Trails are wet out there from recent rains – check out the trail conditions and everything else you need to know for hiking or camping in the Adirondacks this weekend, August 19 – 21.
Trail Conditions: Due to recent rains, trails are wet and muddy, especially along water bodies and in low lying areas. All hikers should wear waterproof footwear and gaiters. Remember to remain on the trails! Walk through the mud and water – don’t go ‘around’ the mud as you will damage trailside vegetation, and ultimately, damage and erode the trails.
Hot Weather and Water:
DEC forest rangers have continued to respond to many incidents of dehydrated hikers. Drink water at home, in the car, and at the trailhead. Carry at least two liters of water per person. Drink water often and rest often.
Be prepared for hot weather. Wear loose clothing that keeps moisture away from your body. Protect yourself from the sun with a hat, sunglasses, and sun block.
If you need to report a back country emergency, including lost or injured hikers and wildfires, contact the DEC Rangers at 518.891.0235.
Hiking and Camping on Friday, August 19th: The Moose Creek Suspension Bridge between Shattuck Clearing and Cold River is closed from Monday, August 15th throughFriday, August 19th. It will reopen late in the day on the 19th, but if you’re hitting the trails earlier, this could affect you. If the bridge is closed for you, you can rock hop across the stream from the bridge or wade on sand upstream.
Essex Chain Lakes:
As of Monday, August 15th campers no longer need to reserve tent sites on the Essex Chain Lakes. Sites are available on a first come, first serve basis. Self-issued permits are still required and can be completed year-round at the trailhead register at the Deer Pond Parking Area. The DEC will be monitoring usage levels of tent sites.
Campfires are prohibited on the 11 waterfront tent sites, but are allowed at the other 19 tent sites.
If you are camping for more than three nights at any of these tent sites, or with a group of 10 or more, you must get a free camping permit from a Forest Ranger.
Black Bear Activity: Black bears are still more active than normal, particularly in the High Peaks Wilderness. Many campers have lost their food to bears by not taking proper precautions. Here’s what you can do to stay safe and keep your food intact:
- Use bear-resistant canisters when camping overnight. They are required in the Eastern High Peaks, but are highly recommended throughout the entire Adirondack Region.
- Store all your food, toiletries, and garbage in these canisters or in a bear hang.
- Bears are most active in the evening. Cook, eat, and clean up before dusk.
Thunderstorms: Should there be a thunderstorm, avoid summits and other open areas. Avoid being on the water. 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. Crouch down near shorter trees, but away from the tree trunks.
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.
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.
Boreas Ponds Tract: Access to this tract is currently limited to foot traffic only beyond the closed gate; no motor vehicles, bikes, or horses are allowed. The public is also prohibited from trespassing in and around the lodge on Boreas Pond and the leased hunting camps.
High Peaks Wilderness:
Ouluska Brook Bridge: The bridge over Ouluska Brook on theNorthville-Placid Trail has collapsed into the brook. Because water conditions are low it is still possible to cross the brook.
Cold River Bridge: Some boards are broken on the suspension bridge over the Cold River on the Northville-Placid Trail. Use caution when crossing.
Blueberry Hiking Trail: The first 1,500 feet of this trail has been closed. The trail now connects with the Blueberry Horse Trail about .3 miles east of the previous location (.8 miles from Seward Trailhead). This reroute eliminates the need to hike through a large wet area.
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.
Northville Placid Trail: This trail has been rerouted around a beaver pond south of Plumley’s Point on the shores of Long Lake. It passes the beaver pond higher up the slope and eliminates the need to cross the beaver dam. Follow the blue NPT trail markers.
Corey’s Road: Logging trucks are still 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. A round trip costs $5.
Ward Brook Truck Trail: This trail is still 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.
Lake Colden to Marcy Trail: A 10-foot section of this trail near the uphill lean-to 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 doing 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 (or snowshoeing and skiing when in season) 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.
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 still closed to the public at this time.
McKenzie Mountain Wilderness:
Labor Day Wall and Moss Cliff: 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.