Friday, July 8, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (7/8): Trail projects completed in the Cranberry Lake Wild Forest

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:

Cranberry Lake Wild Forest (Town of Clifton): A trail project was recently completed which created a new 600 foot re-route of the Campground Trail: a portion of the Cranberry Lake 50 trail system. The NYSDEC Cranberry Lake Operations staff began the project by delivering materials for a new foot bridge to the work site via snowmobile in February 2022. The final week of June, a contract trail crew from Tahawus Trails installed the new 4 ‘ x 12’ foot bridge and re-routed the trail to better drained ground. The lumber from the old foot bridge will be removed by DEC Operations later this year.


Cranberry Lake Wild Forest (Town of Clifton): A trail project was recently completed which created a new 285 foot re-route of the Bear Mountain Trail, located near the DEC Cranberry Lake Campground. During the week of 6/20, a contract trail crew from Tahawus Trails installed the trail re-route and closed the former trail section which was steeply sloped and in poor condition. Significant rock work, including stone steps, were installed as part of the newly re-routed trail.


Cranberry Lake Wild Forest (Town of Clifton) trail project included the creation of a new 285 foot re-route of the Bear Mountain Trail, located near the DEC Cranberry Lake Campground. (DEC photo)

Last Week:

Silver Lake Wilderness: Working with our partners at the Adirondack Mtn Club, a volunteer trail crew recently helped close and relocate two primitive tent sites from the south shore of Woods Lake to the north shore. The objective of the project was to spread out use and improve camping opportunities for NPT thru-hikers. This project was part of a larger trail work effort that ADK Mtn Club organized on June 4, National Trails Day.


General Notices

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

Know Before You Go (07/07):

  • Temperatures: Be prepared for warm temperatures this weekend. Friday is expected to reach 70 degrees in some places. Daytime highs on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday are expected to reach the mid to upper 70s, with lows in the mid 40s. Temperatures on mountain summits will still be significantly cooler than at base elevations, so bring extra layers as well as rain and wind gear.
  • Water crossings: Water levels are slightly elevated in some areas. Do not attempt to cross high, fast-moving water.
    Biting insects: Black flies, mosquitos, and deer flies – oh my! Pack bug spray, bug nets, and other methods of protecting from bites.
  • Heat safety: 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. For their safety, leave pets at home.
  • Sunrise/Sunset: Sunrise = 5:25 a.m., Sunset = 8:35 p.m. Make a timeline and stick to it. Pack a headlamp even if you expect to finish your activity before sunset.
  • Busy trails: 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.
    • Beekmantown Rest Area, Southbound on Route 87, starting at 7 a.m.
  • Additional stations this weekend:
    • Friday – Sunday at Marcy Field, Keene Valley, starting at 7 a.m.

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 07/07, fire danger is low for much of the Adirondacks with areas on the eastern, western, and southern borders rising to moderate. Check the fire rating map.

Water Conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region range from 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 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

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.

Water and Water Filtration on the Trail

We all know that going on a hike requires carrying water, and we also know that water is heavy making it difficult to determine how much to bring. Luckily, some planning and preparedness can help.

Two liters of water for each person is generally a good amount to carry on a day hike, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be enough. This is where obtaining water in the backcountry becomes crucial in order to avoid dehydration.

Some symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Headache
  • Confusion & disorientation
  • Lack of appetite due to nausea
  • Dizziness

These symptoms can lead to:

  • Becoming disoriented
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heat stroke
  • Hypothermia
  • Shock

When planning your hike, be sure to identify water sources along the route. It’s important on every hike to carry a water filtration or water sterilization system. There are many different types available for you to choose from. If you choose one that is battery operated, be sure to carry extra batteries, you may also want to bring water purification drops or tablets as back up.

Filtering or sterilizing the water you obtain from the back country will keep you from becoming sick with illnesses such as Giardia (Beaver Fever).

Remember to always pack the 10 essentials including enough water and a system to obtain clean water on the trail! Have a safe and responsible adventure!


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!

Properly Disposing of Human Waste

Everyone must poop eventually, even if you’re out on the trail. So, in order to take care of the outdoors and continue being able to use it, it is crucial that our waste is dealt with properly. So, before you set out on your hike into the wilderness, make sure you know how to dispose of your waste in the area you are visiting so you may avoid contaminating water sources, spreading disease, having someone else come across it, and so you may maximize the rate of decomposition.

The first thing to do review the rules about solid human waste in the specific area you are visiting, as it is required that you pack out some areas, such as narrow river canyons or fragile alpine settings. You can refer to the local land management agency for the specific rules of the area you are planning to visit.

If you are packing out your waste from an area, there are several EPA-approved, commercially available pack-out systems that are easy to use and sanitary for backpacking/hiking use.

If you aren’t packing out or using you a privy of some sort, you should use a cat hole. For more information of how to properly make a cat hole, see the Leave No Trace™ webpage on it.

Proper disposal is becoming a more and more important issue as hiking trails are increasingly trafficked, so make sure you’re doing your part!

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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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