Friday, May 19, 2023

Outdoor Conditions (5/19): Fourth Lake Boat Launch in Inlet opens May 20

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


Adirondack Rail Trail

  • The section of trail between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake is currently closed for construction. Use of this corridor during the construction period is prohibited.

Jessup River Wild Forest

  • Perkins Clearing Road, Military Road, and Jessup River Road have been opened for the season; this includes access to the Pillsbury Mountain trailhead.

Blue Ridge Wilderness

  • Cedar River Road is opened allowing access to Wakely Fire Tower parking and trailhead.
  • Waterway access to South Inlet and Raquette Lake from the Rt. 28 pull off may be limited due to bridge construction.

Blue Mountain Wild Forest

  • O’Neil Flow Easement: Township 19 Road is open for the season

Saranac Lake Wild Forest

  • Connery Pond Road and the Road to Saint Germain and Meadow Ponds are now open.


High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Mud Season: Hikers are advised to avoid trails above 2,500ft for the duration of the muddy trail advisory for several reasons:
    • sliding boots destroy trail tread, can damage surrounding vegetation, and erode thin soils causing washouts;
    • rotten snow and monorails are a safety hazard even with proper equipment; and
    • high elevation and alpine vegetation are extremely fragile in spring months as they start their regrowth after winter.
    • Until conditions improve, hikers are encouraged to responsibly explore low-elevation trails or enjoy other forms of recreation.

Lake George Wild Forest

  • Dacy Clearing gate in Shelving Rock is open.
  • Jabe Pond Road and Lily Pond Road mud gates are open.

Grass River Wild Forest

  • Access to Allen Pond via the Allen Pond Road on the Tooley Pond Conservation Easement is open for the season.
  • Access to the Long Pond Conservation Easement via the Main Haul/Granshue Road is open for the season.
  • Access to the Forest Preserve River Corridor along the South Branch of the Grass River via the Windfall or Buckhorn Roads is open for the season.

Pine Lake Primitive Area

  • Chain of Lakes Rd South from Indian Lake is open to the former Outer Gooley Club Site.

Black River Wild Forest

  • Loop Road is now open.

Fourth Lake Boat Launch Open for the Season

Fourth Lake Boat Launch Improvements

The Fourth Lake Boat Launch in the town of Inlet, Hamilton County, will open on May 20 for the season. The boat launch closed last fall to undergo rehabilitation repairs and improvements to the site. Improvements include new pavement, line striping, directional arrows, new kiosk, and new access dock. In addition, fencing was installed along the property border.

The new boat launch will be open starting May 20, 2023.

Know Before You Go:

Know Before You Go Graphic

Fire Danger (as of 5/18):

  • Adirondack Park – HIGH
  • Champlain Region – HIGH
  • Southern Tier – HIGH
  • Check the fire rating map for daily updates.

Temperatures & Conditions: These are forecast temperatures for base elevations throughout the region.

Weekend temperatures range from the mid-60’s to low-70’s. Overnight lows are expected to remain in the low-50’s. Anticipate colder temperatures near or below freezing in higher elevations. Pack the appropriate layers and gear in case your trip goes longer than planned or an unexpected overnight occurs.

Conditions: High Elevations continue to be a mix of mud and snow with some ice left over. Hikers should expect rotten snow spines with areas of deep snow above 3200’ in elevation, particularly on north-facing trails.  River crossings will continue to be high due to recent rain and continued snowmelt and should be approached with caution. Snowshoes and microspikes are still needed for many 4000’ peaks.

*Trail conditions are wet and variable across the Adirondacks – even below 2500’. Take caution and choose your objectives carefully.

Sunrise/Sunset: Sunrise = 5:23 a.m.; Sunset = 8:19 p.m. Make a timeline and stick to it. Pack at least one headlamp (two headlamps recommended) even if you expect to finish your activity before sunset.

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.

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 Crossings: Water levels are well below average for this time of year in the Adirondack 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.

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.

Safety & Education

Hiking Essentials

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.

Be Tick Free

No matter what you plan to do this season, if you walk through tall grass, there’s a chance you encounter some unwanted guests: ticks.

These small bugs live close to the ground in shady, moist areas, and can transmit harmful diseases through their bites. Lucky for us there are easy ways to protect yourself:

Wear Light Colored Clothing – This makes spotting ticks much easier.

Tuck In Your Clothes – Tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks.

Treat Your Clothing – Spray down your shoes, socks, and clothing with a bug repellant.

Shower Soon After – If you can, shower shortly after going outside.

Check For Them – The easiest method of all is to simply look for ticks on your body.

For more information on tick-borne illnesses and how to prevent them, visit DEC’s Be Tick Free webpage.

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!

 Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints

All About Spring Flowers (And Why Not to Pick Them)

Little bursts of color are popping up across the Adirondacks. Wildflower season is almost upon us. Peppering the trails with new life, these spring flowers are highly sensitive. For that reason, it’s more important than ever to respect the flora from a distance.

DEC encourages anyone enjoying the trails during this time to follow Leave No Trace Principle 4: Leave What You Find. Many spring wildflowers run their course before the trees begin to block out sunlight from reaching the forest floor. This means they are only able to bloom for a few short weeks. During this time, many hikers and other users take to the trails in hopes of catching a glimpse of these fleeting species.

Never pick the wildflowers. Take a photo and leave them for others to enjoy just as you did. Some flowers, like trilliums, will only go to seed rarely, and may not come to bloom for years! Many people, picking just a few flowers, could heavily impact such an ephemeral species.

Flowers in the alpine are especially important. These species are incredibly rare. Some flowers can only be found on particular Adirondack peaks for a few weeks each year. Alpine species are restricted to just under 100 acres above tree line in the entire High Peaks Wilderness. They are even more sensitive to trampling as they must already survive the harsh environment of a mountain summit.

Related Stories

Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *