Friday, December 11, 2020

Outdoor conditions (12/10): Seasonal road closures under way

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.

William C. Whitney Wilderness: The gate to Lake Lila is closed for the winter season.

Moose River Plains Complex: The entrance gates to the Moose River Plains Camping Area on Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road are closed. The gates will re-open for snowmobile traffic once sufficient snowpack accumulates.

Lake George Wild Forest: The gate at the beginning of Dacy Clearing Road is closed due to the road and shoulders of the road being too soft. The gate will be opened for snowmobiles once significant snowfall accumulates.

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • The gate on Corey’s Road at the Raquette Falls Trailhead is closed for the winter months. The gate is expected to re-open in May, 2021. Access to the Seward Range will require an additional three miles each way. Visitors can still hike, ski, and snowshoe the road. Users might encounter logging equipment from a private landowner’s logging operation.
  • South Meadows Road is closed to public vehicle traffic for the winter season. Users may still walk, ski, and snowshoe the road.

Tooley Pond Conservation Easement: Allen Pond Road will close to public motor vehicle use on Monday, December 14 following the end of the Northern Zone big game hunting season.

Hoffman Notch Wilderness: The Severance Hill trailhead parking lot needs improvement. DEC will be stockpiling gravel and stone in the parking area this fall and will use it to make improvements in spring 2021. Please do not disturb the materials, and park only in remaining designated parking spaces.

Essex Chain Lakes Complex:

  • Seasonal Camp Six Road is now closed due to conditions.
  • The fall seasonal portion of Chain Lakes Road South is closed.
  • All other publicly accessible roads in the Essex Chain Lakes Complex will remain open until conditions warrant their closure.

Hiking Resources

Snowshoer 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. Visit the main Adirondack Backcountry Information page for more information on planning ahead and preparing.

Colden Caretaker Report: At last report there were eight inches of snow accumulated on the ground at Lake Colden. More snow has fallen since then. Snowshoes or skis are required in the High Peaks Wilderness once snow reaches eight inches deep.

Bring Winter Gear: Winter conditions are present at all elevations, with potentially deep snow and ice at higher elevations. Bring traction devices, such as microspikes or crampons, on all hikes. In the High Peaks Wilderness, snowshoes or skis are required where snow has accumulated to a depth of eight inches or more.

Winter Conditions: Check the forecast for your destination and pack and plan accordingly. Conditions will be more severe on high summits, with below freezing temperatures, snow, and strong winds forecast on some of the High Peaks. Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks and Southern Adirondacks Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits.

Ice Safety: Ice may be present on some smaller waterbodies. Ice is not yet thick enough for walking or standing on.

Plan and Practice Navigation: Winter conditions can make navigating trails – especially lesser-used trails – more difficult. Plan and study your route using an up-to-date map published by a reliable source before you begin your hike. Take note of significant landmarks and trail intersections. Leave your planned route with a trusted friend or relative. While hiking, pay close attention to posted signage, and check your map at trail intersections to confirm you are on the correct path.

Avoid Hypothermia: Hypothermia is the result of your body losing heat faster than it can produce it. To prevent hypothermia, keep yourself dry and warm, drink plenty of water, and eat high-calorie, high-protein foods to help maintain your energy. Dress in layers and add and remove layers as necessary to keep yourself warm without sweating. As sweat dries it cools, creating ideal conditions for hypothermia.


  • Approximate Time of Sunrise: 7:22 a.m.
  • Approximate Time of Sunset: 4:18 p.m.

Prevent the Spread of COVID-19: New cases of COVID-19 are on the rise throughout New York State, including in the Adirondacks. Help prevent the spread and keep yourself safe by continuing to Play Smart, Play Safe, Play Local. Learn more about safe and responsible outdoor recreation during the COVID-19 pandemic below.

General Notices

Sunset over snowy mountains

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: Never leave campfires unattended. Fully extinguish your campfire before leaving your campsite. Ashes should be cool to the touch. Learn more about campfire safety.

Hunting Seasons: Be seen, stay safe, and show respect during fall and winter hunting seasons. 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. Northern Zone big game hunting season ends this Sunday, December 13.

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, which ends this Sunday, December 13. Some of these roads have already closed for the season due to weather conditions – check the Adirondack Backcountry Information pages for updates on specific road closures. Some roads may remain open if conditions allow.

Snowmobiling: Some seasonal access roads will transition to snowmobile use once Northern Zone big game hunting season concludes and sufficient snowpack accumulates. Check local club, county, and state webpages and resources, including the NYSSA Snowmobile Webmap, for up-to-date snowmobile trail information.

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 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.

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.

Welcome to the Adirondacks. The Welcome to the Adirondacks webpage is the place to go if you are interested in learning more about the Adirondacks. It provides information about the Forest Preserve, conservation easement lands, outdoor recreation, and Leave No Trace.

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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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