Monday, December 5, 2022

DEC Recreation Highlight: Ditch the App, Bring a Map

Winter hiking

Knowing the fundamentals of how to read a map and use a compass should be at the core of your outdoor skills. GPS tools or apps are great to have, but they aren’t a replacement for a paper map and compass and the ability to use them. Even if you have top of the line technology for wayfinding, a map and compass should still always be among the essentials in your pack.

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Friday, December 2, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (12/2): Snowshoes suggested for high summits, trails messy & slippery due to thin ice coverage

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

High Peaks Wilderness Snow Report (12/01): There is approximately 5 inches of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin. Higher summits have approximately a foot of snow – bring snowshoes. Ski trails are not in good condition at this time. Trails in general are messy and slippery due to thin ice coverage. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are not crossable.

William C. Whitney Wilderness: Public access to Lake Lila is closed for the winter season.

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Saturday, November 26, 2022

DEC Announces Start of Lows Lower Dam Rehabilitation in Town of Piercefield, St. Lawrence County

dec logoOn Tuesday, November 22, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the gate on the access road leading to the Bog River Dam, also known as Lows Lower Dam, will be closed starting Dec. 6, to allow for construction to maintain the dam. The road will remain closed through the 2023 field season. All vehicles must be removed from the access road to dam and parking area near the dam by 12 p.m. Dec. 6.

The project is necessary to bring the dam into compliance with New York State dam safety regulations. Construction activities will affect recreational users of the Horseshoe Lake, Hitchins Pond, and Lows Lake areas, including the cartop boat launch and parking area at the Lower Dam. The river access and parking area at Lows Lower Dam, located near the end of State Highway 421, will be closed beginning Dec. 6, and the road will remain closed for the duration of the construction project. Construction activities may take place seven days per week and are expected to last at least through the 2023 field season.

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Friday, November 25, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (11/25): Snowshoes or skis required for high summits, trails messy with thin snow/ice coverage

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

High Peaks Wilderness Snow Report (11/23): 13cm at the Colden Caretaker Cabin. High summits have enough accumulation for snowshoes or skis to be required. Low elevation ski trails do not have adequate coverage for skiing. In general, trails are messy with thin snow and ice coverage. Avalanche and Colden lakes have some ice present but coverage is not complete or consistent. 

Lake George Wild Forest: The Cat Mountain Red Trail from Edgecomb Pond Road to the summit is currently undermarked due to hikers taking trail markers as souvenirs. The trail is difficult to follow in winter conditions without proper marking. Please, leave trail markers where you find them for the safety of other hikers. The Blue Trail offers a well-marked alternate route to the summit.

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Friday, November 18, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (11/18): Longway Trail in Shelving Rock impassable due to blowdown, Pharaoh Lake Trail bridge is out

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

Boreas Ponds Tract: Gulf Brook Road is closed to motor vehicle traffic for the winter season starting at the Blue Ridge Parking Area. The Blue Ridge Parking Area will remain open – plowing of the lot is subject to the Town’s plowing schedule.

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness: A bridge on the Pharaoh Lake Trail is out. Crossing may not be possible during high water – users should be prepared to turn back if conditions are unsafe. The bridge is at a curve in the trail, with steep approaches from both directions. Winter users should be prepared to stop completely at this location to assess conditions before crossing.

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Monday, November 14, 2022

Recreation Highlight: Low Elevation Hikes for the Shoulder Season

It’s stick season in the Adirondacks. As with any season change, variable conditions can heavily impact the state of the trails. Consider choosing a low-elevation hike or interpretive trail over the next couple weekends to avoid inclement weather and trail conditions.

The Adirondack Day Hikes webpage has plenty of great low-elevation options. Here are a few to consider this coming weekend:

Rock Lake Trail – Just 1.6 miles roundtrip, the shores of Rock Lake provide gorgeous scenery at a very approachable distance and low elevation. This would be a safe hike to fit in before the rain shows up for the weekend.

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Friday, November 11, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (11/11): Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway to close for the 2022 season this evening

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information

NEW THIS WEEK

Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway: The parkway will close for the 2022 season at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 11. Please note the shuttle to the summit of Prospect Mountain is not available at this time. Admission fees to access the highway are temporarily waived. For more information about visiting the Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway Day Use Area, go to DEC’s website.

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Monday, November 7, 2022

Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Parkway Will Remain Open with Free Access through Nov. 11

dec logo

On November 4, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced the Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Parkway in Lake George will remain open through Veterans Day with free access. The parkway will close for the 2022 season at 4 p.m. on Friday, November 11.

