Friday, July 29, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (7/29): Staying Hydrated, Recognizing Signs of Heat-Related Illness

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.

New This Week:

Santa Clara Conservation Easement: The southern spur off the CP3 route loop is currently closed to motorized users. Due to a logging operation on the property, users accessing the easement should reduce speed and exercise caution both on the Brown Track Road and on the easement roads in that area. Anglers are advised not to use the northern of the 2 fishing sites on the CP3 route as trucks will be crossing that bridge regularly.

Last Week:

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 a 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 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 and 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 (07/28):

  • Temperatures: It’s getting hot, hot, hot! Friday through Sunday it is expected to reach the mid-70s with lows in the mid to upper-40s to low 50s. Some showers are possible this weekend, so 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 protecting 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 = 5:38a.m., Sunset = 8:25p.m. Make a timeline and stick to it. Pack a headlamp even if you expect to finish your activity before sunset.
  • Travel: 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 Trace™. 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 Mt. Van Hoevenberg, Lake Placid, 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 07/28, fire danger is low in the Adirondacks. Check the fire rating map.

Water Conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region have a wide range from below average to above average for this time of year depending on the region. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for stream flow of selected waters. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs aka lifejackets) are strongly recommended.

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.

Recognizing Heat Illnesses

Heat cramps are the result of your body losing a large amount of both water and salt. Symptoms include:

  • Painful muscle spasms
  • Profuse sweating

What To Do: Move to a cool place, drink a sports drink or water, and gently stretch/massage the area. Seek medical assistance if cramps last longer than one hour or if the affected has a heart problem.

Heat Exhaustion is a result of heat-stress, water/electrolyte loss, and inadequate hydration. Symptoms include:

  • Profuse sweating
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Pale/Sweaty/Flushed skin
  • Exhaustion
  • Headache/Dizziness
  • Elevated and/or weak pulse

What To Do: Move to a cool, shady area and replenish lost fluids. Loosen/remove as much clothing as possible, and wet and fan the individual to increase the rate of cooling. Continue to monitor the individual, as recovery may take up to 24 hours.

Heat Stroke is a combination of over-exertion and serious dehydration. Symptoms include:

  • Temperature of 104° F
  • Disorientation/Bizarre personality changes
  • Hot/Dry/Red/Damp skin
  • Elevated heart and respiratory rates
  • Headaches
  • Seizures

What To Do: Call 911 right away, then move to a cool place, remove as much heat-retaining clothing as possible, and begin to rapidly cool with cold water, focusing on the head and neck, while using cold packs on the neck, groin, armpits, hands, and feet. Constantly fan as well; rapid cooling is the only way to save the person. Cooling efforts may cease once original mental state returns. Monitor during evacuation as relapses are common. You must follow up with a health care provider.

For more information visit the American Red Cross website.


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!

Leave What You Find

The Adirondacks are full of things to discover. From abandoned logging camps and plane wrecks to some of the rarest alpine vegetation in the world, there are endless opportunities for adventures in the wilderness. Those adventures can only remain, however, if we do our best to preserve them for everyone to experience. That’s why we always leave what we find when we’re traveling in wilderness areas.

Whether it’s a wildflower or a wild critter, a trail marker or a summit sign, it’s always best to take a picture to remember it by. Taking plants and animals from their habitat not only limits other’s ability to discover those things for themselves, but it also damages the environment that they’re apart of.

Removing trail marker discs, signs, and other navigational items is extremely dangerous and prohibited. Doing so can result in others losing their way, ruining their wilderness experience. Always opt for a local gear store or gift shop to pick up a souvenir as an alternative.

So remember, click it, don’t pick it.

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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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