Friday, September 15, 2023

Outdoor Conditions (9/15): Free Rt. 73 Hiker Shuttle Resumes Sept. 23

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.


  • Free Rt. 73 Hiker Shuttle Resumes Sept. 23 – The shuttle will operate from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from September 23 through October 8, and on Monday, October 9.
  • Cobble Hill Trail Temporarily Closed – The trail in Lake Placid will be closed Monday, Sept. 18, through Thursday, Sept. 21, to allow a professional trail crew to do rock and drainage work. The trail will re-open Friday, September 22.


  • Upper Locks Closure Begins Sept. 18 – Rehabilitation work will begin Sept. 18 and will close the Upper Locks between Upper Saranac and Middle Saranac Lakes. The project is expected to be complete in 2024.
  • Grass River Wild Forest – There is an exclusive rights period on the Cranberry Forest Conservation Easement until December 16th. The only public uses allowed during this time is the year-round use of the Windfall Road and Buckhorn Road for the sole purpose of accessing the river corridor, and the year-round use of the Dillon Pond Public Use Area.
  • Sept. 1 – Dec. 31 River Creel Survey  Anglers at points along the Saranac and Bouquet rivers can help fisheries biologists learn more about angler use, catch, harvest and expectations by participating in a voluntary pilot survey conducted by on-site staff.
  • Chimney Mountain Trailhead Closure – This is a reminder that the trailhead at Kings Flow with trails leading to the DEC trail system for access to Chimney Mountain, Puffer Pond from the north and along Kings Flow from the north is on private land and is closed to the public at this time. There is no easement for public use.

Know Before You Go:

Know Before You Go Graphic

Fire Danger (as of 9/14):

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

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

While this week included heat advisories throughout the region, the weekend forecast shows somewhat cooler and wetter weather. Daytime temperatures in the region will range from the mid-60’s to low-70’s throughout the weekend with nighttime lows in the low-50’s.

Even with sunny skies, inclement weather is always a possibility and can change very quickly. 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.

Conditions: Trails are still very wet and muddy. Muddy conditions on steep slopes can be unstable and slippery. The consistent wet weather has made rocks, boulders, and roots extremely slippery. Hikers should use caution on wet trails.

Sunrise/Sunset: Sunrise = 6:33 a.m.; Sunset = 7:08 p.m. The days are getting shorter as we move into fall. 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. Phone batteries drain quickly and are discouraged.

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 – September 157am-3pmMt. Van Hoevenberg Mountain Pass Lodge

Garden Trailhead, Keene Valley

Saturday – September 167am-3pmMarcy Field Shuttle Stop – Keene Valley
Sunday – September 177am-3pmMarcy Field Shuttle Stop – Keene Valley
Monday – September 187am-3pmMt. Van Hoevenberg Mountain Pass Lodge

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 slightly higher than 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: We do have ticks in the Adirondacks! 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 – Dress for Fall

Fall foliage on a mountainside.

It’s that time of year again – the mornings are cold and dewy, but the midday sun can still bring you to a boil.

The fall foliage is a fantastic backdrop for a day outdoors, but the weather can make it a challenge to dress appropriately. To help with that, remember the acronym FALL:

F – Forget the cotton. Cotton soaks up moisture and sweat, which can make you cold when it evaporates. Pick wicking, breathable, and insulative materials.

A – Adjust for the temperature. Keep an eye on the weather and plan your clothing accordingly.

L – Layer up. Start with a breathable base layer, an insulative middle layer, and an outer jacket or shell to protect you from the elements. Always pack an extra warm layer in your bag just in case the day is longer or colder than you expected.

L – Listen to your body. If you start to feel yourself getting too warm or too cold, stop and adjust your layers before it becomes an issue. If you start to sweat, you’ll cool too fast when you take a layer off and may become cold. Remember: hypothermia is always a risk, especially on cool, damp days.

Leave No Trace™ – Stick to the Trail

A woman hiking through the colorful leaves of fall.

Just because the fallen leaves cover the forest floor, doesn’t mean the plants beneath are gone. It’s important to stick to the trail and durable surfaces as much as possible to avoid trampling trailside vegetation and widening our impact.

Even when you can’t see them, plants on the forest floor are working hard to prepare for the changing season. This is even more important at higher elevations where rare and sensitive alpine vegetation is present, and where we’ve already had our first frost.

Let’s all try our best to avoid the gradual creeping impact of widening and eroding trails. By traveling on marked paths and durable surfaces, we can each do our part to preserve the natural beauty of our wild areas.

Follow the Seven Principles of Leave No TraceTM to maintain minimal impact on the environment and the natural resources of the Adirondacks.

Share Your Ideas: Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act

$4 billion for the Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act

This spring and summer, the public and potential funding applicants had the opportunity to learn more about the Bond Act at a series of educational listening sessions.

Missed out on attending a session? Check out the virtual session recordings.

Share your ideas for how the Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act could help your community and environment. Complete a short survey to collect project ideas and other feedback. This survey will provide stakeholders and members of the public a place to share these ideas.

We need your input to help the New York State team select projects and deliver funds while also ensuring a transparent and collaborative process that benefits all New Yorkers.

The deadline for ideas and comments has been extended to September 30.

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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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