Posts Tagged ‘outdoor conditions’

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.

Correction: Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: Public access to the lock between Middle and Lower Saranac Lakes is tentatively set to close May 15 so work on the lock can begin. It is expected the work will be completed mid-June. There will be no boat access during this time. Canoes and kayaks can carry around the locks. DEC will continue to provide updates as they are available.

Sable Highlands Easement: D&H Road and Piney Ridge Road gates have been open for the season for access by cars and trucks. Please note that public ATVs & UTVs are prohibited on the property with the exception of Wolf Pond Road, which is a Town road.

Independence River Wild Forest (Stillwater Reservoir, Big Moose & Three Lakes Conservation Easement Tracts):

  • Water has been turned on at the Otter Creek Assembly Area.
  • All mud gates have been opened.

William C. Whitney Wilderness: The Lake Lila Access Road is now open for public use.

Moose River Plains Complex: DEC anticipates opening the Moose River Plains gates the week prior to Memorial Day weekend.

Santa Clara Conservation Easement:

  • Public access roads are now open for public vehicles. This includes the Madawaska Road. Drivers should exercise caution on backcountry roads due to varying surface conditions.
  • A logging operation is occurring on the portion of the property south of Lake Ozonia (accessed by the Brown Track Road). Users accessing the easement should reduce speed and exercise caution both on the Brown Track Road and on the easement roads in that area. Anglers are advised not to use the northern of the 2 fishing sites on the CP3 route as trucks will soon be crossing that bridge regularly.

Speculator Tree Farm and Perkins Clearing:

  • High clearance vehicles are recommended for Jessup River Road.
  • Mud Lake Road is now open.

Township 19: O’Neil Flow and Barker Pond Road are open to the public.

Grass River Wild Forest: All seasonal access roads on Conservation Easement & Forest Preserve lands are now or will be opened in the near future. Please be aware of the recreational rights allowed on each individual property or at each area.

Raquette Boreal Complex: All seasonal access roads on Conservation Easement & Forest Preserve lands are now or will be opened in the near future. Please be aware of the recreational rights allowed on each individual property or at each area.

White Hill Wild Forest: All seasonal access roads on Conservation Easement & Forest Preserve lands are now or will be opened in the near future. Please be aware of the recreational rights allowed on each individual property or at each area.

Bog River Complex: All seasonal access roads on Conservation Easement & Forest Preserve lands are now or will be opened in the near future. Please be aware of the recreational rights allowed on each individual property or at each area.

Cranberry Lake Wild Forest: All seasonal access roads on Conservation Easement & Forest Preserve lands are now or will be opened in the near future. Please be aware of the recreational rights allowed on each individual property or at each area.

 

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 (05/19): After frequent storms and rain in the last week, trails are wet and muddy in places. DEC’s Muddy Trails Advisory encourages visitors to continue avoiding all trails above 2,500 feet, including all High Peaks, to help prevent trail damage and erosion as those trails continue to dry and harden. Temperatures may vary significantly depending on your location, the time of day and your elevation. Waterways may be fast and swollen, making crossing difficult or dangerous. Despite warm air temperatures, water may still be extremely cold.

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.

Muddy Trails: Walk straight through mud rather than around it to prevent trail widening and vegetation damage. Opt for low elevation trails until high elevations have time to dry and harden. Follow the muddy trails advisory.

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

Fire Danger: Check the fire rating map.

Water Conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region are mostly average for this time of year. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for stream flow of selected waters. Water temperatures will be very cold. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs aka lifejackets) are strongly recommended to be worn. Where bridges are not available, do not attempt stream crossings during periods of high, fast-moving water.

Hiking with Dogs: DEC warns pet owners to avoid bringing their dogs hiking with them in the summer. 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.

Buy It Where You Burn It

Campfire season is upon us, which means it’s time to review best practices for sourcing our firewood.

While all firewood may seem safe, it’s important to remember that bugs, bacteria, and other organisms can be transported in, on, and around the logs we bring camping. These species can become invasive and are extremely harmful to our forests.

To have a safe and enjoyable fire this summer, remember to:

  • Buy it where you burn it: purchase or collect your firewood within 50 miles of where you plan to have your fire.
  • Purchase treated firewood: make sure that any firewood you purchase is treated to neutralize any dangerous plants, bugs, or pathogens.
  • Leave yours at home: save your own wood for a campfire at home. Even seasoned wood can be home to many invasive species.

Learn more about Firewood and Invasive Pests page on DEC’s website.

 

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!

Trash Timeline

We all know how important it is to keep our favorite outdoor places litter-free. We pack out what we bring in, minimize our impact, and pick up litter when we see it. Have you ever wondered how long that trash can remain in our ecosystem if it’s not picked up?

Many common items can take much longer than expected to decompose. Consider how long on average it takes these items to biodegrade:

  • Orange or Banana Peel – Up to 2 Years
  • Cigarette Butts – 1 to 5 years
  • Leather or wool – 1 to 5 years
  • Food wrappers – 5 years
  • Aluminum Cans – 80 to 100 years
  • Disposable Diapers – 450 years
  • Fishing Line – 600 years

All of this trash sticks around for quite some time. Even items that are often considered “natural” or “biodegradable” can impact the plants, animals, and people that use the land for several years. During that time, that waste is more than likely to find its way into the diet of an unsuspecting animal, provide abnormal nutrients to plants and water bodies, or impact the wilderness experience of a passing hiker.

Visit the Leave No TraceTM website for more information on how to minimize the impact of trash and other waste on our wild spaces.


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.


Kid next to water
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.


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, July 9, 2021

Outdoor Conditions: be prepared

outdoor conditions logoBackcountry hiking trails can be rugged and rough – they are not maintained as park walkways – and wilderness conditions can change suddenly. Hike Smart NY provides expert information on how to properly prepare and ensure a safe outdoor experience. Follow all state land use rules for hiking and primitive camping and Leave No Trace principles (leaves DEC website) to minimize your impacts on the natural resources and others users.

Volunteer to help preserve, maintain and enhance New York’s outdoor recreation. Individuals or groups can enter into a Volunteer Stewardship Agreement to maintain trails, lean-tos, boat launches, or other recreational infrastructure.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, June 25, 2021

Outdoor Conditions: Hiker Information Stations

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:

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness: A bridge on the Pharaoh Lake Trail from the Pharaoh Lake Road trailhead was damaged by a fallen tree. The railing was damaged, but the bridge remains in usable condition. Please use caution. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Outdoor Conditions (11/26): Hague Brook Trail closed

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.

Lake George Wild Forest: The Hague Brook Trail off Route 8 in the Town of Hague is currently closed to public use due to unsafe trail conditions along the riverbank.

» Continue Reading.



Kid next to water

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