Friday, January 8, 2021

Outdoor Conditions (1/7): Latest Adirondack snow depth numbers

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.

High Peaks Wilderness: Colden Caretaker Report 01/06/21: 11.5 inches of snow has accumulated at the Colden Caretaker cabin. An estimated two feet of snow has accumulated on summits. Snowshoes are needed, including to get to Avalanche Lake. Skiing is minimal, with marginal conditions on the Truck Trail and in the Avalanche camp area. Both Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen.

Moose River Plains Complex: The entrance gates to the Moose River Plains on Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road are now open to snowmobile traffic only. Conditions remain poor due to minimal snow accumulation. The roads remain closed to public motor vehicles for the winter season.

Last Week

High Peaks Wilderness: The High Peaks Trail Crew was able to replace the missing sign at the junction of Blue Ridge Rd. and Tahawus Rd., providing direction for those heading to the Southern High Peaks access points. The original sign had been vandalized this summer. Thanks to the DEC sign shop for the new sign and the High Peaks Trail Crew for installing it before the deep frost hit.

Vanderwhacker Wild Forest:

  • The double pipe culvert reported exposed on Gulf Brook Road last week has been resolved.
  • The Blue Ridge Parking Lot for access to Gulf Brook Road will not be plowed this winter season.

Hoffman Notch Wilderness: The Branch Parking Lot for access to the north end of the Notch Trail will not be plowed this winter season.

Hammond Pond Wild Forest: The Ensign Pond Parking Lot for access to Ensign Pond will not be plowed this winter season.

General Notices

Visit the main Adirondack Backcountry Information page for more trip-planning resources, including travel information, weather resources, and seasonally-specific information about Adirondack recreation.

Winter Conditions: Check the forecast for your destination, and pack and plan accordingly. Conditions will be more severe on summits with below freezing temperatures, snow, ice, and strong winds possibly. Take wind chill into consideration when preparing for temperatures. Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks and Southern Adirondacks Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits.

Adirondack snow depth: The following provides current snowpack depths in inches as of 01/05/21 at a selection of Adirondack locations. Additional data and interactive maps are available on the National Weather Service website.

  • Northwoods Club Road, Minerva, Essex County: 7.7 inches
  • Goodnow Flow Road, Newcomb, Essex County: 7.6 inches
  • Tahawus/Upper Works, Newcomb, Essex County: 7.8 inches
  • Blue Ridge Road, Newcomb, Essex County: 7.5 inches
  • Elk Lake Road, North Hudson, Essex County: 8.7 inches
  • Lake Colden, Essex County: 11.4 inches
  • Cedar River Road, Indian Lake, Hamilton County: 7.8 inches
  • Sagamore Road, Long Lake, Hamilton County: 7 inches
  • Haskell Road, Ohio, Herkimer County: 9.6 inches
  • North Lake Road, Ohio, Herkimer County: 9.7 inches

Ice Safety: A minimum of three to four inches of solid ice is the general rule for safety. Ice thickness, however, is not uniform on any body of water. Learn more about ice safety.

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

Seasonal Access Roads: Many seasonal access roads have closed following the end of Northern Zone big game hunting season. Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information pages for updates on specific road closures. Some roads may remain open if conditions allow.

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.

Safety & Education

Winter recreation is fun and exciting. It can also be challenging and dangerous. Whether you’re going for a hike, a ski, snowmobiling or ice fishing, Hike Smart NY can help you prepare with a list of 10 essentials, guidance on what to wear, and tips for planning your trip with safety and sustainability in mind.

The 10 Hiking Essentials

The following items are essential for a safe and successful hike, but they are also important items for any winter experience. Before you head out for your next winter adventure, make sure you have the following:

  1. Navigation
  2. Insulation
  3. Gear
  4. Light
  5. First Aid Supplies
  6. Emergency Kit
  7. Fire
  8. Nutrition
  9. Water
  10. Emergency Shelter

Learn more about winter hiking preparation. Join us on Facebook Live at 10 a.m. on Monday, January 11 for a presentation on winter recreation safety and preparation by DEC Forest Rangers Mecus and LaPierre. They’ll cover how to prepare, what to bring, what to wear, and tips from the experts.

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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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