Friday, September 22, 2023

Outdoor Conditions (9/22): Hikers should prepare for wet trails, dress in layers

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.

A green shuttle bus that has been converted to a mobile interactive education station.

DEC Launches Pilot Mobile Education Station Sept. 22

Fridays through Sundays from Sept. 22 – Oct. 15, a DEC environmental educator will be stationed at a converted shuttle bus at the corner of Route 73 and Airport Road at Marcy Field. Stop by and come on in!


  • Watson’s East Triangle Wild Forest –The Croghan Tract Conservation Easement Main Haul Road has been reopened; however, the road remains blocked just east of Eagle Falls Canyon Road. Users should access the Main Haul Road from Fish Creek Road or Prentice Road depending on their destination.
  • Independence River Wild Forest – The tread on Dragline Trail has been washed away near the Independence River. The trail is passable, but has a 100-foot section of exposed cobbles and requires climbing a steep slope to access Bailey Road.


  • 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.

Know Before You Go:

Know Before You Go Graphic

Fire Danger (as of 9/21):

  • 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.

Temperatures in the valleys are expected to reach highs in the high-60’s, dropping to lows ranging from 40-50 overnight.

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 = 6:41 a.m.; Sunset = 6:55 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 227am-3pmMobile Education Station – Marcy Field, Keene Valley
Saturday – September 237am-3pmMobile Education Station – Marcy Field, Keene Valley
Sunday – September 247am-3pmMobile Education Station – Marcy Field, Keene Valley
Monday – September 257am-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 above 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 – Share the Trails this Hunting Season

Hunters in the woods wearing hunter orange

Fall offers opportunities for many kinds of outdoor recreation. The Adirondacks are popular among a wide variety of users, including hunters. Everyone loves these public lands in their own way. With hunting season beginning, it’s more important than ever to respect fellow user groups when out on the trail.

Our wilderness areas and public lands are open to all. To ensure the safety of every recreator, DEC encourages everyone to abide by basic hunter safety practices.

For informational videos on how to share the woods during hunting season, visit the DEC YouTube Channel on.

In the meantime, here are some things to remember:

Wear bright orange – Ensure that every member of your group has an article of bright orange clothing before heading into the woods, including pets.

Keep dogs on leash – To keep you and your dog safe, keep them on a leash and close by.

Keep it quiet – Respect the wildlife and other users in the backcountry by keeping conversations and other noises to a reasonable volume.

Practice firearm safety – Treat every firearm as if it’s loaded, always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, and be aware of your target and surroundings before touching the trigger.

Leave No Trace™ – Channel Your Inner Onion

Leave No Trace Tech Tip logo: Dress Like an Onion

Dress like an Onion!

Weather is unpredictable and can change suddenly – especially during Fall in the mountains.

Dressing in layers (like an onion) traps body heat in the space between the layers of clothing creating extra insulation. It also allows you to adapt to the changing weather throughout the day.

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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