Saturday, May 28, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (5/28): 10 Hiking Essentials

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

NEW THIS WEEK:

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: The lock between Middle and Lower Saranac Lakes will be open for public use during the holiday weekend. It will close again on Tuesday, May 31, for additional work. Canoes and kayaks can carry around the locks. DEC will continue to provide updates as they are available.

Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway is now open for the 2022 season. Shuttles to the summit are available. Call (518) 668-5198 for current accessibility information.

Terry Mountain State Forest: The gate on Redd Road is now open.

Moose River Plains Complex:

  • Both entrance gates (Cedar River Entrance and Limekiln Lake Entrance) to Moose River Plains Camping Area are now open for the season. Roads are passable, but road shoulders may be soft in areas.
  • Rock Dam Road remains closed until further notice.
  • Indian Lake Road is gated shut at the Otter Brook Bridge until further notice.

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Friday, May 20, 2022

Outdoor conditions (5/20): Muddy trails, warmer weather, cold water temps

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

NEW THIS WEEK:

High Peaks Wilderness: Conditions, 05/19: Conditions are a mix of rotten snow and lots of mud. Dress in layers and bring extra so you can keep yourself dry. Ice may persist in places above 4,000 feet, so microspikes are still recommended. Recent rains may have swollen waterways making bridgeless water crossing difficult or even dangerous. Please avoid all trails above 2,500 feet while DEC’s muddy trails advisory is in effect.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, May 13, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (5/13): Tips for hiking with dogs, being prepared for sudden inclement weather while hiking

outdoor conditions logoRecent Notices

The following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

NEW THIS WEEK:

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Snow Conditions, 05/12: There is persistent packed snow on trails above 4,000 feet, especially on north aspects. Trails are very muddy above 3,000 feet. There is high fire danger at the moment. Temperatures may reach hazardous highs this weekend, and thunderstorms are forecast. Please avoid all trails above 2,500 feet while DEC’s muddy trails advisory is in effect.
  • The gate on Corey’s Road is now open.
  • The gate at Clear Pond, on the Elk Lake Conservation Easement, is now open for the season. The public is allowed to drive to the Elk Lake parking lot and trailhead to park for access to the Slide Brook Trail (to the Dix Mtns) and the Elk Lake Marcy Trail. Parking is limited to the capacity of the parking lot. No parking is permitted along the Elk Lake Road or in any other pull-offs. If the parking lot is full, hikers must park at the Upper Elk Lake Road parking lot on the west side of the Elk Lake Road approximately 2.3 miles south of the Elk Lake parking lot and trailhead. Please respect the parking rules to help ensure this access is maintained and there are no impacts to fire and rescue access.

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Friday, May 6, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (5/6): Blowdown on hiking trails to be cleared as staff increases

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

NEW THIS WEEK:

High Peaks Wilderness: Snow Conditions, 05/05: Snow depths remain significant at high elevations, with areas reaching 2-3 feet in depth. Snowshoes are required to be worn wherever snow accumulations are greater than 8 inches. Crampons and microspikes are still essential – many trails are still icy above 3,000 feet. Be prepared to encounter mud at lower elevations. Check summit weather forecasts for more accurate predictions at higher elevations. A mid-April snowstorm caused significant blowdown, making navigation more challenging. Carry a paper map and compass or GPS and know how to use them. Please avoid all trails above 2,500 feet while DEC’s muddy trails advisory is in effect.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 30, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (4/30): Use caution with monorails/very cold water temps

outdoor conditions logo

The following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

High Peaks Wilderness: Snow Conditions, 04/27: Snowshoes are still required for most high elevation trails where snow remains deeper than 8 inches. Crampons and microspikes are still essential – many trails are still icy, especially above 3,000 feet. Trails are extremely muddy at lower elevations. Remaining ice on high elevation lakes is completely unstable and will not hold weight. Expect high water in drainages. Check summit weather forecasts for more accurate predictions at higher elevations. Recent heavy, wet snowfall has caused significant blowdown, making navigation more challenging. Carry a paper map and compass or GPS and know how to navigate. Please avoid all trails above 2,500 feet while DEC’s muddy trails advisory is in effect.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, April 22, 2022

Outdoor conditions (4/22): Renewed snow conditions, muddy trails

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

This Earth Day, Give Back by Getting Involved

Earth Day, April 22, is a wonderful time to assess how we interact with our natural world. Do you Leave No Trace while recreating outdoors? Do you pick up trash along trails or your street? Our outdoor spaces give us so much – fresh air, a place to recreate, an opportunity to slow down and disconnect – just to name a few. We rely on the earth for everything, so it’s important that we also consider how we can give back to it.

This Earth Day, find out how getting involved with Leave No Trace can help you give back. Whether it’s participating in a volunteer day, attending an event, taking a training, or supporting a program – there are many ways to join Leave No Trace in making a positive difference for our outdoor spaces as well as current and future visitors.

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Friday, April 15, 2022

Outdoor conditions (4/15): Snow and mud

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

High Peaks Wilderness: Snow Conditions, 04/11: Snowshoes are still required for most higher and north-facing trails where snow remains deeper than 8 inches. Crampons and microspikes are advised for all trails above 2,500 feet. Please avoid all trails above 2,500 feet while DEC’s muddy trails advisory is in effect.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, April 8, 2022

Outdoor conditions (4/8): Muddy trails but still snowy on mountain tops

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

Muddy Trails Advisory: DEC today issued a muddy trail advisory for Adirondack trails, especially those over 2,500 feet in elevation. Please avoid the following high elevation trails until trails conditions have dried and hardened:

» Continue Reading.


Friday, April 1, 2022

Outdoor conditions (4/1): Even though it’s April Fool’s mud season is no joke

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Trails are a mix of ice, slush and mud. Higher elevations have 6-12 inches still on trail. Snowshoes are still required at high elevations. Crampons and gators should be carried and worn when needed.
  • Snow report as of 03/31: There is just over 2 feet of snow at the Lake Colden Outpost. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden have spots of open water and slush and are considered unstable in parts. Rivers are crossable but hazardous.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, March 25, 2022

Outdoor conditions (3/25): Roads closed for mud season

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

New:

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Snowshoes or skis are now required to be worn as snow depths exceed 8 inches.
  • Snow report as of 03/16: There is almost 3 feet of snow at the Lake Colden Outpost. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen. Rivers are crossable but hazardous. Channels with high flow are soft or melted. Ice is currently falling off rock faces. People should take care around Avalanche Lake. Note: Conditions may have changed since the last report.

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: All snowmobile trails are closed.

Debar Mountain Wild Forest: All snowmobile trails are closed.

Wilmington Wild Forest: The Wilmington Snowmobile Trail is now closed.

Sargent Ponds Wild Forest: All snowmobile trails are closed.

Lake George Wild Forest:

  • Jabe Pond Road and Lily Pond Road are closed to vehicle traffic for spring mud season.
  • Dacy Clearing Road in Shelving Rock is closed to vehicle traffic for spring mud season.

Adirondack Rail Trail: The trail is now closed to snowmobile use for the season.

Region 6 is closing all mud gates to snowmobile trails and seasonal access roads on Forest Preserve, State Forest, and Conservation Easement lands due to spring thaw and muddy conditions.

Kushaqua and Sable Highlands Easements: Mud locks will be in place by April 1st to protect the integrity of the roads until further notice.

Watson’s East Triangle Wild Forest (Croghan & Oswegatchie Conservation Easement Tracts): All mud gates in Watson’s East Triangle Wild Forest as well as those on the Croghan Tract and Oswegatchie Conservation Easement will be shut starting the week of 3/21/2022.  Roads will be reopened when they are dry and firm enough to support motor vehicle traffic.

Independence River Wild Forest (Stillwater Reservoir, Big Moose & Three Lakes Conservation Easement Tracts): DEC staff will begin shutting mud gates in the Independence River Wild Forest the week of 3/28/2022.  Roads will be reopened when they are dry and firm enough to support motor vehicle traffic.

All snowmobile gates on Macomb State Forest, Taylor Pond Campground, and Taylor Pond Wild Forest have been closed for the season.

Ferris Lake Wild Forest: Powley Road is closed for mud season until further notice.

Moose River Plains Wild Forest:

  • The entrance gates to the Moose River Plains are closed for mud season until further notice.
  • The seasonal portion of Cedar River Rd. which accesses the Wakely Mtn Trailhead is closed for mud season. The road is closed where the pavement ends, approx. 7 miles from Route 30.
  • A 200’ section of the West Mtn Trail is flooded due to beaver activity at the Beaver Brook crossing in Moose River Plains Wild Forest. Until the flooding is addressed, it is recommended to access the West Mtn summit from the Constable Pond trailhead off Higby Road (Pigeon Lake Wilderness).

Silver Lake Wilderness: West River Rd. that provides access to Whitehouse/Northville Placid Trail is closed for mud season until further notice.

All snowmobile trails in the town of Newcomb are closed (C8A & C7B)

Essex Chain Lakes: All mud gates are closed.

Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest: The Campsite Road gate is closed for mud season

Corinth Edinburg Conservation Easement: Snowmobile trails in the western Saratoga County area are now closed. (Saratoga Snowmobile Club)

Speculator Tree Farm Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement, Jessup River Wild Forest: Snowmobile trails in the Speculator region are closed as of Saturday, March 19.


General Notices

Visit the main Adirondack Backcountry Information page for more trip-planning resources, including travel information, weather resources, and seasonally-specific information about Adirondack recreation.

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

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. Check wind chill temperatures and prepare for colder, windier summits.

Spring Conditions: Be prepared for a mix of winter and spring conditions. Snow and ice are still present throughout the region, but warmer temps have brought high waters and muddy trails in low elevations. Be prepared with warm, waterproof layers, extra layers, and proper gear for snow and ice, including snowshoes, microspikes and crampons. In the High Peaks Wilderness, snowshoes or skis are still required to be worn where snow depths exceed 8 inches. Remember that conditions will change as you gain elevation, and cold, wet weather poses a significant risk of hypothermia.

Avalanche Advisory: Backcountry downhill skiers, snowboarders, and all outdoor adventurers who may traverse slides or steep, open terrain should be aware of and prepared for avalanche conditions. If you are planning a trip to avalanche-prone territory, research the route ahead of time and contact a local DEC Forest Ranger for specific safety and conditions information, or contact a local guide. Before going into the backcountry, be equipped with avalanche safety tools and knowledge, such as participation in an avalanche safety course. Additional information on avalanche danger, preparedness, and safety precautions is available on DEC’s website.

Muddy Trails & Monorails: As snow begins to melt on lower elevation trails, be prepared for mud and monorails. Monorails are thin strips of hardpacked snow and ice in the center of trails, surrounded by minimal or no snow on the sides. Monorails can create difficult walking conditions. Microspikes and trekking poles can assist with traction and balance. Where trails are muddy, walk directly through mud instead of around it to help minimize trail widening and trailside damage.

Seasonal Roads: Some seasonal access roads are beginning to close for spring mud season, while others are still open for snowmobile use only. Where seasonal access roads are open to public motor vehicles, the use of four-wheel drive vehicles is strongly recommended.

Snowmobiles: Be prepared for variable conditions. Visitors are advised to plan ahead and check local club, county, and state webpages and resources, including the NYSSA Snowmobile web map, for up-to-date snowmobile trail information.

Pack & Prepare: Winter hikes can be lots of fun, but they can also be dangerous if you’re not prepared. Take a moment to watch DEC’s How To Pack and Prepare for a Winter Hike video for a review of what gear to pack and the steps to take as you plan your hike.

Layer Up: Temperatures can change significantly depending on your location, the time of day and your elevation. Stay safe and warm by wearing non-cotton, moisture-wicking base layers, insulating layers, and waterproof, windproof outer layers. Wear a hat, mittens or gloves, and a buff. Gaiters can help keep your lower legs warm and prevent snow from getting in your boots. Bring additional layers. Wear sturdy waterproof boots that are already broken in. Learn more about layering for cold weather by watching DEC’s How To video.

