Friday, June 17, 2022

Outdoor conditions (6/17): Hypothermia, a Year-Round Risk

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:

Ferris Lake Wild Forest: Powley Road is open. All washouts have been repaired.

Speculator Tree Farm and Perkins Clearing: All roads and campsites are now open to the public. Old Military Road has been repaired and the Pillsbury Mountain Fire Tower parking area is open.

Flatrock Mountain Conservation Easement: The area south of Flatrock Mountain, including the gated logging road, will be temporarily closed to public access for timber harvesting by the landowner.

LAST WEEK:

Muddy Trails Advisory: DEC has lifted the Muddy Trails Advisory for trails above 2,500 feet in elevation. Some trails may still be muddy, especially at higher elevations. Please help reduce trail widening and erosion by walking through mud instead of around it.

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: The access road to Saint Germain and Meadow Ponds has been repaired and is open.

 

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.

Know Before You Go (06/16): Be prepared for cooler temperatures this weekend. Daytime highs on Saturday are only expected to reach the mid-50s in places, with Sunday highs creeping into the mid-60s. Temperatures on mountain summits will be significantly colder, with high elevations approaching freezing. Dress in layers and bring rain gear. Take caution as stream, river, and other water crossings may swell following rain. Continue to pack bug spray, bug nets, and other methods of protecting from bites, as well as sun protection. 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 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.

Fire Danger: Check the fire rating map.

Water Conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region are generally average for this time of year, with select waterways measuring slightly above or slightly below average. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for stream flow of selected waters. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs aka lifejackets) are strongly recommended to be worn.

Hiking with Dogs: Dogs hiking in warm temperatures are at risk of experiencing heat exhaustion and death. If your dog does collapse, quickly move to create shade for the dog and cool their feet and stomach – this is the most effective way to help an overheated dog. The best way to protect your pet is to leave them at home.

Ticks: 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.

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.

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) 623-1240.

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.

Safety & Education

Spring is in full swing. Whether you’re going for a hike, a bike, a paddle, or fishing, 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.

Hypothermia: A Year-Round Risk

Hypothermia during warm weather months happens more often than one may think. Hypothermia occurs when your body’s core temperature drops. Signs of hypothermia include:

  • Shivering
  • Exhaustion or drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of feeling and dexterity in your extremities
  • A negative change in attitude
  • Slurred, slowed speech

Hypothermia can happen to anyone not prepared both physically and with the proper gear, including plenty of water and food. It may be a warm day, but when you begin to sweat and the temperature decreases as you gain elevation, your body temperature can drop quickly. This combined with dehydration can make you more susceptible to hypothermia.

To avoid hypothermia:

  • Keep hydrated and snack often. Hydration and food will keep you balanced and your electrolytes in check. Don’t forget that salty snack.
  • Bring layers and stay dry. Wet clothing will cause your body temperature to drop faster as the air becomes cooler. Change out of wet clothing. Layering will help keep you warm on summits and when you’re resting or descending the mountain. A lot of heat is lost through the head, so bring a hat.
  • Always be prepared. Always pack the ten essentials. Check the weather before you go, including summit forecasts, and pack for unpredictable weather. Leave your plans with someone.

Leave No Trace™

Follow the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace to maintain minimal impact on the environment and the natural resources of the Adirondacks. Use proper trail etiquette to ensure an enjoyable experience for yourself and others and tread lightly!

Protect Rare Species

The Adirondacks are home to rare and unique plant species that can only be found on our highest peaks. Of the six-million Adirondack acres, only 40 contain this elusive alpine vegetation. Alpine vegetation comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors, from vibrant purple flowers speckling the mountain to small clumps of grass poking out between the rocks. Located on the summits of 19 separate mountains, these species can only be found in the Adirondacks, making them very special and important to protect.

The plants found in our alpine areas are amazing, but they’re also extremely fragile. Here are some helpful tips you can use to help conserve Adirondack alpine vegetation:

  • Stay on marked trails or durable surfaces to avoid trampling delicate species.
  • Take lots of pictures, but never pick any of the plants that you encounter.
  • Familiarize yourself with alpine species and know which to be cautious around.
  • Take extra care when hiking, and never camp above 3,500 feet in elevation.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (6/10): Recent heavy rain, variable trail conditions

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:

Muddy Trails Advisory: DEC has lifted the Muddy Trails Advisory for trails above 2,500 feet in elevation. Some trails may still be muddy, especially at higher elevations. Please help reduce trail widening and erosion by walking through mud instead of around it.

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: The access road to Saint Germain and Meadow Ponds has been repaired and is open.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, June 6, 2022

Saranac Lake: Community events set for Invasive Species Awareness Week, June 6-12

lake flower boat stewards

New York’s Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) is Monday, June 6 through Sunday, June 12, with several community events planned in Saranac Lake.

ISAW is a statewide effort to promote public understanding of invasive species and increase knowledge on the impacts they have on our waterbodies and woodlands. Local events will take place on June 6 and 8 and are co-sponsored by the Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) and The Nature Conservancy’s Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program (APIPP).
“Our Adirondack waterways, forests, and farmlands are important for recreation, economic sustainability, and basic ecosystem functions,” said AWI Deputy Director Zoë Smith. “The annual Invasive Species Awareness Week is a chance for people learn about protecting our beloved lakes, rivers and forests from invasive species that threaten our environment and cause irreparable harm.”

Monday, June 6, 2022

New York Invasive Species Awareness Week is June 6 -12

The mission of the New York Invasive Species Awareness Week (NYISAW) is to promote knowledge and understanding of invasive species and the harm they can cause. We want to empower YOU to stop the spread of invasive species!

Organizations across all of New York State are offering a variety of engaging events, such as interpretive hikes, volunteer days, webinars, movie screenings, and fun family activities!

By participating in NYISAW, you can help protect your community’s natural spaces, learn about new invasive species, meet your neighbors, get outdoors, and even win prizes!

Find events near you!

» Continue Reading.


Friday, June 3, 2022

Trees for a Changing Climate

My ex-wife gave me a shirt that reads “Change is Good. You Go First” when our divorce was finalised, a much-appreciated bit of humour in the midst of a challenging time. It’s hard to find the mirth in some changes, especially when we don’t have a say in them. Climate change is a good example.

Global temperatures are rising at an ever-increasing rate. Extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe with time, and no amount of denial will make it go away. We have to learn to roll with this one. We can’t stop climate change tomorrow, but we can “trick” it by updating the kinds of trees we consider for home and community planting. A warmer world affects trees in a myriad ways: Record wet seasons like in 2013, 2017, and 2019 allow normally weak foliar pathogens to spread and flourish, becoming primary agents of mortality.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, June 3, 2022

Outdoor Conditions (6/3): Independence River Trail (Otter Creek Horse Trails) in need of repair

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:

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: The lock between Middle and Lower Saranac Lakes is now open for public use.

Boreas Ponds Tract: Gulf Brook Road is now open to public motor vehicle traffic as far as the Fly Pond Parking Area.

Independence River Wild Forest (Stillwater Reservoir, Big Moose & Three Lakes Conservation Easement Tracts): The Independence River Trail (Otter Creek Horse Trails) has caved in near two culverts. These areas are marked with flagging, but riders are advised to avoid the Independence River Trail until the trail is fixed.

Pigeon Lake Wilderness: West Mountain and Shallow Lake trails are impassable at Beaver Brook due to beaver activity. Maintenance is scheduled for this summer.

» Continue Reading.


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.

» Continue Reading.


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.

» Continue Reading.


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.

» Continue Reading.


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.



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