Friday, December 4, 2020

Outdoor Conditions (12/3): South Meadows, other seasonal road closures

The following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

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 the 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 will be closed starting Monday, December 7.
  • All other publicly accessible roads in the Essex Chain Lakes Complex will remain open until conditions warrant their closure.

High Peaks Region: South Meadows Road is closed to public vehicle traffic for the winter season. Users may still walk, ski, and snowshoe the road.

Hiking ResourcesHiker on summit in winter conditions

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.

Special Information for This Week:

Bring Winter Gear: Winter conditions are present in most places, with potentially deep snow and ice at higher elevations. Bring traction devices, such as microspikes or crampons, on all hikes. Snowshoes are recommended for high elevation hikes. Snowshoes or skis are required once snow reaches depths of 8 inches.

Winter Conditions: Cold temperatures and a chance of snow are forecast throughout the Adirondacks this weekend. 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.

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.

Know the warning signs of hypothermia:

  • Shivering
  • Exhaustion or feeling very tired
  • Confusion
  • Fumbling hands
  • Memory loss
  • Slurred speech
  • Drowsiness

Hypothermia is a serious medical condition. If someone in your party beings to show signs of hypothermia, act immediately. Try to warm the person up by getting them into a warm shelter, lighting a fire, or wrapping them in a space blanket or bivy sack. Remove any wet clothing the person is wearing and replace it with warm, dry clothing. Warm the center of their body – skin-to-skin contact can help. Warm drinks can help raise core temperature, but do not give the person alcohol. Once the person has warmed up, keep them dry and warm, and seek proper medical attention as soon as possible.


  • Approximate Time of Sunrise: 7:15 AM
  • Approximate Time of Sunset: 4:18 PM

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

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

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.

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. Some of these roads have closed for the season – check the Adirondack Backcountry Information pages for updates on specific road closures.

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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