Friday, November 19, 2021

Outdoor Conditions (11/19): Five Pond Wilderness update

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.

Moose River Plains Complex: The entrance gates to Moose River Plains will be closed the day after Big Game Hunting Season in the Northern Zone (December 13). The gates will re-open to snowmobile traffic when there is adequate snow pack.

Five Ponds Wilderness:

  • The footbridge over Glasby Creek located on the High Falls Loop/Cranberry Lake 50 Trail was recently replaced.
  • The Darning Needle Pond, Fishpole Pond, and Olmstead Pond Trails recently received trail work including new drainage structures, hardening of wet sections of trail, and new trail markers.
  • The Olmstead Pond Trail (part of the Cranberry Lake 50 Trail) has several sections of flooding near the pond due to beaver activity. Users should expect wet conditions and may require short bushwacks around flooded sections of trail until water levels recede.

High Peaks and Giant Mountain Wilderness: Expect snow and ice above 2,500’ elevation and very wet and muddy trail conditions below 2,500’. Some river crossings may be hazardous or impossible. Microspikes and/or crampons are necessary for travel above 2,500’. Expect full winter conditions at higher elevations.

Terry Mountain State Forest: There is significant washout on Redd Road about a mile up from Patent Rd.

High Peaks Wilderness: The Flowed Lands lean-to (on the west side of Flowed Lands) will be unavailable until further notice. The closure is expected to last several months. Lean2Rescue is rehabilitating the lean-to. To date, they have deconstructed the existing lean-to and installed a new foundation and base. The structure will be reassembled this winter. The Calamity and Griffin lean-tos north and south of this location are available.

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.

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 will drop as you gain elevation. Check wind chill temperatures and prepare for colder, windier summits.

Winter Conditions: Be prepared for winter conditions. Snow and ice are now present on high summits. Be prepared with warm, waterproof layers, extra layers, and proper gear for snow and ice, including microspikes and crampons.

Water Conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region range from average to above average. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for stream flow of selected waters. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs aka lifejackets) are required to be worn on all pleasure vessels less than 21 feet long between Nov. 1 and May 1. 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.

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.

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: Ticks may still be present despite colder temperatures. Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily. 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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NYS DEC

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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