Friday, June 7, 2024

Outdoor Conditions (6/7): Get Outdoors & Get Together Day June 8 at Ausable Point Campground

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.

NEW THIS WEEK

  • Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest Route Opening: Roosevelt Truck Trail, a motorized access route for people with disabilities (by CP3 permit only), is cleared of blowdown and open for the season.
  • Boreas Ponds Tract Road Opening: Gulf Brook Road is open to the Four Corners Parking Lot. The motorized access route for people with disabilities (by CP3 permit only), is also open.

LAST WEEK

  • High Peaks Wilderness Maintenance: DEC will be doing maintenance on the bridge over the Hudson River on the East River Trail, in the Town of Newcomb on Tuesday 6/4/24 thru Wednesday 6/5/24. This trail provides access to Mt. Adams, to Allen Mtn and Flowed Lands. The bridge will be closed to use by the public during this time, though hikers may wade through the river at the old ford, upstream of the bridge. Signage will be placed at the trailhead, at the old ford and the bridge. Thank you for respecting the safety concerns and avoiding the worksite during the day or after hours. If anything changes with the dates or times, DEC will share the information, in addition to announce the completion of the project. Please direct any questions to: tate.connor@dec.ny.gov.
  • Grass River Wild Forest Maintenance: The Rainbow Falls foot trail along the Tooley Pond Road will undergo maintenance during the weeks of June 3 to 7 and June 10 to 14, 2024. A foot bridge will be replaced, which may make Rainbow Falls temporarily inaccessible to hikers.
  • Aldrich Pond Wild Forest Road Closure: The canoe launch accessing the Little River on the Youngs Road is temporarily closed to allow a re-route of the road during a culvert replacement project.
  • Bog River Complex Maintenance: The maintenance work on Low’s Lower Dam has re-started for the 2024 field season and the area is expected to remain closed through the fall of 2024. Additional information can be found in the updated press release.
  • Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest Maintenance: The Otterbrook Road will undergo maintenance during the summer and fall seasons in 2024 and 2025. Campsite 2 along State Route 421 and Campsite 9 along the Otterbrook Road will be temporarily used as gravel stockpile sites and will be closed to camping until roadwork is completed.
  • Moose River Plains Complex Road Opening: The gate over Otter going toward Muskrat Lake is now opened.
  • Essex Chain Lakes Complex Road Openings: All access roads from the north (town of Newcomb) to the Essex Chain of Lakes are now open. Also, the motorized access route for people with disabilities (by CP3 permit only) to Fifth Lake is passable; high clearance vehicles recommended. Be sure to get the current year’s lock combination.
  • Lake George Wild Forest Road Openings: All MAPPWD routes in Lake George Wild Forest are open.
  • Lake George Wild Forest Campsite Repairs: Campsites 1-4 (Scofield Flats and Pike’s Beach) in the Hudson River Special Management Area are being repaired this spring and may be unavailable during the week while work is being completed.

Know Before You Go (as of 6/6):

Fire Danger: Check the fire rating map for daily updates.

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

Weekend temperatures in the region are expected to produce lows in the upper-40s and highs in the low-70s, with cloudy skies and occasional rain showers (especially on Saturday) all weekend. Beware… cloudy skies + high humidity = black flies’ favorite weather!

Check the National Weather Service’s Mountain Point Forecast for more accurate forecasts at elevation on or near your intended route.

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

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 feels warm outside. Be prepared with extra dry layers and keep an eye on the weather.

Conditions: Trails were extremely dry last week and water levels are still very low going into the weekend, but they will be hopefully raising back to normal with the rain forecasted. With that said, expect conditions to be dry to muddy depending on how much rain we end up getting.

Sunrise/Sunset: Sunrise = 5:11 a.m.; Sunset = 8:37 p.m. 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.

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.

Seasonal Road Closures: See DEC’s Adirondack Backcountry Information page for specific road conditions and information.

Water Crossings: Water levels are very low for this time of year in the Adirondack region (as of Thursday, 6/6). 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.

