Friday, June 25, 2021

Outdoor Conditions: Hiker Information Stations

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.


Pharaoh Lake Wilderness: A bridge on the Pharaoh Lake Trail from the Pharaoh Lake Road trailhead was damaged by a fallen tree. The railing was damaged, but the bridge remains in usable condition. Please use caution.

Last week:

High Peaks Wilderness: Visitor parking at the Upper Works trailhead transitioned to a new lot on Friday, June 18. The new lot is adjacent to MacNaughton cottage approximately one tenth of a mile before the old lot on Upper Works Road. The lot is located on land owned by the Open Space Institute. Parking at the old lot is no longer permitted.

Pigeon Lake Wilderness: The bridge across Constable Creek on the Constable Pond-West Mountain Trail has been removed due to its poor, deteriorating condition. All users should be prepared to ford the creek until a replacement bridge can be installed.

Town of Keene Valley: NYS Department of Transportation will be conducting road work in the Town of Keene Thursday, June 24. No on-street parking will be permitted between Market Street and Alan Washbond Drive during that time. This does not affect DEC trailhead parking.

Giant Mountain Wilderness: The trailhead sign for the Baxter Mountain trailhead on Route 9N in Keene has been stolen. DEC is working to replace the sign.

Hiker Information Stations

DEC’s Adirondack Hiker Information Stations are operating every weekend, now until Columbus Day, providing education and information to hikers and other recreationists during the busy summer and fall seasons.

DEC encourages visitors to stop by a Hiker Information Station ahead of their weekend hiking trip. These stations provide information about parking, alternative hiking locations, local land use rules and regulations, safety and preparedness, and Leave No Trace. Please visit us at the following locations:

  • Mid’s Park, Lake Placid: Friday, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • High Peaks Rest Area, Northbound Route 87: Saturday & Sunday, 6 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
  • Notice: This Saturday (6/26), the Hiker Information Station at the High Peaks Rest Area will be available until 10 a.m. Stations will operate their normal hours on Friday and Sunday. The station will also be closed next Sunday (07/04) for the July 4 holiday.

Free Fishing Weekend

June 26-27 is a Free Fishing Weekend in New York State, the second of six Free Fishing Days recognized across the state each year.

During designated free fishing days, New York residents and non-residents are permitted to fish for free without a fishing license. Although the requirement for a fishing license is waived during free fishing days, all other fishing regulations remain in effect. Remaining 2021 Free Fishing Days include National Hunting and Fishing Day (Sept. 25) and Veterans Day (Nov. 11).

For beginning anglers interested in getting started, the I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing provides information on everything from rigging up a fishing rod to identifying catch and understanding fishing regulations. DEC’s Places to Fish webpages are a reliable source of information for locating spots in your region.

In addition, DEC recently launched an interactive Trout Stream Fishing Map on DECi nfo Locator to provide a one-stop shop for information on stocking, fishing access, season dates, and regulations.

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 – Moderate
• Check the fire rating map for daily updates. 

No Overnight Camping at Trailheads: DEC is receiving increased reports of people camping at trailheads in the Adirondacks. Please note that overnight camping is not permitted at trailheads or other roadside locations where a camping disc is not present. This includes individuals sleeping in cars, vans and campers. Campers should seek out designated roadside campsites marked with a camp here disc or campgrounds. When camping, always carry out what you carry in and dispose of trash properly. Use designated bathroom facilities, pack out human and pet waste, or dig a cat hole.

Water Conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region are average 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: DEC requires the use of bear-resistant canisters by overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1 And November 30. DEC 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.

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 FAQ list, and to make a reservation, please visit

Safety & Education

Summer recreation is fun and exciting. It can also be challenging and dangerous. Whether you’re going for a hike, a bike, a paddle, or 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.

Leave a Plan

Before setting out on an outdoor excursion, you should know who you are hiking with, where you are parking, your destination, intended route, turnaround time, and expected return time. Provide this and any other pertinent trip information with a trusted friend or family member before your departure.

Leaving your plan with a trusted friend or family member ensures someone will notice if you do not return at your expected time. That person can then alert Forest Rangers promptly, getting you the help you need as quickly as possible.

As service allows, alert this person to any changes in your plans throughout the day. Good communication with your source will help reduce the chances of an unnecessary rescue mission.

Once on trail, be sure to sign every trail register along the way. This information can be used by search and rescue teams to provide the fastest possible help in the event of an emergency.

Leave No Trace

Follow the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace to maintain minimal impact on the environment and the natural resources of the Adirondacks. Use proper trail etiquette to ensure an enjoyable experience for yourself and others, and tread lightly!

Leave No Trace Tech Tips

Leave No Trace education doesn’t need to be long-winded – sometimes all you need is a quick tech tip! Leave No Trace Tech Tips are bite-sized bits of Leave No Trace knowledge that provide handy reminders and easy-to-digest new information to help you leave even less trace this recreation season.

Tech Tip #13 – Rule of Thumb

Extend your arm and thumb in front of you and close one eye. As you view wildlife – deer, wild turkey, a rabbit – you should be able to fully cover the animal’s image with your thumb. If you can still see it, you are too close!

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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.

3 Responses

  1. Henrietta Jordan says:

    DEC: please do not use the expression “rule of thumb.” It is widely believed that the “rule of thumb” was English common law that a man could beat his wife with a stick that was no wider than his thumb. That’s not strictly true, but many people believe it is, and the expression causes a recoil among those who do that will undermine the message you are trying to get across

  2. Henrietta Jordan says:

    DEC: please do not use the expression “rule of thumb.” It is widely believed that the “rule of thumb” was English common law that a man could beat his wife with a stick that was no wider than his thumb. That’s not strictly true, but many people believe it is, and the expression causes a recoil among those who do that will undermine the message you are trying to get across.

    • Dana says:

      I would say the DEC has bigger problems with their messaging than common colloquialisms.

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