s Hike Smart NY page to learn about safety, best practices, and preparedness. While recreating in the Adirondacks, please follow the Hiker Responsibility Code and avoid busy trailheads. Discover trails less traveled and visit when trails may not be as busy.
Be Prepared. Trails are mainly dry but muddy spots may be present in low areas and along waterways. Wear waterproof shoes and walk through mud, not around it, to protect trail edges. Dress in layers and be prepared for conditions to change. Temperatures will be lower on high summits, and many exposed summits will be windy. Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks and Southern Adirondacks Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits. If conditions become unfavorable, turn around. You can always complete your hike another day.
Use Caution. Many Adirondack trails encounter water crossings and not all of them have bridges. Use caution at crossings and on trails along fast flowing brooks and rivers.
Several rock climbing routes remain closed to protect nesting peregrine falcons. Check the status of rock climbing routes in the Adirondacks.
June 27-28 is a “Free Fishing Weekend” in New York State. All New Yorkers are encouraged to explore local fishing opportunities.
Included here are notices reported in the past week. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.
Massawepie Conservation Easement Tract: The tract is closed to public access from June 15 through August 31 pursuant to the easement agreement with the Boy Scout of America, whether scouts are present at the camp or not.
High Peaks Wilderness: There has been an increase in nuisance bear activities resulting several incidents of campers losing food to bears. Please take steps to prevent attracting bears in the backcountry. The use of bear resistant canisters by overnight campers is required in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness and recommended throughout the Adirondacks. More details and prevention tips can be found in the section below.
Moose River Plains: The Rock Dam Road is now open to public motor vehicle use.
Lake George Wild Forest:
- Beginning this weekend, Lake George Beach will be open seven days a week from 10 AM to 6 PM. Following Department of Health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a maximum of 500 people are allowed on the beach, half its normal capacity.
- On July 1, Prospect Mountain Veteran’s Memorial Highway will be open seven days a week from 10 AM to 6 PM. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, DEC is taking the following precautions:
- The shuttle will not operate;
- Picnicking will be prohibited, and the picnic pavilions will not be available to rent;
- Restrooms will remain closed; and
- View scopes at the pull-offs and on the summit have been dismantled.