Friday, March 18, 2022

Outdoor conditions (3/18): Seasonal road closures

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.

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Snowshoes or skis are now required to be worn as snow depths exceed 8 inches.
  • Snow report as of 03/16: There is almost 3 feet of snow at the Lake Colden Outpost. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen. Rivers are crossable but hazardous. Channels with high flow are soft or melted. Ice is currently falling off rock faces. People should take care around Avalanche Lake. Note: Conditions may have changed since the last report.

Corinth Edinburg Conservation Easement: Snowmobile trails in the western Saratoga County area are now closed. (Saratoga Snowmobile Club)

Speculator Tree Farm Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement, Jessup River Wild Forest: Snowmobile trails in the Speculator region will be closed starting Saturday, March 19 – Friday is the last day of riding there.

High Peaks Wilderness: The gate on Corey’s Road in Harrietstown is now closed for mud season.

Long Lake: Please note that Long Lake is not sufficiently frozen to be safe for snowmobiles. Freeze/thaw cycles have resulted in unsafe conditions, especially at the south end of the lake and at the outlets of rivers and streams. Snowmobiles should stick to trails on land.

Lake George Wild Forest: The Town of Fort Ann has closed the Shelving Rock Road mud gate for the spring mud season. There is no access to the Shelving Rock shoreline or Hogtown parking lot.

Black River Wild Forest: All snowmobile trails in the Black River Wild Forest are now closed due to spring conditions. Seasonal mud gates on all Forest Preserve roads within the forest are now being closed and will reopen when road conditions are deemed safe for motor vehicle traffic.

Terry Mountain State Forest: Redd Road is closed for spring mud season.

Seasonal Closure of Access Roads and Associated Gates in St. Lawrence County: Effective immediately, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 6 is closing all mud gates to snowmobile trails and seasonal access roads on Forest Preserve, State Forest, and Conservation Easement lands due to spring thaw and muddy conditions. Gate closures are expected to be completed by Friday, March 18.

Motor vehicle use during the spring mud season damages roads, resulting in road opening delays. DEC will reopen the roads once they are dry enough to safely handle motor vehicle traffic and necessary maintenance is completed.


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 present throughout the region. Be prepared with warm, waterproof layers, extra layers, and proper gear for snow and ice, including snowshoes, microspikes and crampons. In the High Peaks Wilderness, snowshoes or skis are now required to be worn as snow depths exceed 8 inches. Remember that conditions will change as you gain elevation, and cold, wet weather poses a significant risk of hypothermia.

Avalanche Advisory: Backcountry downhill skiers, snowboarders, and all outdoor adventurers who may traverse slides or steep, open terrain should be aware of and prepared for avalanche conditions. If you are planning a trip to avalanche-prone territory, research the route ahead of time and contact a local DEC Forest Ranger for specific safety and conditions information, or contact a local guide. Before going into the backcountry, be equipped with avalanche safety tools and knowledge, such as participation in an avalanche safety course. Additional information on avalanche danger, preparedness, and safety precautions is available on the DEC website.

Muddy Trails & Monorails: As snow begins to melt on lower elevation trails, be prepared for mud and monorails. Monorails are thin strips of hardpacked snow and ice in the center of trails, surrounded by minimal or no snow on the sides. Monorails can create difficult walking conditions. Microspikes and trekking poles can assist with traction and balance. Where trails are muddy, walk directly through mud instead of around it to help minimize trail widening and trailside damage.

Seasonal Roads: Some seasonal access roads are beginning to close for spring mud season, while others are still open for snowmobile use only. Where seasonal access roads are open to public motor vehicles, the use of four-wheel drive vehicles is strongly recommended.

Snowmobiles: Be prepared for variable conditions. Visitors are advised to plan ahead and check local club, county, and State webpages and resources, including the NYSSA Snowmobile web map, for up-to-date snowmobile trail information.

Pack & Prepare: Winter hikes can be lots of fun, but they can also be dangerous if you’re not prepared. Take a moment to watch DEC’s How To Pack and Prepare for a Winter Hike video for a review of what gear to pack and the steps to take as you plan your hike.

Layer Up: Temperatures can change significantly depending on your location, the time of day and your elevation. Stay safe and warm by wearing non-cotton, moisture-wicking base layers, insulating layers, and waterproof, windproof outer layers. Wear a hat, mittens or gloves, and a buff. Gaiters can help keep your lower legs warm and prevent snow from getting in your boots. Bring additional layers. Wear sturdy waterproof boots that are already broken in. Learn more about layering for cold weather by watching DEC’s How To video.

Share the Trails: Many multi-use trails are enjoyed by a variety of users in the winter. Be respectful of everyone’s experience by following winter trail etiquette. Wear snowshoes to prevent postholing and keep ski and snowshoe tracks separate when possible. Move to the right to let faster users pass and yield to downhill traffic. When stopping, step to the side of the trail to make way for other users. Snowmobiles should ride single file, keep to the right, pass on the left only when the trail is clear, and yield the right-of-way to skiers, snowshoers and other non-mechanized forms of travel as well as those passing or traveling uphill.

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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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