Friday, September 30, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (9/30): Timber harvesting finished at Flatrock Mountain Conservation Easement, entire property reopened for public recreation

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

Bog River Complex: The Student Conservation Association (SCA) recently completed several improvements to primitive campsites located on Tupper Lake, part of Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest. Improvements to 11 campsites included new campsite numbers on the shoreline, replacement of privies, rebuilt fire rings, and staining of two lean-to’s.

Independence River Wild Forest: Water will be shut off at the Otter Creek Assembly Area the week after Columbus Day weekend.

Black River Wild Forest: Timber harvesting has been completed on the Flatrock Mountain Conservation Easement. The entire property has been re-opened for public recreation.
Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Tract – Barnes Pond Public Use Area: The gate has been opened for hunting season. Use of high clearance vehicles is recommended.


General Notices

Know Before You Go Graphic

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

Know Before You Go (09/29):

  • Temperatures: With daytime highs in the low 50s to low 60s and evening lows in the 30s, there is no doubt fall temperatures have settled into the Adirondacks. Though forecasts are calling for mostly sunny skies, weather changes quickly in the mountains. Carry extra layers, rain gear, and be prepared to adapt to changing conditions. Summit temperatures will be colder and conditions at high elevations may resemble winter with ice and some snow.
  • Water crossings: Never attempt to cross high, fast-moving water, especially following rain or storms.
  • Sunrise/Sunset: Sunrise = 6:53 a.m.; Sunset = 6:35 p.m. Make a timeline and stick to it. Pack a headlamp even if you expect to finish your activity before sunset.
  • Travel: As we head into peak leaf season, expect trails to be especially 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.
  • Other Stations this Weekend:
    • Frontier Town Gateway, North Hudson, starting at 7 a.m.
    • Marcy Field or The Garden, times to vary

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).
  • 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 Adirondack 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 09/29, fire danger is low in the Adirondacks. Please use caution, follow local guidelines, and avoid open fires if possible. Check the fire rating map.

Water Conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region are wide ranging from below average to extremely high for this time of year depending on the body of water. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York (https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ny/nwis/rt) for stream flow of selected waters. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs aka lifejackets) are strongly recommended.

No Overnight Camping at Trailheads: Please note that overnight camping is not permitted at trailheads or other roadside locations where a camping disc is not present. This includes individuals sleeping in cars, vans, and campers. Campers should seek out designated roadside campsites marked with a camp here disc or campgrounds.

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

Fall 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.

Fall Season, Winter Weather

Fall can be a wonderful time visit to the Adirondacks. The cool air and autumn leaves provide a great backdrop for any outdoor pursuit. Although it’s often more enjoyable to hike in, the colder, unpredictable weather means that it’s even more important to plan ahead and prepare before heading out into the backcountry.

Be prepared for temperatures even lower than what is forecasted. Hypothermia can occur no matter the weather. A warm day in the valley may prove to be chilly and windy at the summit of your hike. These drastic changes in weather and environment can quickly lower body temperature.

Pack layers, and don’t be afraid to stop and adjust your clothing to suit your temperature and level of exertion. If you start to feel hot, take a layer off before you start to sweat. In cold weather, perspiration evaporating from your skin can quickly lower body temperature. This causes a greater risk of hypothermia.

Watch the weather. Check the weather forecast before you head out and keep an eye to the sky throughout your day. Should the weather take a turn for the worst, turn around or seek shelter. Weather in the mountains can change quickly, particularly as the seasons change. Stay alert, and don’t be afraid to turn around. You can always come back another day.


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!

Follow Leave No Trace’s 5 Tips for an Autumn Adventure

The colors of fall are starting to pop throughout the Adirondacks and New York State and getting out for an adventure is one of the best ways to enjoy the reds, oranges, and yellows of the season. As you hike, bike, camp, or otherwise immerse yourself in the colors of fall, keep in mind Leave No Trace’s 5 tips for autumn adventures:

  1. Leave space for wildlife
  2. Keep an eye on the trees and the trails
  3. Leave the leaves
  4. Enjoy the colors, avoid the crowds
  5. Prep

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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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