Friday, August 19, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (8/19): Temperamental weekend weather, scattered thunderstorms

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.


High Peaks Wilderness: Due to heat and low rainfall across the High Peaks, hikers and backpackers should not assume all water sources are available for obtaining drinking water from.

Siamese Ponds Wilderness: The 35ft bridge over the Botheration Pond outlet on the Botheration Pond Loop Trail has been replaced with a brand new bridge.

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness: A bridge on the Pharaoh Lake Trail from the Pharaoh Lake Road trailhead is out. Hikers should be prepared for an open water crossing.

General Notices

Know Before You Go Graphic

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

Know Before You Go (08/18):

  • Temperatures: Forecasts are calling for a temperamental weekend in the Adirondacks. Friday through Sunday it is expected to reach the mid-70s to low-80s during the day and drop to between 50-60 degrees at night in the High Peaks region. Despite some sunny days, scattered rain and thunder showers are predicted throughout the weekend. Weather can change suddenly even on sunny days, so be sure to bring extra layers/rain gear even on sunny days and avoid traveling at higher elevations if there is any risk of storms.
  • Water crossings: Never attempt to cross high, fast-moving water, especially following rain or storms.
  • Biting insects: While the worst of bug season is behind us, there are still many mosquitos, gnats, and flies. Pack bug spray, bug nets, and other methods of protecting from bites.
  • Heat safety: 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. Wear sunscreen and other sun protection. 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. Bring plenty of water for pets, and consider leaving pets at home on hot days.
  • Sunrise/Sunset: Sunrise = 6:04 a.m.; Sunset = 7:52 p.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. Consider taking a shuttle (more information below).

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.
    • High Peaks Rest Area, Southbound 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.
    • Saturday at Marcy Field, Keene Valley, starting at 7 a.m.
    • Friday – Sunday at The Mount Van Hoevenberg Olympic Complex, North Elba, starting at 8 a.m.

High Peaks Hiker Shuttles: The following shuttles provide safe, free transportation to popular trailheads in the Adirondack High Peaks region.

  • Route 73 Hiker Shuttle: Runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and holiday Mondays through Columbus Day from Marcy Field in the town of Keene to the Rooster Comb, Giant Mountain Ridge Trail, and Roaring Brook Falls trailheads. The shuttle is free and available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Masks are required. Only certified service animals are permitted. Check the map (PDF) and schedule (PDF).
  • August Thru-Hike Shuttle: Provides riders an opportunity to thru-hike the High Peaks Wilderness. The shuttle departs at 2 p.m. on August 15 from the Frontier Town Gateway in North Hudson and drops off at the Adirondak Loj in North. The shuttle picks up participating riders from the Tahawus Upper Works trailhead at 2 p.m. daily on the following Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, returning riders to the Frontier Town Gateway. The shuttle accommodates up to 20 people and pre-registration is required. Dogs are not permitted on the shuttle and masks are required.
  • October Foliage Shuttle: Runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 1 and 2 and again over Indigenous Peoples’/Columbus Day weekend on Oct. 8, 9, and 10. The shuttle departs from the Frontier Town Gateway, dropping off and picking up at the Giant Mountain, Roaring Brook Falls, and Rooster Comb trailheads and the Marcy Field Parking Area. Seating is available on a first-come-first-served basis. Dogs are not permitted and masks are required.
  • Garden Shuttle: The Town of Keene shuttle from Marcy Field to the Garden Trailhead operates Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.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 08/18, fire danger is HIGH in the Adirondacks. Please use extreme caution, follow local guidelines, and avoid open fires if possible. Check the fire rating map.

Water Conditions: Water levels on many waterways in the Adirondack region are below 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.

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

Hike Smart NY Poster Summer

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.

The Wonders of Trekking Poles

Hiking, especially in the rough and rugged terrain of the Adirondacks, can be very difficult. Even the most experienced hikers need a helping hand once in a while. One way to gain that helping hand and make your hike more enjoyable is to use trekking poles.

Trekking poles (sometimes called hiking poles) are often used in the Adirondacks to assist with steep climbs and descents, but they have even more uses you may not have considered:

  • First-Aid: Trekking poles make great splints and crutches.
  • Stability: Trekking poles provide additional points of contact on technical terrain.
  • Navigating Mud: Stay balanced and you may just find some rocks to step on!
  • Water Crossings: Trekking poles can help you balance in water current, but still never cross when water is high or moving swiftly.
  • Clearing the Way: Break through spider webs and move small branches.
  • Efficiency: Trekking poles can propel you forward, increasing your pace.
  • Ease Impact: Reduce impact on joints while descending steep hills.
  • Making a Shelter: Combine with a tarp for an easy emergency shelter.

Even if you don’t find yourself struggling with any of these issues on-trail, the luxury of using trekking poles may surprise you. Take a pair for a short hike to see how you like them. They might just become your 11th Essential.

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace 2021 Partner Logo

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!

(Don’t) Make Your Mark

While it may be tempting to leave your mark by carving into a tree or spraying graffiti, doing so has significant impacts both on the environment and the experience of others spending time in the outdoors.

For a large part of human history, carving into wood served as a helpful tool for telling stories, marking important sites, letting others know where we had been, and more. With modern technology, however, the harm tree carvings cause outweighs any benefits. Take a picture or drop a pin instead of leaving a physical mark on the land.

Tree bark is similar to our skin in that it is a protective layer. It keeps out bacteria and pests and serves to guard the tree’s cells. Carving bark damages that protective ability and, similar to our skin being cut open, leaves an open wound. Trees with open wounds are more vulnerable to diseases or pests.

Carving into trees or leaving graffiti can also negatively affect the outdoor experience of others. Many people travel through our wild spaces to feel closer to nature, and artificial marks can interrupt that feeling of solitude and natural connection. Show respect to the outdoors and your fellow visitors by leaving paint, pens, and carving tools at home.



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.

Welcome to the Adirondacks. The Welcome to the Adirondacks webpage provides information about the Forest Preserve, conservation easement lands, outdoor recreation, and Leave No TraceTM.

Love Our NY Lands: All New Yorkers and visitors should be able to access, enjoy, and feel welcome on state lands. While enjoying these shared spaces, be respectful of other visitors. Share trails, treat people with kindness, and leave things as you found them for others to enjoy. All of us have a responsibility to protect State lands for future generations. Learn more about how you can Love Our NY Lands.

@NYSDECAlerts: @NYSDECAlerts on Twitter provides real-time updates from DEC-managed lands across New York State.

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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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