Friday, June 23, 2023

Outdoor Conditions (6/23): Being aware of oncoming thunderstorms, safety tips

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.


Nothing new this week

Know Before You Go:

Know Before You Go Graphic

Fire Danger (as of 6/22):

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

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

Temperatures in the region are estimated to sit in the high 70’s, low 80’s. Thunderstorms and rain are expected throughout the weekend. Keep an eye on the weather and on the skies. Thunderstorms can form in the valleys quickly. Avoid high elevations and exposed areas during thunderstorms. Anticipate colder temperatures at higher elevations. Pack the appropriate layers and gear in case your trip goes longer than planned or an unexpected overnight occurs.

Sunrise/Sunset: Sunrise = 5:11 a.m.; Sunset = 8:42 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.

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 slightly 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.

Weather Awareness

Check the Weather Forecast and Current Conditions

  • For the day of your trip.
  • For the night of your trip and the next day so you can be prepared for an unexpected night in the woods.
  • Know what time the sun sets and plan your hike to return before dark.


  • Thunderstorms can pop up even if they are not forecast.
  • Watch for darkening skies, increased winds, lightning flashes, and the rumble of thunder.
  • Avoid summits and other open areas during thunderstorms.
  • As soon as you are first aware of an approaching thunderstorm move to lower elevations and seek shelter.
  • If caught outside in a thunderstorm find a low spot away from tall trees, seek an area of shorter trees, and crouch down away from tree trunks.
  • Make yourself as short as possible by:
    • Sitting on your pack or sleeping pad with your knees flexed; and
    • Hugging your knees to keep your feet together to minimize the ground effect of a nearby lightning strike.

Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke occur when your body’s cooling mechanisms are overcome by heat, causing a dangerously high body temperature.

  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Slow your pace.
  • Drink water and rest more often.
  • Seek shade and avoid long periods in direct sunlight.
  • Do not hike in extremely hot weather.

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!

Geo-tagging Social Media Posts – The 8th Principle

Geo-tagging remains one of the easiest ways of sharing outdoor adventures with your friends and followers on social media. Quickly providing a location by geo-tagging allows the bulk of the post to focus on anything from diving into a locale’s past and culture, highlighting new happenings, or simply letting people know where you’ve been.

However, with the ability to reach potentially millions of users, posting responsibly is key to protecting natural resources and other visitors who might wish to duplicate your experience. Consider the followings:

  • Many in your audience may be unfamiliar with the location and could use your post to determine what to expect during a visit. For that reason, share content that depicts all participants demonstrating safe actions and following legal regulations.
  • Before you post, consider if the people shown in your photos are setting a good example by practicing the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace.
  • Would the place you are geo-tagging withstand the added traffic your post might attract? If not, consider leaving the geo-tag off. If the area is designed for sustainable recreation, perhaps that’s a great location to make more people aware of.
  • Is there important information people should know about that specific location or an issue you are trying to draw attention to? If so, geo-tagging can be helpful. If the location is unimportant to the rest of your message, consider leaving it off.

Your posts have the power to inspire the change you wish to see. As you venture into the comments, remember that everyone who ventures into the great outdoors has a different experience. Be considerate of other users – bullying and shaming have no place in the Leave No Trace™ community!

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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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