Friday, June 4, 2021

Outdoor conditions (6/4): Hinckley Reservoir open for public use

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.

Last Week:

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: A beaver dam is partially obstructing Spider Creek’s passage under Route 30 between Follensby Clear Pond and Upper Saranac Lake.

Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area: The Hinckley Reservoir Day Use Area, located in Herkimer County, is open for public recreation. The area is closed to swimming, although the beach remains open to visitors. Recreation opportunities at Hinckley include picnicking, paddling, and use of the beach. Swimming is not allowed because lifeguards are not currently available. For public safety, swimming is only permitted only when a lifeguard is on duty.

Lake George Wild Forest: Shelving Rock Area – Three bridges on the Shortway Trail are out and unsafe for equestrian use. Use Old Farm Road to access the trail network.

Moose River Plains Complex: The entrance gates to Moose River Plains Camping Area has re-opened for the season following closure for the spring mud season. Road shoulders may still be soft in areas.

  • Rock Dam Road will remain closed until further notice due to soft road conditions.
  • The Indian Lake Road will remain closed at the Otter Brook Bridge until further notice.

Raquette Boreal Complex (includes Raquette River Wild Forest, Raquette Jordan Boreal Primitive Area and nearby conservation easement tracts): Gates have re-opened following spring mud season.

Ferris Lake Wild Forest: Powley Road is completely open. All storm damage and washouts have been repaired and the road is open and passable the entire length of the road.

Pine Lake Primitive Area: Chain of Lakes Rd (south) in the town of Indian Lake is open to the Hudson River.

Township 19 Easement: O’Neil Flow Rd/Township 19 Easement in the town of Indian Lake is open for the 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.

Fire Danger:

  • Adirondack Park – Low
  • Champlain Region – Low
  • Check the fire rating map for daily updates.

Muddy Trails Advisory: The Adirondacks are still under a muddy trails advisory. Hikers are encouraged to postpone hikes on trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened. 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 Conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region range from below average to low for this time of year. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for stream flow of selected waters. Water temperatures are still cold in many places. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs aka lifejackets) are strongly recommended to be worn by all anglers, boaters, and paddlers. Where bridges are not available, do not attempt stream crossings during periods of high, fast moving water.

Ticks: 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.

Seasonal Access Roads: Many seasonal access roads have re-opened following closures for the spring mud season. Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information pages for updates on specific road closures and openings.

Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway is now open for the 2021 season. Please note the shuttle to the summit of Prospect Mountain is not available at this time. Until shuttles become available, admission fees will not be charged to access the highway. The accessible parking at the summit is currently under construction. Limited accessible parking spots will continue to be available during construction, but temporary closures of some areas may occur. Call (518) 668-5198 for current accessibility information.

NYSDEC & AMR Pilot Reservation System: A no-cost pilot reservation system is now in effect at the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR). The pilot program addresses 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 are 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. Reservations are 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 and to make a reservation, please visit

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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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