Friday, August 4, 2023

Outdoor Conditions (8/4) – Marcy Brook Lean-to being repaired

outdoor conditions logo

High Peaks Wilderness – Starting Thursday, July 27, Marcy Brook Lean-to will be unavailable for use. The lean-to is being repaired over several weekends by the Adirondack 46ers Volunteers. Campers can utilize existing tent sites across the hiking trail from the lean-to or camp at nearby lean-tos.

A high-water and muddy trails advisory is in effect until further notice: Recent heavy rains have washed out numerous roads, bridges, and trails. The extent of damage is still being assessed. More thunderstorms bringing potential heavy rain are forecast throughout the remainder of the week. Users are advised to:

  • avoid recreating near and in streams and rivers due to fast-moving currents and floating debris.
  • avoid high-elevation trails to protect the thin soils and fragile habitats until things dry out and harden.

Know Before You Go:

Know Before You Go Graphic

Fire Danger (as of 8/3):

  • 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 will hover in the high-70’s throughout the weekend. Nighttime lows will remain in the 50’s. Heavy thunderstorms are likely. This will also likely affect the already saturated trails, resulting in further flooding and high water.

Pack the appropriate layers and gear in case your trip goes longer than planned or an unexpected overnight occurs. Remember – hypothermia is always a risk in wet conditions, even when it’s warm outside. Be prepared with extra dry layers and keep an eye on the weather.

Thunderstorms: 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

Sunrise/Sunset: Sunrise = 5:47 a.m.; Sunset = 8:15 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.

Mount Colden Trapdike: The trapdike is considered a technical climb and not a hike. Climbers should be prepared with helmets, ropes, and climbing gear to ascend this route. Hikers looking to summit Mount Colden should do so via the hiking routes. Attempting to climb the trapdike unprepared can result in a rescue operation, serious injury, or death.

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 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.


General Notices

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

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.

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.

Hiker Information Stations: Environmental Educators will be stationed at the following locations this weekend to assist with planning, preparation, and answering questions.

Friday – August 47am-3pmHigh Peaks Rest Area – Route 87 Northbound

Mt. Van Hoevenberg Mountain Pass Lodge

Saturday – August 57am-3pmMt. Van Hoevenberg Mountain Pass Lodge

Garden Trailhead – Keene Valley

Sunday – August 67am-3pmMt. Van Hoevenberg Mountain Pass

Garden Trailhead – Keene Valley

Monday – August 77am-3pmCascade Mountain Trailhead

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. Check recent notices for road closure announcements.

Water Crossings: Water levels are HIGH 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 – How Far is a Mile?

two hikers walk down the trail

Distances in the backcountry can be deceiving. A mile on a city sidewalk is very different from a mile up a mountain, and miles in the mountains will take significantly longer as a result.

How can you pick the appropriate mileage for your next hike?

Do a short hike first – Picking a shorter hike that has similar terrain and elevation gain to your objective is a great way to estimate how long a bigger trek might take.

Check the elevation – A hike may appear easier than it is due to its short distance. Checking the elevation gain of a hike can tell you just how steep and challenging it actually is. (Hint – paper maps are great for finding out exactly where the steep sections of trail will be)

Find out for yourself – Remember that everyone hikes at their own pace. Online resources are great for inspiration but can’t provide reliable estimates of how fast YOU will complete a hike.

Have a safety net – Always leave more time than you think you need to complete the hike; in case it takes longer than expected. Carry the proper gear to be able to stay safe should you be caught out after dark. Always check the map for emergency exit routes – either turning around or taking a shorter route out.


Leave No Trace™ – The Trash Timeline

Leave No Trace 2021 Partner Logo

Follow the Seven Principles of Leave No TraceTM 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!

How long do you think these common items take to decompose naturally? It might be surprising how long an unassuming banana peel can impact the environment and others’ experiences.

Orange or Banana Peel ———– Up to 2 years

Cigarette Butts ———————1 to 5 years

Leather —————————— 1 to 5 years

Wool Socks ————————-1 to 5 years

Gum ——————————— 5 years

Plastic-Coated Paper ————5 years

Plastic Bags ————————10 to 20 years

Nylon Fabric ————————30 to 40 years

Tin Cans —————————–50 years

Aluminum Can ———————80 to 100 years

Plastic 6-Pack Holder ————100 years

Glass Bottles ———————-1,000,000 years

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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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