Friday, November 11, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (11/11): Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway to close for the 2022 season this evening

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


Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway: The parkway will close for the 2022 season at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11. Please note the shuttle to the summit of Prospect Mountain is not available at this time. Admission fees to access the highway are temporarily waived. For more information about visiting the Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway Day Use Area, go to DEC’s website.


Adirondack Rail Trail: Construction has begun on the first phase of the future Adirondack Rail Trail. The first segment of trail between Station Street in Lake Placid and the intersection of Cedar Street and Route 86 in Saranac Lake will be closed to public access during active construction. Construction will pause in early December, allowing for winter recreation. Details will be provided on the rail trail webpage as they become available. Please respect posted signage and barricades in work areas and email with questions.

High Peaks Wilderness: Significant ice has accumulated on some high-elevation trails. Be prepared with appropriate traction devices, including micro spikes for use on thin ice over flat trails and crampons for thick ice and ice on steeper slopes.

General Notices

Know Before You Go Graphic

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

Know Before You Go (11/10):

  • Temperatures: Daytime temperatures in the region call for low 60s decreasing steadily through the weekend to the low 40s by Sunday. Nighttime lows are expected to drop into the low 20s by the end of the weekend. These temperatures are estimates for base elevations. Always anticipate colder or even wintery conditions at high elevations. Heavy rain is anticipated throughout the holiday weekend with the potential for snow at all elevations. Weather changes quickly in the mountains. Carry extra layers, rain gear, and be prepared to adapt to changing conditions. Traction devices are recommended for anyone planning on hiking this weekend and are necessary for high elevations.
  • 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: Don’t forget to account for the time change when making your timeline and plans. Sunrise = 6:47 a.m.; Sunset = 4:31 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 11/10, fire danger is MODERATE 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 well below average for this time of year, but may increase with significant rainfall. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York 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.

Safety & Education

Hike Smart NY Poster Summer

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.

Stay Bright, Pack a Light

It’s official, the first full weekend without Daylight Savings Time is upon us. With less daylight in the afternoon, it’s important to adjust our schedule and prepare accordingly. It’s important to keep available daylight in mind any time we’re heading into the backcountry, but here are some things that are extra important this coming season:

Check the sunrise/sunset – Know how early you’re able to start as well as when you need to be back to the trailhead to avoid traveling in the dark.
Set a turnaround time – And stick to it! Track how long it takes you to reach your destination and leave at least that much time to return to your vehicle.

Pack a light – One of the ten essentials, a dedicated light source is a must have no matter the season. Make sure your light is bright enough to navigate the trail safely and bring extra batteries to prevent running out of power in colder weather.

Bring a warm layer – The temperature can drop dramatically once the sun sets. Be prepared with extra layers in case you find yourself out after an early nightfall.

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!

Wintering Wildlife

Fall is a busy time for wildlife as they collect food, build shelters, complete long migrations, and prepare for the winter ahead. This means it’s more important than ever to give animals the space they need to move naturally.

Respect wildlife and observe them from a distance. This will allow them to freely access the food, water, and other resources they need to survive a long winter in the Adirondacks.
If you’re ever wondering how close is too close, just remember the “Rule of Thumb.”

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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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