If you’re hiking or camping this holiday weekend, here is the latest hiking and trail information for the Adirondacks.
Holiday Weekend: Expect to encounter many people on trails and waters. Trailhead parking lots, campsites, and boat launches may fill up early. Plan accordingly and try to seek out backcountry recreation opportunities in less popular spots in the Adirondacks.
Weather: Be prepared for warm and hot weather. Wear loose, non-cotton clothing; carry plenty of water; rest often; and protect yourself from the sun with a hat, sunglasses, and sun block. As always, check the weather right before leaving. Be prepared for weather conditions to change suddenly. Weather at the summits will be colder with winds stronger.
Thunderstorms: Avoid summits, open areas, and being on the water during thunderstorms. Immediately move to lower elevations, head to shore, or otherwise seek shelter at the first sound of thunder. Find a low spot away from tall trees. Seek an area of shorter trees and crouch down away from tree trunks.
Fire Danger: Fire danger is low in the High Peaks region and moderate elsewhere. Never leave campfires unattended. Be sure they are out completely and all wood, coals, embers, and ash are cool.
Water Levels: Water levels are below average in most rivers and streams. Low water crossings and drainages can be easily crossed. Water levels do rise quickly during and immediately following rain.
Biting Insects: Black flies, mosquitoes, biting midges (no-see-ums), and deer flies are all present in the woods and on the waters at this time. You can minimize your likelihood of getting bit by doing the following:
- Wear light colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- Tuck shirts into pants, button or rubber band sleeves at wrist, tuck bottom of pant legs into socks
- Pack a head net
- Use insect repellent with DEET and follow label directions
Bear-resistant Canisters: As always, the use of bear-resistant canisters is recommended throughout the entire Adirondack region if camping, and is required in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness.
Wood Burning Stoves: The use of wood burning stoves is prohibited in the Eastern High Peaks. The ban on campfires applies to any type of use of wood as fuel.
Overall Trail Conditions: Rains during this past week have made trails wet and muddy, particularly along bodies of water and in low lying areas. All hikers should wear waterproof footwear and gaiters. Remain on the trails, walking through mud and water as necessary, to prevent further erosion of trails and trailside vegetation.
Rock Climbing Route Closures: All climbing routes on Moss Cliff, Labor Day Wall in Wilmington Notch, and all climbing routes on Crane Mountain are open. Due to nesting peregrine falcons, the following climbing routes are closed:
- Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain – all routes on the Main Face, except for the climbing routes between and including “Opposition” and “A Womb with a View”
- Chapel Pond – all routes on Lower Washbowl Cliffs
- Shelving Rock Mountain (Lake George) – all routes on the Big Wall and Jackass Buttress
- Sleeping Beauty Mountain (Lake George) – all routes
Campgrounds and Boat Launches: All DEC campgrounds and boat launches are open.
Million Dollar Beach (Lake George): The beach is open from 9am to 7pm every day through Labor Day.
Madawaska Road: This road is once again open to public motor vehicles and bicycles. Paddlers can access Madawaska Pond and Quebec Brook.
Stillwater Mountain Fire Tower: The fire tower has been restored and is open to the public.
State Route 73 Bridgework: The DOT is working on several bridges on State Route 73 between St. Hubert’s and Alstead Hill Road west of Keene. There is a single lane with traffic lights and/or flaggers on most bridges – expect delays.
High Peaks Wilderness:
Blueberry Horse Trail: This trail between Calkins Creek Horse Trail and Ward Brook Trail in the Western High Peaks contains extensive blowdown, is grown in with vegetation, and is poorly marked. The trail is impassible to horses. The DEC aims to work on this trail in the fall.
Phelps Trail: The high water bridge over Slide Mountain Brook between the Garden and Johns Brook Lodge is broken and unusable.
Corey’s Road: Logging trucks are on this road – keep an eye out for them when entering from trailheads.
Garden Trailhead Parking Area: There is a $7 a day fee for parking. An attendant is present 1pm to 7pm on Fridays and from 7am to 7pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays until October 16th. The rest of the week hikers are expected to pay the fee using an envelope and collection slot.
Garden Trailhead Shuttle: The shuttle between Porter Mountain/Marcy Field Trailhead Parking Area and the Garden Trailhead operates from 7am to 7pm on weekends and holidays through October 16th.
Ward Brook Truck Trail: This trail is flooded due to beaver activity just north of the junction with the Northville-Placid Trail. There is no reroute. Hikers will need to walk through shin- to knee-deep water.
Trail Near Uphill Lean-to: A 10-foot section of this trail along the Opalescent River above Lake Colden was washed out due to heavy rains. Hikers can get around it by going through the trees but should use caution when donig so.
Bradley Pond Trail: The first and second foot bridges have been damaged and are unusable. The stream can be forded/rock hopped most of the time on the down stream side of the bridge sites.
Mount Marshall: Many of the herd paths and trail-less peaks go around the slopes of the mountain without reaching the peak. Use a compass to navigate and don’t follow the paths created by others.
Trap Dike: Do not use the abandoned equipment here; it is unsafe due to aging and weatherizing.
Calkins Creek Horse Trail: This trail has two bridges out, making it impassible for horse drawn wagons and difficult for horses.
Dix Mountain Wilderness:
Adirondack Mountain Reserve (Ausable Club): The public easement agreement only allows for hiking, snowshoeing, or skiing on the designated trails and roads. Traversing the Lower or Upper Ausable Lakes is prohibited. Do not trespass on AMR lands and waters or participate in any unauthorized activities. Dogs are prohibited on the AMR.
Giant Mountain Wilderness:
Mossy Cascade Trailhead: Construction on State Route 73 over the East Branch Ausable River prevents this use of this trailhead.
Chapel Pond Pass: All rock climbing routes on the Upper Washbowl Cliffs are now open. All rock climbing routes on the Lower Washbowl Cliffs remain closed to allow peregrine falcons to nest.
North Trail to Giant Mountain: Beaver activity has flooded this trail just past the lean-to.
Hurricane Mountain Wilderness:
Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower: The fire tower is closed to the public at this time.
McKenzie Mountain Wilderness:
Labor Day Wall and Moss Cliff: Effective July 1st, all climbing routes on Labor Day Wall and Moss Cliff in Wilmington Notch are open.
State Route 86 Bridge Over the West Branch Ausable River: Construction is occurring about three miles northeast of Lake Placid. Construction is expected to continue until November 1st. Parking near the bridge will be restricted. Hikers accessing Whiteface Landing are discouraged from using the parking areas near the bridge – use the parking area along Route 86 near the Connery Pond Road instead.
Paddlers using that section of river are advised to find an alternative route, and are discouraged from paddling under the bridge.