General Notices: 

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

Adirondack Mountain Reserve: From May 1 through Oct. 31 (2024), reservations are required to access the parking lot, trailheads, and trails located on the privately owned 7,000-acre AMR property in the town of Keene in the Adirondack High Peaks region. For a list of frequently asked questions, visit AMR’s website

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) 623-1250.

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.

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.

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 open 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.

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.

Get Outdoors and Get Together Day, June 8

Ausable Point Campground in Peru, NY, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

DEC and State Parks, in partnership with the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and the Division of Veterans’ Services, is hosting this free event for people of all abilities, ages, and backgrounds to enjoy the outdoors and learn new skills!

Outdoors Day 2019, Mount Loretto.

Check out the following informational tables/activities at Ausable Point Campground:

  • Track Talk (rubber tracks, furs, taxidermy)
  • Leave No Trace Education Station ​
  • Tree ID/Invasive Species
  • Campfire Safety & S’mores
  • Nature Art
  • Archery
  • Outdoor Games (e.g., ring toss, parachute, etc.) ​
  • 10am Introduction to Birding Demo
  • 12pm Fishing Demo
  • And more!

Get Outdoors & Get Together Day coincides with National Get Outdoors Day, an annual event to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun. For more info and a complete list of sites, check Get Outdoors & Get Together Day. Please contact the site you’re interested in directly for specifics on available adaptive equipment. Guests are encouraged to bring their own water, snacks, and sunscreen. See you there!

Safety and Education – Rotten Cotton

The sun is out and so are hikers across the Adirondacks!

If you’re doing any sort of outdoor recreation where you’ll be working up a sweat, make sure to dress appropriately for your own comfort, and even safety. You probably know better than to hike up Cascade in flip flops and jeans, but being methodical about everything down to the material of your clothing makes a big difference.

You may have heard the saying, “cotton kills.” While cotton isn’t inherently dangerous, it’s the least ideal type of fabric for wet, cold weather or for vigorous outdoor activities in general. That’s because cotton retains moisture more than other fabrics- such as wool or polyester, which are moisture-wicking and successfully draw sweat away from the skin and evaporate it. Cotton, on the other hand, absorbs and holds onto the sweat. This makes your clothing heavier, and even worse, it makes you colder!

How could wearing cotton make you cold even if it’s a sunny June day?:

  • Cotton gets wet from your sweat (or the rain).
  • The air pockets in the fabric fill with water.
  • The clothing loses its ability to insulate you.
  • If the air is colder than your body temperature, the lack of insulation will make you feel chilled.
  • This can lead to quickly becoming dangerously cold or even developing hypothermia.

What’s more rotten than cotton? A lack of general preparedness. You don’t have to fully avoid cotton; just be smart as a whole about your clothing/gear choices. If you’re wearing cotton, be sure to pack extra layers and be on the lookout for signs of hypothermia.

Whether you are hiking, mountain biking, or paddling, 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.

10 hiking essentials

Leave No Trace – Back to Basics

Whether you’ve had years of Leave No Trace education, or have never heard of the Seven Principles, the start of the season is a great time to review. Below, we’ll outline the basic principles of Leave No Trace, as a reminder to enjoy the outdoors safely and sustainably.

The Seven Principles

1 – Plan Ahead and Prepare: Having proper plans and equipment makes the whole trip better. Not only will you have more fun, but you’ll do it safely and responsibly.

2 – Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces: By sticking to durable surfaces, we can reduce our impact on the wilderness that we’re enjoying. Leaving it that way for others.

3 – Dispose of Waste Properly: If you pack it in, pack it out. Never leave trash or food scraps in the backcountry, and always dig a cat hole when you use the bathroom.

4 – Leave What You Find: Leave natural objects and artifacts for others to discover too. Picking plants, carving trees, and altering campsites leaves a scar on the area.

5 – Minimize Campfire Impact: Keep your fires small. Always check the fire danger and regulations of an area and use preexisting fire rings whenever you can.

6 – Respect Wildlife: Keep your distance and let the wildlife stay wild. Never feed or approach animals and store your food properly when camping to avoid encounters.

7 – Be Considerate of Others: Be courteous of others in the backcountry. Everyone is there to enjoy the outdoors in their own way, so be understanding and considerate.

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

Better Together graphic

Courtesy of LNT.org

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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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