Friday, October 22, 2021

Outdoor conditions (10/22): Elk Lake off limits to hikers

outdoor conditions logoThe 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.

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • The bridge at the start of the Klondike trail is currently unsafe. A reroute has been marked that starts on the South Meadows trail, goes to the Mr. Van ski trail, and then reconnects with the Klondike trail. The reroute will add approximately a half-mile each way.
  • Per the conservation easement agreement with Elk Lake Lodge, from the evening of October 22 until the morning of December 6, no hikers may enter the Elk Lake Conservation Easement.

Independence River Wild Forest (Stillwater Reservoir, Big Moose & Three Lakes Conservation Easement Tracts):

  • The Stillwater Mountain Fire Tower trail is closed until December 20th. This closure is due to terms of the conservation easement on which the fire tower is located.
  • The Hinchings Pond trail will be closed through 10/22 while a trail crew constructs new bridges.

Grass River Wild Forest: The Pleasant Lake Access Road on the Grass River Conservation Easement closed for the season on October 10.

General NoticesKnow Before You Go Graphic

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

Check the Weather: Check the forecast for your destination and pack and plan accordingly. Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks and Southern Adirondacks Mountain Point Forecasts for select summit forecasts. Check both daytime and nighttime temperatures and remember that temperatures and conditions will likely change as you gain elevation.

Winter Conditions: Winter conditions are starting to appear on some of the tallest Adirondack summits. If you’re planning a hike in the High Peaks, be prepared with warm, waterproof layers, extra layers, and proper gear for snow and ice, including microspikes and crampons.

Fire Danger:

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

Water Conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region range from average to significantly above average for most of the region, with the exception of the Raquette River in South Colton and the Salmon River in nearby Plattsburgh. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for stream flow of selected waters. 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.

Wet and Muddy Trails: Wear waterproof shoes and walk through mud, not around it, to help protect fragile trail edges. Gaiters help keep feet dry and trekking poles provide added stability. Mountain bikers are encouraged to avoid riding in muddy and wet conditions as biking on wet trails can significantly contribute to erosion and trail widening. As with hiking, ride through the center of the trail to avoid impacting trailside soils and plants.

NYSDEC & AMR Pilot Reservation System: A no-cost pilot reservation system is now in effect at the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR). No-cost reservations are required 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. Walk-in users without a reservation will not be permitted. For a complete FAQ list, and to make a reservation, please visit

Sharing the Woods During Hunting Season: Hunting and trapping seasons are underway throughout New York State. Recreationists and hunters alike have a responsibility to keep each other safe during hunting seasons. Dress in bright colors such as hunter orange, put bright colors and bells on pets and equipment, and keep pets leashed to discourage roaming. Interfering with or harassing hunters or trappers is illegal. Visit DEC’s website for more safety tips.

No Overnight Camping at Trailheads: 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.

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.

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.

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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.

One Response

  1. VERY INTERESTING! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. One of my favourite places is Elk Lake where I was fortunate enough to visit a couple of years ago. Bird watching was always a much loved pursuit of mine. And we said hello to the beavers and the loon.
    One thing I would like to say, if I may, is that I couldn’t help noticing the lack of attention to organic food in the Adirondacks in general. The region is so exquisitely beautiful and if I were younger, instead of nearly 84, I could see myself living up there, growing my own organic fruits and vegetables and encouraging others to do likewise.
    Perhaps I am misguided and perhaps there are indeed people interested in an organic lifestyle up there? if so I am thrilled to hear about my mistaken idea. Thank you so much.

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