Friday, May 7, 2021

Outdoor conditions (5/7): More seasonal roads reopen

outdoor conditions logoThe 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.

Essex Chain Wilderness: All roads are now open.

West Canada Lakes Wilderness: Cedar River Flow Road is open to the Wakely Dam.

Tooley Pond Conservation Easement: The Allen Pond Road Gate and the Main Haul Road Gate are now open for the season.

Tooley Pond Conservation Easement: The landowner of the Tooley Pond Tract is conducting a timber harvest, and logging equipment is crossing Spruce Mountain Road, which is used to access the South Branch of the Grass River. This trail is signed as closed until further notice.

Perkins Clearing and Speculator: Perkins Clearing Road will be open to the public starting next Friday, May 7. Jessup River Road is not open, and the gate on Old Military Road will remain closed, therefore the access to Pillsbury Mountain Trailhead and West Canada Wilderness is also unavailable.

Santa Clara Tract Conservation Easement: Madawaska Road is now open. High clearance vehicles are recommended.

Silver Lake Wilderness: West River Road that provides access to the Whitehouse area is now open.

Black River Wild Forest: Wolf Lake Landing Road is now open to motor vehicles.

Independence River Wild Forest: All seasonal access gates are now open.

Watson’s East Triangle Wild Forest: All seasonal access gates are now open.

Croghan Tract Conservation Easement: All seasonal access gates are now open.

Oswegatchie Conservation Easement: All seasonal access gates are now open.

East Branch Fish Creek Conservation Easement: All seasonal access gates are open as of Friday, 04/30.

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.

Fire Danger: Adirondack Park – Low & Champlain Region – Low

Prepare for Variable Conditions: Warm, wet conditions at base elevations will give way to freezing temperatures, deep snow, and thick ice at higher elevations. Be prepared for all conditions with appropriate gear and extra clothing. Change out of wet clothes to prevent hypothermia. Temperatures will fluctuate throughout the day. Freezing temperatures at night will create more ice and form a hard crust on deep snow.

Early Season Muddy Trails Advisory: DEC has released an early season muddy trails advisory urging hikers to postpone hikes on trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened. As snow and ice continue to melt at high elevations, steep trails can pose a danger due to thick ice and deep, rotten snow. Thin soils are susceptible to erosion, and sensitive alpine vegetation can be easily damaged. Until conditions improve, explore lower elevation trails close to home and enjoy other forms of recreation. Visit DEC’s website for a list of alternate Adirondack day hikes.

Water Levels: Streams and rivers are open and many are running high. Use caution at crossings and on trails along fast-flowing brooks and rivers. Where bridges are not available, do not attempt stream crossings during periods of high, fast moving water. The stream water is very cold and falling in can lead to immediate hypothermia.

Ticks: Ticks are already a concern this time of year. Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily. Wear enclosed shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants. Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors. Consider using insect repellent. Stay on cleared, well-traveled trails and walk in the center of trails. Avoid dense woods and bushy areas. Additional tips for tick prevention.

Bear Canisters Required: NYSDEC requires the use of bear-resistant canisters by overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1 and November 30. NYSDEC encourages campers to use bear-resistant canisters throughout the Adirondack backcountry. Bear canisters should be used to store all food, food garbage, toiletries, and other items with a scent. Canisters should be stored a minimum of 100ft from tents, lean-tos and cooking sites and kept closed whenever they are not being accessed. Learn more about bear canisters and avoiding human-bear conflicts.

Adirondack Rock Climbing Closures: DEC closes certain rock climbing routes in the Adirondacks to protect nesting peregrine falcons. For a full list of closures, visit Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures. Once peregrine nest sites are determined, climbing routes that will not disturb nesting will be reopened. Routes that remain closed will reopen after the young have fledged. Thank you for your cooperation. For more information please contact the Bureau of Wildlife at (518) 623-1240.

DEC Lowers Water Level at Lower Bog River Dam: You may observe lower than usual water levels at the lower Bog River (Lower Lows) dam on the downstream side of Hitchens Pond in the town of Piercefield, St. Lawrence County. DEC is lowering the water to assess a leak in the dam. The gate on the lower dam road is currently closed for mud season. DEC anticipates that after the water is lowered, recreational users will be able to paddle canoes and kayaks from the dam up through Hitchens Pond, although the channel will be narrower and more obstructions will be visible.

Seasonal Access Roads: Many seasonal access roads that have been closed for the winter season will remain closed until the end of spring mud season. Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information pages for updates on specific road closures and openings.

NYSDEC & AMR Pilot Reservation System: DEC and the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) launched a no-cost pilot reservation system to address public safety at a heavily traveled stretch on Route 73 in the town of Keene. AMR is a privately owned 7,000-acre land parcel that allows for limited public access through a conservation easement agreement with DEC. The pilot reservation system does not apply to other areas in the Adirondack Park. No-cost reservations will be required May 1 through Oct. 31, 2021 for parking, daily access, and overnight access to trails through the AMR gate and the Noonmark and Round Mountain trailheads accessed through the AMR property. Visitors can make reservations now for hikes through May 22. Beginning May 7, reservations will be available for dates a maximum of two weeks out. Walk-in users without a reservation will not be permitted. For a complete list of frequently asked questions, please visit

Prevent the Spread of COVID-19: COVID-19 continues to spread 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.

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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.

7 Responses

  1. Boreas says:

    Any updates from DEC as to if/when Gulf Brook Rd. leading to Boreas Ponds will be opened?

    • Whiskey Jack says:

      I have a NYBB census block that begins at the 4 corners and inquired to the DEC about this very question. Was told they could not venture a guess – some of the culvert replacements (as part of “hardening”) were still in design review. That reply came 2 weeks ago.

      • Boreas says:

        It is possible to ride a bike to the 4 Corners, from what I understand. There are some hills, but a decent mountain bike should get you there. Otherwise, you may not get any Atlas data this breeding season.

        • Whiskey Jack says:

          Yeah thanks. I do have a bike and scoped out the ride as compared to Santanoni. Boreas a couple hundred more gain and two miles longer. I may also try to bushwhack to get in – last year made it up to Vanderwhacker Pond (just grazing the southern end of the block).

          • Boreas says:

            You could make or purchase a used bike trailer – often used to haul kids. Haul your camping gear in as far as you can, and spend a day or two. That way you can listen for dawn, dusk, and night calls. While easier if you could drive it, you won’t have to worry about competition for a tent site!

  2. As I discovered last week, Floodwood Road is closed less than a mile before the mountain trailhead.

  3. James says:

    On Thursday (5/6), Floodwood Road was open to the Floodwood Reserve parking area.

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