Friday, June 3, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (6/3): Independence River Trail (Otter Creek Horse Trails) in need of repair

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.


Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: The lock between Middle and Lower Saranac Lakes is now open for public use.

Boreas Ponds Tract: Gulf Brook Road is now open to public motor vehicle traffic as far as the Fly Pond Parking Area.

Independence River Wild Forest (Stillwater Reservoir, Big Moose & Three Lakes Conservation Easement Tracts): The Independence River Trail (Otter Creek Horse Trails) has caved in near two culverts. These areas are marked with flagging, but riders are advised to avoid the Independence River Trail until the trail is fixed.

Pigeon Lake Wilderness: West Mountain and Shallow Lake trails are impassable at Beaver Brook due to beaver activity. Maintenance is scheduled for this summer.


Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway is now open for the 2022 season. Shuttles to the summit are available. Call (518) 668-5198 for current accessibility information.

Terry Mountain State Forest: The gate on Redd Road is now open.

Moose River Plains Complex:

  • Both entrance gates (Cedar River Entrance and Limekiln Lake Entrance) to Moose River Plains Camping Area are now open for the season. Roads are passable, but road shoulders may be soft in areas.
  • Rock Dam Road remains closed until further notice.
  • Indian Lake Road is gated shut at the Otter Brook Bridge until further notice.

Tioga Point Campground: On April 20, DEC announced the closure of Tioga Point Campground out of an abundance of caution to protect public safety due to safety issues related to cables running under Raquette Lake. DEC worked with National Grid and the Public Service Commission to expedite the repair work. National Grid replaced the cable running beneath Raquette Lake, eliminating the public safety concerns that led to the initial closure of Tioga Point Campground. DEC’s contractor, Reserve America, reached out on May 17 to all customers with cancelled reservations for Tioga Point. Customers were given until close of business on May 23 to reinstate their reservations. All unreserved campsites are now available for booking to the general public. Tioga Point Campground opened for overnight camping today, May 27.


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.

Know Before You Go (06/02): The weather is looking nice, trails are drying and hardening, water temperatures are warming and the bugs are out in force. Make sure to pack bug spray, bug nets, and other methods of protecting from bites. Remember that high elevation summits will be significantly cooler and windier than at base elevation. Trailheads are starting to fill up early, so plan on arriving at your destination early and have several back-up plans in place in case parking at your desired location is full.

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.

Fire Danger: Check the fire rating map.

Water Conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region range from below average to above average for this time of year depending on the waterway. 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.

Hiking with Dogs: Dogs hiking in warm temperatures are at risk of experiencing heat exhaustion and death. If your dog does collapse, quickly move to create shade for the dog and cool their feet and stomach – this is the most effective way to help an overheated dog. The best way to protect your pet is to leave them at home.

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.

Stick Together!

Hiking can be a great way to enjoy our Adirondack trails with friends and family. When traveling with a group, however, it’s important to plan for each member and stick together.
Be realistic about the group’s fitness and skill level. Make your plan based on the least, not the most, experienced group member. Choose a trail or route that is within the comfort and ability of all group members.

Set the pace of the hike based on the slowest member of the group. Remember, hiking isn’t a race. The group is more likely to have a safe and enjoyable time on trail if everyone is within their comfort zone. Avoid rushing far ahead of the group, ensure that the entire group is present before turning at any intersections, and coordinate rest breaks with every member.


Leave No TraceTM

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!

Click It, Don’t Pick It!

Spring in the Adirondacks means the wildflowers are in bloom. The colorful flora makes for fantastic pictures, but it’s important to resist the urge to pick them or take them with you as keepsakes.

Like all other plants, animals, and natural objects, wildflowers should be left exactly as they are. Many people come to enjoy trails in the Adirondacks, and each should have the same opportunity to experience plants and wildlife. Picking wildflowers prevents others from being able to enjoy the spring blooms and take pictures of their own.

Picking flowers can also have long-term environmental impacts. Wildflowers spread their seed naturally and will only continue to bloom if allowed to complete this cycle. Picking the flowers interrupts this process, leaving less seeds in the environment and therefore reducing the quantity of flowers the following year. So take a picture and keep those wonderful, trailside beauties around for everyone to enjoy season after season.

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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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