Please note: The shuttle to the summit of Prospect Mountain is not available at this time. Admission fees to access the highway are temporarily waived.

For more information about visiting the Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway Day Use Area, go to DEC’s website.

Photo at top courtesy of the NYS DEC.


Friday, November 4, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (11/4): First phase of Adirondack Rail Trail construction has begun, will pause in early December

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information

NEW THIS WEEK

Adirondack Rail Trail: Construction has begun on the first phase of the future Adirondack Rail Trail. The first segment of the trail between Station Street in Lake Placid and the intersection of Cedar Street and Route 86 in Saranac Lake will be closed to public access during active construction. Construction will pause in early December, allowing for winter recreation. Details will be provided on the rail trail webpage as they become available. Please respect posted signage and barricades in work areas and email Info.R5@dec.ny.gov with questions.

High Peaks Wilderness: Significant ice has accumulated on some high-elevation trails. Be prepared with appropriate traction devices, including micro spikes for use on thin ice over flat trails and crampons for thick ice and ice on steeper slopes.

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Friday, October 28, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (10/28): Little Moose Lake Outlet crossing difficult to navigate due to beaver activity

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information

NEW THIS WEEK

Moose River Plains Wild Forest:

  • Wilson Ridge Trail – The Little Moose Lake Outlet crossing is difficult to cross due to beaver activity.
  • Otter Brook Trail – Fording the Otter Brook may be difficult during periods of high water. The trail east of Otter Brook is overgrown and blown down trees may impede travel.

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Sunday, October 23, 2022

Lake George Association Seeks Volunteers for New AlgaeWatch Monitoring Program

LAKE GEORGE — The Lake George Association has launched a new citizen science program called AlgaeWatch and is seeking volunteers to monitor their favorite areas of the Lake for excessive algae growth and, especially, harmful algal blooms (HABs). Interested volunteers can sign up for the program at lakegeorgeassociation.org/algaewatch and also watch a new LGA educational video on the dangers posed by HABs and what can be done to prevent them.

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Friday, October 21, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (10/21): Cascade Pond outlet bridge damaged and unstable

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information

NEW THIS WEEK

Boreas Ponds Tract: A temporary bridge was installed over the LaBier Flow Dam on Gulf Brook Road in the Boreas Ponds Tract, restoring access to the Four Corners Parking Area at the terminus of Gulf Brook Road for pedestrians and motorists.

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Saturday, October 15, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (10/15): Main Haul Road to be closed this winter due to logging, East Side Trail to serve as alternative trail

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information

NEW THIS WEEK

Watson’s East Triangle (Croghan and Oswegatchie Conservation Easement Tracts):

  • The northern portion of the Main Haul Road (Croghan Tract) will be closed to snowmobiles this winter due to logging. The East Side Trail will serve as an alternative trail – please follow directional signage.
  • The Steam Sleigh Snowmobile Trail will not be groomed this year (Watson’s East Triangle Wild Forest). The Casey Rumble Trail (Oswegatchie Conservation Easement) will be groomed to serve as an alternative.

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Friday, October 7, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (10/7): Advance parking reservations required through Oct. 31 at Adirondack Mountain Reserve

outdoor conditions logo

The following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information

NEW THIS WEEK

Reminder – Parking Reservations Required at Adirondack Mountain Reserve: Advance parking reservations are required through October 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. To reserve a spot, visit AMR’s website. Walk-ins are not permitted and day-of reservations are not available. Visitors without a reservation should seek alternate hikes. Hiker shuttles do not drop off at AMR.

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Friday, September 30, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (9/30): Timber harvesting finished at Flatrock Mountain Conservation Easement, entire property reopened for public recreation

outdoor conditions logoThe following are only the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for a full list of notices, including seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information

NEW THIS WEEK

Bog River Complex: The Student Conservation Association (SCA) recently completed several improvements to primitive campsites located on Tupper Lake, part of Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest. Improvements to 11 campsites included new campsite numbers on the shoreline, replacement of privies, rebuilt fire rings, and staining of two lean-to’s.

Independence River Wild Forest: Water will be shut off at the Otter Creek Assembly Area the week after Columbus Day weekend.

Black River Wild Forest: Timber harvesting has been completed on the Flatrock Mountain Conservation Easement. The entire property has been re-opened for public recreation.
Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Tract – Barnes Pond Public Use Area: The gate has been opened for hunting season. Use of high clearance vehicles is recommended.

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