The 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.
NEW THIS WEEK:
High Peaks Wilderness: Snow Conditions, 05/05: Snow depths remain significant at high elevations, with areas reaching 2-3 feet in depth. Snowshoes are required to be worn wherever snow accumulations are greater than 8 inches. Crampons and microspikes are still essential – many trails are still icy above 3,000 feet. Be prepared to encounter mud at lower elevations. Check summit weather forecasts for more accurate predictions at higher elevations. A mid-April snowstorm caused significant blowdown, making navigation more challenging. Carry a paper map and compass or GPS and know how to use them. Please avoid all trails above 2,500 feet while DEC’s muddy trails advisory is in effect.
Northville Placid Trail: DEC staff recently cleared blowdown on 16 miles of the Northville Placid Trail from Godfrey Rd to the Whitehouse trailhead (West River Road). The trail is clear and conditions are good.
Moose River Plains Complex: The Cedar River Road, which accesses the Cedar River Flow/Wakley Dam area, is now open. The 10 roadside tent sites located at the Cedar River Headquarters are now open for public use. The entrance gates to the Moose River Plains Camping Area remain closed for mud season.
Black River Wild Forest:
- Seasonal mud gates on all Forest Preserve Roads within the unit are now open for motor vehicles. Forest Rangers have removed fallen trees and limbs from the spring storm on April 19, 2022, however, visitors should still use caution as new blowdown may be encountered.
- Blowdown can be expected on hiking trails within the forest due to the spring storm of April 19, 2022. Trails will be cleared as manpower allows.
Independence River Wild Forest:
- Gates on Basket Factory and Smith Roads have been opened. McCarthy Road will be reopened when it is dry and firm enough to support motor vehicle traffic.
- A significant amount of blowdown remains on most foot and horse trails in the unit. DEC crews will be working to clear trails throughout May.
Watson’s East Triangle Wild Forest: All roads on the Croghan and Oswegatchie Conservation Easement Tracts are open.
Visit the main Adirondack Backcountry Information page for more trip-planning resources, including travel information, weather resources, and seasonally-specific information about Adirondack recreation.
Know Before You Go (05/05): Conditions vary dramatically by destination. Some areas are beginning to dry and harden. Others are still wet and muddy. At high elevations, winter conditions including snow and ice prevail. DEC’s Muddy Trails Advisory encourages visitors to avoid all trails above 2,500 feet, including all High Peaks, to help prevent trail damage and erosion. Temperatures will vary significantly depending on your location, the time of day, and your elevation. Dress in layers, bring extra, and bring appropriate gear for your chosen activity. Cool, wet weather poses a significant risk of hypothermia, so learn how to recognize and avoid it. Begin carrying summer staples in your pack, including sunscreen and bug spray.
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.
Muddy Trails: Walk straight through mud instead rather than around it to prevent trail widening and vegetation damage. Opt for low elevation trails until high elevations have time to dry and harden. Follow the muddy trails advisory.
Seasonal Roads: Many seasonal access roads are still closed for spring mud season. Where seasonal access roads are open to public motor vehicles, the use of four-wheel drive vehicles is strongly recommended.
Fire Danger: Check the fire rating map.
Water Conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region are mostly average for this time of year. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for stream flow of selected waters. Water temperatures will be very cold. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs aka lifejackets) are strongly encouraged to be worn. 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.
Adirondack Mountain Reserve: Parking reservations will be required May 1 through Oct. 31 for single-day and overnight access to the parking lot, trailheads, and trails located on the privately owned, 7,000-acre AMR property in the town of Keene in the High Peaks region. For a list of frequently asked questions and to register, visit AMR’s website.
Safety & Education
Spring is in full swing. 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.
Enjoy the Sun Without the Burn
Risk from sun exposure is a year-round concern, but as temperatures warm we tend to expose more skin, increasing our risk. Sunburns can be painful and irritating, but they can also be a serious health risk. In the long term, repeated sunburns and excessive sun exposure can increase your risk of skin cancers. In the short term, sunburns can increase your risk of dehydration and be a symptom of heat-related illnesses. Avoid sunburns by wearing sunscreen, hats that cover your head, face, and neck, and light, loose layers that cover your skin. Protect your eyes by wearing hats or polarized sunglasses. Last but not least, remember that you can still get a sunburn on a cloudy day.
Emergency Situations: If you get lost or injured; keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service, call 911 or the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch, 833-NYS-RANGERS.