The weather isn’t looking great this weekend, but if you want the fall foliage, it might be your last chance! Here’s what you need to know about the latest foliage, weather, and trail conditions.
We’re pretty much at just past peak in all Adirondack areas:
- Malone – peak color hanging on through this weekend
- Northern Warren County – peak to just past peak
- