Below are the latest public property announcements in the Adirondacks. Please visit the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road conditions, vie ferrate closures, special trail conditions and other pertinent information.
NEW THIS WEEK:
High Peak Wilderness:
- Snow conditions, 05/12: There is stubborn snow on trails above 4,000 feet, particularly on north sides. Trails are very muddy above 3,000 feet. There is currently a high risk of fire. Temperatures may reach dangerous highs this weekend and thunderstorms are forecast. Please avoid all trails over 2,500 feet while the DEC muddy trail advisories are in effect.
- The gate open Corey’s street is open now
- The gate at clear pond, on the Elk Lake Conservation Easement, is now open for the season. The public is permitted 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 lot. Parking is not permitted along Elk Lake Road or at any other off-ramp. If the lot is full, hikers must park at the Upper Elk Lake Road lot on the west side of Elk Lake Road about 2.3 miles south of the Elk Lake lot and trailhead. Please respect park rules to ensure this access is maintained and there is no impact on fire and rescue access.
Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tracts:
- The roads are currently closed due to the mud season.
- The bridge at Old route 8 by Christine Falls will be available from May 16th. closed for repairs. Roads that are therefore closed are Fly Creek Road and Robbs Creek Road.
Lake George Wild Forest:
- Jabe Pond Road is open.
- Regal Rock Brook Trail Bridges (all 3) are not safe for horseback riding. Please use the Shelving Rock Mountain Trail to access the trail system. Shortway Trail bridges (3) are now open to riders.
Essex Chain of Lakes Complex:
- Cornell Street to the Deer Pond gate is open.
- Chain Lakes Road north Gate to Drakes Mill is open.
- Blowdown stays on some trails. That From Chain Lakes Road north to Sixth Lake Bridleway has a significant blowdown.
- Please pay attention to truck traffic Cornell Street.
Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: Public access to the Lock between Upper and Middle Saranac Lakes is expected to close on May 15 to allow work on the lock to begin. The work is expected to be completed by mid-June. There is no boat access during this time. Canoes and kayaks can be transported around the locks. DEC will continue to provide updates as they become available.
Santa Clara Conservation Easement Tract: Madawaska Street is open to public motor vehicle traffic. Drivers should exercise caution on backcountry roads due to varying surface conditions.
Visit the main Adirondack Backcountry Information page for additional resources to help you plan your trip, including travel information, weather information, and seasonal Adirondack recreation information.
What you need to know (05/12): Conditions in the Adirondacks range from hot and dry at low elevations to muddy at mid-elevations and persistent compact snow at high elevations. DEC’s Muddy Trails Advisory encourages visitors to continue to avoid all trails over 2,500 feet, including all high peaks, to avoid trail damage and erosion as these trails continue to dry and harden. Temperatures can vary significantly depending on location, time of day, and elevation. Avoid hiking when thunderstorms are forecast. At the first sign of thunderstorms, seek shelter at low elevations. Despite warm air temperatures, water can still be extremely cold.
Check out the weather: Check the weather forecast for your destination and pack and plan accordingly. Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks and Southern Adirondacks Mountain Point Forecasts for select peak forecasts. Check both day and night temperatures, and remember that temperatures drop as altitude increases. Check wind chill temperatures and prepare for colder, windier peaks.
Muddy Paths: Walk straight through the mud rather than around it to avoid widening the trail and damaging vegetation. Opt for low-altitude trails until the high elevations have time to dry and cure. Follow the muddy path advice.
Season roads: Some seasonal access roads are still closed for the 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 card.
Water conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region are well below average for this time of year. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for current flow of selected bodies of water. The water temperatures will be very cold. Wearing life jackets (Personal Flotation Devices, PFDs, also life jackets) is highly recommended. If bridges are not available, do not attempt to cross a creek during high tide and fast moving water.
Hiking with a dog: Every summer, DEC Forest Rangers receive calls for dogs in need, especially on hot days. Pet owners often overestimate how physically fit their dog is, how much water their dog needs, or how walking on scalding hot rock can negatively affect dogs. DEC warns pet owners against taking their dogs hiking in the summer. Dogs that hike in warm temperatures risk heat exhaustion and death. If your dog collapses, move quickly to create shade for the dog and cool his 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, tight-knit clothing for easy spotting of ticks. Wear closed-toe shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants. Frequently check clothing and exposed skin for ticks outdoors. Consider using insect repellent. Stay on cleared, well-travelled trails and walk in the middle of trails. Avoid dense forests and bushy areas. More tick prevention tips.
Required Bear Canisters: NYSDEC requires overnight guests in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1st and November 30th to use bear-resistant canisters. NYSDEC encourages campers to use bear-resistant canisters throughout the upstate Adirondack. Bear canisters should be used to store all food, food waste, toiletries and other scented items. Canisters should be stored at least 100 feet away from tents, shelters and cooking areas and kept closed when not being accessed. Learn more about bear canisters and how to avoid human-bear conflict.
Adirondack Rock Climbing Closures: DEC is closing certain climbing routes in the Adirondacks to protect nesting peregrine falcons. For a full list of closures, see Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures. Once peregrine falcon nest sites are determined, climbing routes that do not disrupt nesting will be reopened. Routes that remain closed will be reopened after the young have flown out. Thank you for your cooperation. For more information, please contact the Bureau of Wildlife at (518) 623-1240.
Adirondack Mountain Reserve: From May 1st through October 31st, parking reservations are required for 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, region high peaks are located. A list of frequently asked questions and how to register can be found on the AMR website.
Security & Education
Spring is in full swing. Whether you’re hiking, biking, paddling or fishing, Hike Smart NY can help you prepare with a list of 10 essentials, clothing guides and tips for planning your trip with safety and sustainability in mind.
Before each hike, you should find out about the weather at your destination. If thunderstorms are forecast for that day or night, change or postpone your plans. Don’t risk being caught in a thunderstorm on a mountain trail.
Thunderstorms can bring heavy rain, falling temperatures, strong winds and lightning. These dangerous conditions are best avoided. However, thunderstorms can sometimes develop unexpectedly and occur despite clear forecasts. To avoid pop-up thunderstorms and stay safe if you do get caught in one, consider the following:
- Watch out for darkening skies, stronger winds, lightning and listen for thunder.
- As soon as you first notice an approaching thunderstorm, head to lower elevations and seek shelter.
- Avoid peaks and other open areas during thunderstorms.
- If you can’t find shelter indoors, find a low spot away from tall trees. Find an area with shorter trees and crouch down away from tree trunks.
- Make yourself as small as possible by sitting on your backpack or sleeping pad with your knees bent. Hug your knees and keep your feet together to minimize the ground effect of a nearby lightning strike.