Friday, July 22, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (7/22): Temporary Lake Placid Ironman road closures may affect travel to popular trailheads

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.


Lake Placid Ironman: The Lake Placid Ironman is this Sunday, July 24. Lane and road closures along the course may affect travel to popular trailheads in the Lake Placid, Keene, and Wilmington regions. Temporary road closures will begin at 5 a.m. Check the race course to see how your travel may be affected and make alternate trip plans if necessary.

Adirondack Rock Climbing: DEC closes certain rock climbing routes in the Adirondacks to protect nesting peregrine falcons. Once peregrine nest sites are determined, climbing routes that will not disturb nesting are reopened. Routes that remain closed reopen after the young have fledged. As of 07/19/22, all rock climbing routes are open. Thank you for your cooperation.

Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness: The bog bridging across the outlet of Middle Settlement Lake (on the Middle Settlement Lake Trail, west of the Lean-to) is in disrepair. All users should either exercise caution when passing through or cross at an alternate location.


Fire Danger Reminder: Practice the utmost safety when building campfires this summer. Dry weather throughout June and July has increased the risk of fires. The majority of the state remains at moderate risk for fires, meaning that any outdoor fire can spread quickly, especially if the wind picks up. Follow DEC fire safety recommendations for reducing the risk of wildfires.

Saratoga Sand Plains Archery Range: The archery range will be closed on August 3 and 4 from 4-9 p.m. for a DEC Becoming an Outdoors Woman event. It may be used by the public up until 4 p.m. on those days.


General Notices

Visit the main Adirondack Backcountry Information page for more trip-planning resources.

Know Before You Go (07/21):

  • Temperatures: It’s getting hot, hot, hot! Friday is expected to reach the mid-80s, with Saturday and Sunday climbing into the high 80s. Lows are expected to be in the mid to upper-60s. Showers and thunderstorms are possible – be prepared for pop-up storms. Weather can change suddenly even on sunny days, so bring extra layers as well as rain and wind gear.
  • Water crossings: Water levels may be elevated in some areas. Do not attempt to cross high, fast-moving water, especially following rain or storms.
  • Biting insects: Black flies, mosquitos, and deer flies – oh my! Pack bug spray, bug nets, and other methods of protection from bites.
  • Heat safety: Heat will be a significant safety concern this weekend. Consider postponing challenging hikes. Wear sunscreen and other sun protection. Bring plenty of water, take breaks in the shade, and eat salty foods to help with water retention and electrolyte balance. Start hydrating before your activity begins. Know the signs of heat illness and, if you begin to experience them or see them in a member of your party, take immediate action. Learn more on DEC’s Hike Smart NY webpage. For their safety, leave pets at home.
  • Sunrise/Sunset: Sunrise = 5:32 a.m.; Sunset = 8:31 p.m. Make a timeline and stick to it. Pack a headlamp even if you expect to finish your activity before sunset.
  • Travel: The Lake Placid Ironman on Sunday may affect travel to and from trailheads. Check the race course to see how your travel may be impacted and make alternate plans. Expect trails to be busy. 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 @NYSDECAlerts on Twitter for real-time updates on parking lot status.

Hiker Information Stations: Stop by a Hiker Information Station for information about parking, alternative hiking locations, local land use rules and regulations, safety and preparedness, and Leave No TraceTM. Please visit us at the following locations this weekend:

  • Every Friday, Saturday, & Sunday:
    • High Peaks Rest Area, Northbound on Route 87, starting at 7 a.m.
  • Additional stations this weekend:
    • Friday – Sunday at the Garden Trailhead, Keene Valley, starting at 7 a.m.
    • Friday – Sunday at Frontier Town, North Hudson, starting at 7 a.m.

Route 73 Hiker Shuttle: The Route 73 hiker shuttle from Marcy Field has resumed for the summer season. The free shuttle will operate 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturdays, Sundays, and holiday Mondays through October 10, 2022. The shuttle stops at Rooster Comb, Giant Mountain Ridge Trail, and Roaring Brook Falls trailheads. A full schedule and route map are available at the DEC website. All passengers are required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status.

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: As of 07/21, fire danger is low in the Adirondacks. Check the fire rating map.

Water Conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region are average to above average for this time of year. 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 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

Summer is here! 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.

Creating an Itinerary – And Sharing It!

When preparing for an outdoor trip, it is very important to create an itinerary and share it with a trusted friend or relative who is not going with you.

Creating an itinerary is important for groups of all sizes, but especially if you are headed out alone. By creating and sharing an itinerary you create a safety net. That way, if something happens while out on your trip (you get lost, injured, etc.) and you don’t check back in on time with whoever you left your itinerary with, you know someone will call for a search and rescue in a timely manner. The more detailed the itinerary, the more effective and helpful it will be if search and rescuers need to find you.

Additionally, creating an itinerary helps you effectively plan the trip for yourself, reducing the likelihood of something unforeseen happening or something going wrong.

You can find itinerary templates online, use an app which automatically contacts emergency services if you don’t check in by your designated time, or you can make your own. If you do make your own, be sure to include:

  • Check-in time – the time by which you expect to be done or be able to contact the person you left your itinerary with.
  • Action time – the time you want your trusted friend or relative to contact search and rescue if they haven’t heard from you.
  • Information about yourself and your trip partner(s).
  • Information about your trip, including your destination, your route, your timeline, and where you parked.
  • Information about your gear, including what you will be wearing so people know what to look for.


Leave No Trace

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!

Principle 7 – Be Courteous to Others

We all share the great outdoors, and even in remote areas you might encounter other people on the trail. While nature can feel very solitary at time, it’s important to share outdoor spaces with respect. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Manage Pets & Their Waste: Four-legged friends are welcomed on many trails, but not everyone is a pet person. Leashing your canine ensures you have control of them at all times, helps dog-nervous hikers feel safe, and reduces the chance of injury to people and pets, including your own. Dispose of their waste properly as well, and carry poop bags out with you.

Preserve Surroundings: Being mindful of your surroundings can help protect them. Travel and camp on hard, durable surfaces to mitigate erosion and other harmful impacts. Leave things as you find them so others can enjoy the views. Take pictures, not souvenirs.

Be Courtesy and Yield Right-Of-Way: Like other thoroughfares, hiking trails have courtesies in place to further promote safety. Downhill hikers should yield to those traveling uphill. Bikers should yield to hikers. Both should yield to equestrians and pack animals by moving to the downhill side of the trail and quietly greeting the riders; horses are easily spooked.

Minimize Visual and Auditory Impacts: Not everyone has the same musical taste, so instead of a speaker, opt for headphones. Just make sure the volume is low enough to maintain awareness of your surroundings. Tree carving might seem romantic, but carvings and graffiti damage natural resources and can detract from other’s nature experience.

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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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