Friday, November 6, 2020

Outdoor Conditions (11/6): Plan ahead

Travel: Check 511NY for road closures and travel conditions, and 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.

Weather: Check the National Weather Service or NY Mesonow for current conditions and forecasts for the locations where you plan to recreate. Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks and Southern Adirondacks Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits.

Fire Danger: Low. Check the DEC Fire Danger Map for updated conditions. Never leave campfires unattended. Fully extinguish your campfire before leaving your campsite. Ashes should be cool to the touch. Learn more about campfire safety.

Water Conditions: Water temperatures are very cool. Water levels are average throughout most of the Adirondacks with select waterways below average. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for stream flow of selected waters.

Hunting Seasons: Many small game and big game hunting seasons are open. Hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters bearing firearms or archery equipment while hiking on trails. Please recognize that these are fellow outdoor recreationists with the legal right to participate in these activities on the Forest Preserve. Hunting accidents involving non-hunters are extremely rare. Hikers may wear bright colors as an extra precaution if it makes them feel more comfortable.

Seasonal Access Roads: Seasonal access roads typically remain open to public motor vehicle traffic through the end of the regular Northern Zone big game hunting season unless weather conditions require an earlier closing. In the winter many of these roads are snowmobile trails.


Recent Notices

The following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. 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.

Lake George Wild Forest: The Veterans Memorial Parkway will close for the season at 4 p.m. on November 11. Use of the parkway is free this year. COVID-19 restrictions remain in place.


Hiking Resources

Hiker wearing snowshoes on snowy trail

Be prepared, bring the right gear, and wear the right clothes and shoes to ensure a safe and enjoyable hike. Review Hike Smart NY’s list of 10 essentials, and bring those items on every hike. Prepare for your hike by doing the following:

Bring Winter Gear: Winter conditions have arrived in the Adirondacks. Bring traction devices, such as microspikes or crampons, and other winter gear on all hikes.

Research Your Hike: Research a variety of hikes, and pick one that is appropriate for the physical abilities and experience of every person in your group. Estimate how long the hike will take, and make a realistic timeline – remember that it takes longer to move through snow and over ice. Using reliable sources, research the route. Double check your route on a map and bring a paper map with you. Research trailhead parking. Share your plans with a reliable friend or family member who will notice if you do not return on time.

Have a Back-up Plan: The Adirondacks is a popular destination with limited parking in most places. Well-known trails get crowded, and parking spots fill up quickly and early. Have several backup plans. If you arrive at your desired location and cannot find parking, move on to back-up locations until you find a place with safe, legal parking.

Check the Weather: Check the weather for the place you will be visiting. Check both daytime and nighttime temperatures. Seasonal temperatures will be lower on high summits. Exposed summits will be windy. If conditions become unfavorable, turn around. You can always complete your hike another day.

Layer Up: Temperatures can change significantly depending on your location, the time of day and your elevation. Stay safe and warm by wearing non-cotton, moisture-wicking base layers and wearing or bringing additional warm, waterproof, and windproof layers, a hat, mittens, and extra socks. Wear sturdy waterproof boots that are already broken in. Add or remove layers as needed to keep you warm without sweating through clothes. As sweaty clothes cool, they create ideal conditions for hypothermia.

Manage Time Wisely: Be mindful of sunrise and sunset times and plan accordingly. Start long hikes early to maximize sunlight hours and always bring a headlamp.

  • Approximate Time of Sunrise: 6:40 a.m.
  • Approximate Time of Sunset: 4:40 p.m.

Pack a Light: Bring a headlamp or flashlight on every hike. Bring extra batteries and a back-up source of light. Even if you plan to be done before sunset, bring a headlamp in case of emergencies or unexpected delays. Don’t rely on your phone’s flashlight. Using your phone’s flashlight will drain the battery quickly.

Keep Our Environment Clean: Help preserve the beauty of the Adirondacks and protect our local wildlife by putting garbage in designated trash cans or taking it home with you. Please do not leave trash, gear, or food scraps behind. Use designated toilets when available, and visit www.lnt.org to learn how you can Leave No Trace when going to the bathroom in the woods. Do not graffiti or carve rocks, trees, or backcountry structures like lean-tos or fire towers.

Stick to Designated Trails: Trails will be wet and muddy at low elevations and snowy and icy at higher elevations. Wear waterproof shoes and walk through mud and snow, not around it, to protect trail edges. Use traction devices when you encounter ice.

Review Regulations: Review the rules and regulations for the area you will be visiting. Each state land management unit has rules in place to help protect users and the natural resources. Hikers headed to the High Peaks should review the rules and regulations for the High Peaks Wilderness.

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.

Hike Smart by packing the proper gear. See our recommended packing list and safety tips.

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NYS DEC

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




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