Friday, April 14, 2023

Outdoor Conditions (4/14): Sunshine & 70s this weekend, tips for tick prevention

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 (04/13): The following report describes conditions as of Thursday, 04/06. Changing weather may affect conditions.
    • There is 29.5 inches (2.4 feet) of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin.
    • Snowshoes or skis are required to be worn throughout the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, beginning at approximately 2,000ft (around the elevation of Marcy Dam). Snowshoes are recommended everywhere in the High Peaks region for safe and efficient travel. Bring microspikes and crampons for traction on ice.
    • Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are unstable and are not safe to cross.
    • Be prepared to turn around if conditions prove too difficult to complete your hike.

Lake George Wild Forest: The gates to Jabe Pond Road and Lily Pond Road are now closed for mud season. They will reopen when road conditions improve.

Know Before You Go Graphic

Know Before You Go:

Fire Danger:

  • Adirondack Park – MODERATE
  • Champlain Region – MODERATE
  • Check the fire rating map for daily updates.

Temperatures & Conditions: These are forecast temperatures for base elevations throughout the region.
The sunshine continues into another beautiful weekend with temperatures in the 70’s and an abundance of sunshine. Overnight temperatures throughout the weekend will be in the 40’s but expect colder temperatures near freezing in higher elevations. Pack the appropriate layers and gear in case your trip goes longer than planned or an unexpected overnight occurs.

Sunshine: Pack and apply sunscreen frequently and wear sunglasses to prevent snow blindness.

Snow blindness, also known as arc eye or photokeratitis, occurs when the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays hit the outer layers of your eye. Because snow has reflective qualities, it sends even more UV light into your eyes. Essentially, snow blindness is a sunburn for your cornea, and it can occur on cloudy days as well as clear ones. Snow blindness can cause eye pain, blurred vision, or even temporary vision loss.

Conditions: Conditions will be colder and windier on summits and at higher elevations. Carry extra layers 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. Hike with a buddy or in a group and know the signs of hypothermia.

Sunrise/Sunset: Sunrise = 6:16 a.m.; Sunset = 7:38 p.m. Make a timeline and stick to it. Pack a headlamp even if you expect to finish your activity before sunset.

Bear Canister

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 Rock Climbing Closures: DEC closes certain rock climbing routes in the Adirondacks to protect nesting peregrine falcons. For a full list of closures, visit Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures. Once peregrine nest sites are determined, climbing routes that will not disturb nesting will be reopened. Routes that remain closed will reopen after the young have fledged. Thank you for your cooperation. For more information please contact the Bureau of Wildlife at (518) 623-1240

Cold Water Advisory: Water temperatures are freezing and falling in can lead to immediate hypothermia. Use caution when paddling and hiking. 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. Use extreme caution in areas of moving water, such as inlets, outlets, and streams. Banks will be icy and currents are swift.

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.

General Notices

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

No Overnight Camping at Trailheads: 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. When camping, always carry out what you carry in and dispose of trash properly. Use designated bathroom facilities, pack out human and pet waste, or dig a cat hole.

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

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

Water & Ice Crossings:

  • No ice should be considered safe at this time.
  • Water levels range from average to above average for this time of year in the eastern and central portions of the Adirondack region and below average in the western part of the region. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for stream flow of selected waters. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs aka lifejackets) are strongly recommended.

Statewide Burn Ban in Effect: The annual statewide ban prohibiting residential brush burning began March 16 and runs through May 14. The annual brush burning ban helps prevent wildfires and protects communities during heightened conditions for wildfires. Backyard fire pits and campfires less than 3 feet in height and 4 feet in length, width, or diameter are allowed, as are small cooking fires. Only charcoal or dry, clean, untreated, or unpainted wood can be burned. People should never leave these fires unattended and must extinguish them. For more information about fire safety and prevention, go to DEC’s FIREWISE New York webpage.

Safety & Education

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.

Stay Tick Free!

Just like that winter is over, spring is here and ticks are already out! Follow these tips to stay tick free:

  • 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.

Leave No Trace 2021 Partner Logo

Leave No Trace™

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!

Become A More Sustainable Camper!

The camping supplies you use can make a difference. If you pack sustainably, you will camp sustainably. DEC recommends the following tips and tricks to help start your trip off the right way. These guidelines are appropriate for any camping trip, whether it’s at a state campground, private facility or even a primitive island.


  • Bring reusable containers for storing leftovers to ensure no food goes to waste.
  • Prior to your trip, re-pack any food you are bringing along in reusable containers. For example, packing eggs in a durable, reusable carton will not only cut down on packaging waste you’ll have to dispose of at the campground; but also ensure your food is protected in the cooler.



  • Reusable cooking utensils and reusable or recyclable dishes cut down on the amount of trash generated.
  • Reusable mugs, cups, or bottles that can easily be rinsed or washed cut down on plastic waste. If it’s necessary to use plastic, remember to recycle those items.
  • Consider using biodegradable/earth-friendly dish soap, sponges, and water basins. Do your dishes at least 200 feet away from any body of water. Disposing of grey water on the ground or in water bodies is prohibited at state campgrounds; Make sure you contain grey water from dishwashing and other such activities and properly dispose it in sink drains or dumping stations connected to water treatment facilities.

Go All Natural

  • Bring non-toxic sunscreen and bug spray that won’t harm waters, plants, and wildlife. This will also ensure you avoid inhaling harsh chemicals.
  • Natural Bug Spray Recipe: To a 4-oz. spray bottle add…
    • 2 oz. of witch hazel (This doesn’t need to be exact. Just eyeball it by filling the bottle a little less than half full.)
    • 2 oz. of distilled water (Fill the remainder of the bottle until it’s almost full, but leave room for adding essential oils and the spray top.)
    • Essential oil (20-25 drops for children age 3+ or 40-50 drops for adults and children age 10+)
    • Essential oils that are traditionally recommended for their bug repellent properties: Citronella, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Geranium, Spearmint, Thyme, and Clove.
  • Bring earth-friendly, compostable toilet paper when camping on state islands.

What Else Can You Do?

  • Get your firewood locally – Locally sourced firewood is firewood from within a 50-mile radius of your desired campground. Under State regulation, it is illegal to transport untreated firewood more than 50 miles from its source within New York since it could spread diseases and invasive species that can quickly kill trees.
  • Limit lantern, flashlight, and headlamp use when possible. Use only when necessary – it will help reduce light pollution for fellow campers and to create a more natural, enjoyable experience.
  • It may seem convenient to throw packaging and wrappers into the fire, but DON’T. Please dispose of all trash in trash bags and recycle packaging to avoid polluting the air. This will also protect you and your loved ones from breathing in toxic smoke.
  • Respect your natural surroundings and wildlife.
    • Do not cut down vegetation on your campsite or anyplace in the campground.
    • Do not feed wildlife. Leave them be and enjoy them from a distance.

Use this Camping Checklist (PDF) to help plan and prepare for your next camping adventure!

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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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