Hiking over Labor Day Weekend? A trail reroute has been constructed and new recreational opportunities are available. Find out the details here, along with where black bears have recently been active.
Photo credit: Jeff Bartholomew
Opalescent Trail in High Peaks Wilderness
A trail reroute has been constructed around the washout on the Opalescent Trail near the Uphill Lean-to by members of the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Program. Previously this area was washed out from heavy rains.
Boreas Ponds Tract
The Interim Access Plan for the Boreas Ponds Tract has been completed, opening up new recreational opportunities:
- 3.2 miles of motor vehicle access on the Gulf Brook Road
- 6.7 miles of roadway open to bicycling from Blue Ridge Road to Boreas Ponds Dam
- About 25 miles of 7 roadways open to horse and horse drawn wagons
- 5 year-round parking areas and 3 seasonal parking areas
All roadways and lands are open to hiking, hunting, trapping, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing except for one acre around the leased hunting camps; the public is prohibited from trespassing in and around the leased camps.
Due to dry conditions, black bears are still more active than usual. The DEC is now reporting they are more actively seeking food. Campers not using bear-resistant canisters properly have lost their food to bears.
Black bears have been most active in the High Peaks Wilderness and the Dix Mountain Wilderness. Remember, the use of bear-resistant canisters is required in the Eastern High Peaks, but recommended throughout the Adirondacks.
Bears are more active in the evening – cook, eat, and clean up before dusk. Keep your campsite as clean as possible and don’t keep coolers or food out at any time. Toiletries should be treated as food items and stored securely as such.
Weather: Sunny and warm weather is forecasted throughout the holiday weekend. Continue to be prepared for hot weather by carrying least two liters of water per person and wearing appropriate loose-fitting clothing. Protect yourself from the sun with sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat.
Labor Day Weekend: Because it’s a holiday weekend, the trails may be more populated than usual. Expect to see plenty of people hiking and on the waters. Trailheads, boat launches, and hand launch parking areas at popular sites will reach capacity, as will popular back country campsites. Plan accordingly, and consider utilizing lesser used areas of the Adirondacks.
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:
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.
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.
Ouluska Brook: The bridge over Ouluska Brook has collapsed into the brook. Due to low water conditions, crossing the brook is still possible.
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.
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.
Adirondack Mountain Reserve (Ausable Club)
The AMR consists of private lands between the Dix Mountain Wilderness and the High Peaks Wilderness in the Adirondacks. 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 or 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.