Share the Trails: Many multi-use trails are enjoyed by a variety of users in the winter. Be respectful of everyone’s experience by following winter trail etiquette. Wear snowshoes to prevent postholing and keep ski and snowshoe tracks separate when possible. Move to the right to let faster users pass and yield to downhill traffic. When stopping, step to the side of the trail to make way for other users. Snowmobiles should ride single file, keep to the right, pass on the left only when the trail is clear, and yield the right-of-way to skiers, snowshoers and other non-mechanized forms of travel as well as those passing or traveling uphill.


Friday, March 18, 2022

Outdoor conditions (3/18): Seasonal road closures

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, March 11, 2022

Outdoor conditions (3/11): Coreys Road gate closed for mud season

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Snowshoes or skis are now required to be worn as snow depths exceed 8 inches.
  • Snow report as of 03/10: There is approximately 2.5 feet of snow at the Lake Colden Outpost and 3 feet of snow at higher elevations. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen solid. The trail to Marcy Dam features some rough spots with packed snow and a thin layer of new snow. From Marcy Dam to Lake Colden there is more snow packed and minimal rough spots. Microspikes or crampons are recommended. Note: Conditions may have changed since last report.
  • The gate on Corey’s Road in Harrietstown is now closed for mud season.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, March 4, 2022

Outdoor conditions (3/4): Beware of water crossings

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Snowshoes or skis are now required to be worn as snow depths exceed 8 inches.
  • Snow report as of 03/02: Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake are frozen. There is over 3ft of snow (100cm) at the Lake Colden Outpost with more at higher elevations. The Opalescent River crossing is very hazardous. Note: Conditions may have changed since last report.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, February 25, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (2/25): Many snowmobile trails in poor/variable condition due to recent thaws, rain, and flooding

outdoor conditions logo

The following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

New:

Snowmobile Trails: Recent thaws, rain, and flooding have left many snowmobile trails in poor or variable conditions. Forecast snow may improve trails, but riders should proceed with caution, especially near water and at water crossings, and be prepared to find alternate routes. Check local club, county, and State webpages and resources, including the NYSSA Snowmobile web map, for up-to-date snowmobile trail information.

High Peaks Wilderness:

  • Snowshoes or skis are now required to be worn as snow depths exceed 8 inches.
  • Water crossings in John’s Brook Valley are currently dangerous, especially on the Phelps Trail to Slant Rock.
  • Due to unsafe ice conditions and high water, river crossings on the trail to Allen Mountain should not be attempted and are considered impassable at this time.
  • The cable bridge on the trail to Mt. Adams may be affected depending on water levels and ice jams. Plan for alternative hikes if encountered.
  • Ice conditions on the Flowed Lands are unsafe and should not be crossed.
  • Crossings of the Opalescent River around Lake Colden are unsafe and should not be attempted.
  • Snow report as of 02/24: Lake Colden is frozen. The south side of Avalanche lake is now open. There is over 2ft of snow at the Lake Colden Outpost with more at higher elevations. Trails are passable from the Adirondack Loj to the Colden Outpost, but the Opalescent River is impassable due to high water at this time. Note: With significant snowfall expected overnight, expect conditions to change.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, February 18, 2022

Outdoor conditions (2/18): High water and avalanche warning

outdoor conditions logoThe following are the most recent notices pertaining to public lands in the Adirondacks. Please check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road statuses, rock climbing closures, specific trail conditions, and other pertinent information.

High Water and Avalanche Warning: Backcountry users in the Adirondacks, especially the High Peaks Region, should be aware of potential avalanche and high water risk following mild temperatures, high winds, and rain. Warmer weather and rain will melt existing snowpack, swelling waterways and making water crossings dangerous. High winds and a return to colder temperatures will then result in re-freezing. Avalanche danger increases during thaws and snow becomes increasingly unstable as it undergoes freeze/thaw cycles.

» Continue Reading.



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