Saturday, October 15, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (10/15): Main Haul Road to be closed this winter due to logging, East Side Trail to serve as alternative trail

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


Watson’s East Triangle (Croghan and Oswegatchie Conservation Easement Tracts):

  • The northern portion of the Main Haul Road (Croghan Tract) will be closed to snowmobiles this winter due to logging. The East Side Trail will serve as an alternative trail – please follow directional signage.
  • The Steam Sleigh Snowmobile Trail will not be groomed this year (Watson’s East Triangle Wild Forest). The Casey Rumble Trail (Oswegatchie Conservation Easement) will be groomed to serve as an alternative.

Independence River Wild Forest (Stillwater Reservoir, Big Moose & Three Lakes Conservation Easement Tracts): Consistent with the Big Moose Tract Conservation Easement, the Stillwater Mountain Fire Tower Trail is currently closed. The trail will reopen on December 21.

Blue Mountain Wild Forest & Essex Chain Lakes Complex: Camp Road Six is now open to motor vehicle access for the duration of the big game hunting season.

Grass River Wild Forest: Access to Pleasant Lake on the Grass River Conservation Easement closed October 10.

Raquette Boreal Complex: Access to the Five Mile Conservation Easement closed for the season on September 30.


Pine Lake Primitive Area: The gate at the former Outer Gooley Club on Chain of Lakes Rd., Town of Indian Lake, has opened for the fall hunting season.

General Notices

Know Before You Go Graphic

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

Know Before You Go (10/14):

  • Temperatures: Heavy rain and gusty winds are expected through this afternoon for much of the northern and eastern Adirondacks. Fall temperatures have settled in. Forecast temperatures in the High Peaks region call for daytime highs in the upper 50s and low 60s and lows in the upper 30s to low 40s at base elevations. Summit forecasts call for temperatures as much as 10 degrees colder at higher elevations. Showers are expected to stop later today but keep in mind that weather changes quickly in the mountains, even when sunny skies are expected. Carry extra layers, rain gear, and be prepared to adapt to changing conditions. Even low elevation summit temperatures will be colder than at the trailhead and winter conditions may be present at higher elevations.
  • Water crossings: With a flood watch in effect for the eastern Adirondacks yesterday into today, extreme caution should be taken at water crossings. Never attempt to cross high, fast-moving water, especially following rain or storms. If there is rain forecast during the day, be mindful of how water crossings might swell between your first crossing and your return trip.
  • Sunrise/Sunset: Sunrise = 7:10 a.m.; Sunset = 6:10 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.

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 10/14, 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 currently range from below average to high 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.

Hiker Information Stations & Hiker Shuttles: Hiker Information Stations and Hiker Shuttle Systems have concluded operations for the 2022 season. Thank you to all who visited a station or took a shuttle to your trailhead destination.

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.

Watch for Deer and Moose on or Near Roadways

Adirondack recreation can take you to some very remote locations, many of which are located in the heart of active wildlife habitat. Getting to and from your destination safely is just as important as safety on the trail, so be sure to watch out for deer and moose on the move.

October, November, and December are breeding months for deer and moose. During this time they become more active and are more likely to enter public roadways. Two-thirds of crashes between deer and vehicles occur during this three-month span, so be alert. Take these precautions to reduce the chance of hitting a deer or moose:

  • Decrease speed when you see deer or moose near roadsides. They can “bolt” or change direction at the last minute.
  • If you see a deer or moose go across the road, slow down and stay alert. They often travel in groups so there may be more to follow.
  • Use emergency lights or a headlight signal to warn other drivers when you see an animal on or near the road.
  • Use caution on roadways marked with deer or moose crossing signs.
  • Use extreme caution when driving at dawn or dusk, when animal movement is at its highest and visibility is reduced.

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!

Leave No Trace in Daily Life

What we do at home affects our favorite outdoor spaces, too. By minimizing our environmental impacts at home through sustainable actions, we can help protect the places where we explore, too. That’s why the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics has launched a new campaign teaching skills and actionable steps to Leave No Trace at home and in our communities. Start by taking the pledge to change your daily habits – every little effort helps – and testing your current knowledge of sustainability practices with a series of fun quizzes.

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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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