Friday, November 3, 2023

Outdoor Conditions (11/3): Daylight Savings ends this Sunday, Nov. 5

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.


Daylight Savings ends this Sunday (Nov. 5). Remember to account for time changes when planning your daylight hours.


No New Updates Last Week

Know Before You Go:

Know Before You Go Graphic

Fire Danger: Check the fire rating map for updates.

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

The weather is expected to slowly deteriorate throughout the weekend. Friday, the forecast calls for sun throughout the day, but showers at night, with the chance of showers becoming more and more likely Saturday and Sunday. Forecasted highs are expected to hover around 50. Nighttime lows are anticipated as high-30’s to 40 at base elevations.

Reminder: These forecasts are for low elevations. Anticipate losing 5 degrees Fahrenheit for every 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Snow and ice has accumulated throughout the High Peaks, and will likely remain throughout the weekend.

Conditions: Trails are very wet, muddy, and potentially frozen. Muddy or snowy 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 = 7:35 a.m.; Sunset = 5:41 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.

Reminder: Daylight Savings ends this Sunday (Nov. 5). Remember to account for time changes when expecting sunrise or 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.

Watch for Moose: Motorists should be aware that moose are rutting at this time of year. Moose will be wandering around looking for mates and walking into roads without paying attention to vehicles. Take precautions to avoid colliding with moose.

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. Check recent notices for road closure announcements.

Water Crossings: Water levels are above average for this time of year in the Adirondack region. Expect water levels to rise with new rainfall. 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.

Share the Woods: Both Hunters and Hikers Recreate on Public Lands


With hunting seasons underway and fall hiking still at its peak, DEC is encouraging outdoor enthusiasts to follow safety precautions while recreating this fall and winter. Whether you are a hiker, a nature photographer, a leaf peeper, or a mountain biker, following a few simple safety measures can make your experience as safe as possible while hunters and trappers are afield.

Tips for both hikers and hunters afield this fall:

  1. Tell someone where you’re going and when you’re planning to return. If your plans change, notify them.
  2. Dress for the weather – account for both location and elevation changes.
  3. Become familiar with the trail you plan on hiking or the area you plan on hunting.
  4. Wear bright clothing – blaze orange or blaze pink. Bright colors allow others to see you more easily and from farther away.
  5. Make sure you pack your bag with the 10 Essentials, especially a light source, map, and first aid kit.

For more tips on sharing the woods this fall, check out the recent video by DEC.

Hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters bearing firearms or archery equipment while hiking on trails. Hunters are fellow outdoor recreationists and hunting is permitted on Forest Preserve and Conservation Easement lands. Hunting accidents involving non-hunters are extremely rare.

If you decide to adventure with your pet, make sure to keep them on a leash. Loose pets can cause problems with other recreators and can get into trouble with wild animals. Also, to make pets more identifiable in the woods, give them a brightly colored collar, leash or other covering. DEC maintains hiking trails and permits hunting in many areas of forest preserve lands in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks, as well as in state forests, wildlife management areas, and unique areas. Find a place near you by visiting our website, checking out DECinfo Locator, or downloading the NY Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife App. Many trails are also accessible to people with disabilities.

Safety & Education – Early Season Responsibility

Winter Hike Smart NY Poster

Last week, we talked about how much snow it takes to be considered a durable surface in the backcountry (at least six inches). The real question is, when there’s that much snow on the ground, how do you avoid sinking in?

Any time there’s eight inches of snow or more, DEC requires backcountry users to wear snowshoes or skis to avoid post-holing. This is slightly more than Leave No Trace recommends as a durable surface, but it means that any time the snow is durable enough to be traveled on responsibly, you will likely need some sort of flotation from skis or snowshoes.

When travelling above tree line, particularly while the snow is thin early in the season, be sure to stick to the established path. If you’re breaking trail, try to stick to exposed rocks and ice to avoid trampling alpine vegetation. If no rocks or ice are available, then travel on the deepest snow available. If that’s the case, there is probably enough snow to warrant snowshoes

While the snow down low may still be well below the requirement for skis and snowshoes, don’t be afriad to change plans or turn around if the conditions change as you gain elevation. Snow accumulates much faster at higher elevations and may catch you off guard.

If you do plan on heading up to a summit, check the weather. Snow in the valleys could indicate even more snow on a summit ridge. Travel responsibly and enjoy the late-fall snowfall.

Leave No Trace™ – Let Wildlife Prepare for Winter

person hiking on a snow covered trail with hiking poles

Late-fall can be an especially sensitive time for wildlife as they prepare for the long winter ahead.

Respect the wildlife, keep your distance, and pack out all waste to set them up for a successful winter.

Rule of Thumb – If you stick out your thumb and close one eye, you should be able to fully cover an animal in the distance. Keeping a distance will allow fauna to feed and travel naturally.

Pack it Out – Food scraps and other waste can be unnatural, nutrient sparse, and potentially harmful to wildlife that are preparing for a time of food scarcity.

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

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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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