Friday, January 13, 2023

Outdoor Conditions (1/13): Goodnow Mountain Trail closed through March 15 due to on-going timber harvest

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information


High Peaks Wilderness: Snow Report (01/12): The following report describes conditions as of Thursday, 01/12. Changing weather may affect conditions. There is 33cm of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin. Snow levels vary at higher elevations. Conditions now require snowshoes to be worn in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness where snow depths exceed 8 inches. Microspikes and crampons are needed.

Kushaqua Conservation Easement: Logging is in progress in the vicinity of the Mountain Pond Road. The road is being used as a haul road and is closed to ALL motorized use for the duration of the operation. Non-motorized users of the road should use extreme caution and expect to encounter log trucks.

Lake George Wild Forest: Trails in the Bolton Area including Cat Mountain and Tongue Mountain have blowdown from recent storms. The bridge across Northwest Bay Swamp on the Tongue Mountain Blue Trail is damaged, but can be used with caution. Trails continue to have mixed conditions.

Town of Newcomb: The Goodnow Mountain Trail will be closed from January 10, 2023, through March 15, 2023 (subject to change) to accommodate an on-going timber harvest taking place in the vicinity. During that time, the public will not be allowed to access the Goodnow Mountain trailhead, trail or fire tower.


Sable Highlands Conservation Easement: The Barnes Pond Road gate has been closed for the season.

Grass River Wild Forest: There are active harvests on the Seveys Conservation Easement. While there are still trails closed, once conditions allow, the Bog Road (C7A) will open.

General Notices

Know Before You Go Graphic

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

Know Before You Go (01/12):

  • Temperatures & Conditions: Base temperatures in the High Peaks region are forecast to fluctuate from lows in the single digits to highs in the low to mid 20’s throughout the weekend. A winter weather advisory is in effect on Friday. Mixed precipitation of snow and ice are expected and will give way to light snow showers on Saturday. Cool or cold, wet conditions bring a high danger of hypothermia. Snow and ice conditions have been heavily affected by recent rain and warm temperatures, but winter conditions persist at higher elevations. Remember that conditions will be more severe on summits and at higher elevations. Carry extra layers, cold weather gear, and be prepared to adapt to changing conditions. Bring microspikes or crampons and snowshoes. If you find yourself unprepared for the conditions, or weather worsens, turn back to the trailhead.
  • Water crossings: Never attempt to cross high, fast-moving water, especially following rain or significant snowmelt. If there is precipitation forecast during the day, be mindful of how water crossings might swell between your first crossing and your return trip. Do not trust ice to hold your weight, especially over moving water.
  • Sunrise/Sunset: Sunrise = 7:29 a.m.; Sunset = 4:33 p.m. Make a timeline and stick to it. Pack a headlamp even if you expect to finish your activity before sunset.
  • Travel: Plan on arriving at your destination early and have several back-up plans in place in case parking at your desired location is full. Some seasonal roads may be closed for the winter season and not all parking areas are plowed. Check recent notices for road closure announcements.
  • The FISU World University Games kicked off today. The competition is taking place for 11 days across multiple north country locations. Various road and facility closures will affect the area for the duration of the games. This includes the closure of Lake Placid’s main street to motor vehicles.

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.

Seasonal Roads: Many seasonal access roads are closed for the winter. Check the Recent Notices for specific closure announcements and be prepared to turn around and take an alternate route.

Snowmobiles: Visitors are advised to plan ahead and check local club, county, and State webpages and resources, including the NYSSA Snowmobile web map, for up-to-date snowmobile trail information.

Water Conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region are above 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.

Safety & Education

Winter Hike Smart NY Poster

Whether you’re going for a hike, a ski, or out 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.

Avoid Frostbite

Frostbite is the freezing of living tissues that causes a breakdown of their cell structure. It may affect the extremities after prolonged exposure to temperatures below freezing. Frostbite injury can range from superficial redness of the skin, slight numbness or blisters to skin discoloration, obstruction of blood flow, or blood clots.

Prevent frostbite by limiting exposed skin and staying warm and dry. Wear a hat that covers your ears, a buff or facemask that covers your cheeks, nose, and chin, gloves or mittens that keep hands warm and dry, and wool or blended fabric socks. Goggles that cover and protect your eyes and the skin around them are also recommended. Rubbing frostbitten skin, once a popular “remedy,” can cause further damage; don’t do it.

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!

Food & Water Storage in the Winter

Proper nutrition and hydration are key to a safe and successful hike, but winter’s cold can bring challenges. In extremely cold temperatures food and water can freeze in your pack. This makes it hard or even impossible to consume what you need to stay hydrated and energized.

To avoid food and water freezing, try the following:

  • Insulate water bottles, hydration packs and tubes, and snacks to prevent freezing. You can use canisters designed specifically for the purpose or even wrap bottles and bladders in layers of extra clothing.
  • Break food into small pieces so it’s easier to eat even if it does freeze. Bite-size pieces can thaw in your mouth until they are edible, but breaking a bite off a larger, frozen item might not be possible.
  • Store food and water at the center of your pack to protect it from the elements. Organize your pack so items at the center are still easily accessible.
  • Bring a small backpacking stove to melt water if needed. You’ll also need a small pot or metal cup that can go over the flames.
  • Bring hot food or a hot drink in a thermos. Not only are items that start out hot less likely to freeze, but you can also reheat your body from within with warm food and drink.
  • In every season, choose foods high in calories and nutrients that will easily convert to energy on the trail. Always bring more food than you think you’ll need in case your trip runs long.

Take Part in the DEC Informational Kiosk Survey

DEC kiosk on managed lands

Give us your feedback and win a gift card to a sporting goods store! DEC would like your opinion on our informational kiosks. Kiosks are small, open wooden structures that provide cover for educational/informational signs. These kiosks are located at various state properties such as state forests, wilderness areas, conservation easements, wildlife management areas (WMAs), boat launches, and more. Take our survey to let us know what you think and be entered to win a $50 sporting goods store gift card and a free subscription to the Conservationist magazine! Winners will be announced each month from January 2023 through January 2024. A grand prize winner will be announced in January 2024 and will receive a $200 sporting goods store gift card and a free magazine subscription. By providing input, you can help us improve your outdoor experience!

For prize rules and regulations, please visit DEC’s website.

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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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