Friday, August 26, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (8/26): Hikers are reminded to hydrate, prepare for busy trails/warm temps

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

Upcoming Road Closure: As you plan upcoming trips, please note that State Route 86 in Ray Brook in the Town of North Elba, Essex County, will be closed just west of the intersection of McKenzie Pond Road (County Route 33) from Sunday, Sept. 11, at 6 p.m. until Friday, Sept. 16, at 4 p.m., to facilitate the replacement of large culvert over the Little Ray Brook. During the closure, a detour will be posted for motorists to use McKenzie Pond Route (County Route 33), which becomes Pine Street and River Road in the Village of Saranac Lake, and Route 86.


General Notices

Know Before You Go GraphicVisit the main Adirondack Backcountry Information page for more trip-planning resources.

Know Before You Go (08/25):

  • Temperatures: Forecasts are calling for temperatures reaching the high-70s to low-80s during the day, dropping into the mid to high-50s at night in the High Peaks region. With warm sunny days predicted throughout the weekend, be sure to bring plenty of water and a means of filtering more if necessary.
  • 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 yourself 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 = 6:13 a.m.; Sunset = 7:39 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 backup 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, Frontier Town Gateway, North Hudson, starting at 7 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-served basis. Masks are required. Only certified service animals are permitted. Check the map and schedule.
  • 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, 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 08/25, fire danger is MODERATE 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 throughout the Adirondack region range from below 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.

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 SummerSummer 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.

Maintaining Gear

Dealing with all the gear required for hiking, backpacking, paddling, and other activities can feel daunting and expensive. However, putting in the effort to maintain your gear will help save you money and keep you safer in the long run.

Gear that is well cared for often lasts longer, producing less waste than if you were frequently replacing items. Caring for your gear also means it is less likely to break and more likely to be there and usable when you need it most.

To keep your equipment in working order, proper maintenance is key:

  • Don’t put unnecessary stress on your equipment. For example: using trekking poles to clear blowdown in the trail can easily bend or damage them.
  • Store your gear properly. Unpack, sort, and store your equipment quickly after you return. Keep it all in a cool, dry place as often as possible.
  • Learn to repair your equipment. Not only does this reduce the need to buy replacements, but it will also help if essential gear breaks on the trail.
  • Know how to use your gear. Using your gear properly will not only optimize its efficiency, but will also reduce the chances of injury or breakage.

Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace 2021 Partner LogoFollow 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!

Buy It Where You Burn It

A crucial step in reducing your campfire impacts is buying your firewood where you burn it. This is an easy but important step we can take to protect our wild areas, as moving firewood can also transport invasive pests and diseases to new locations. Introducing new species can have disastrous effects on the local ecosystem and impacts can rapidly spread to new areas. A recent example of this is the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect that can be transported via firewood and has been responsible for a heavy loss of Ash trees across the state.

Help protect our forests by:

  • Buying firewood that was cut within 50 miles of where you plan on having your fire;
  • Leaving your firewood at home. This saves the trees and some packing space; and
  • Not transporting aged or seasoned wood as they can still house harmful pests.

Learn more about how you can safely and responsibly enjoy a campfire on your next outdoor trip.

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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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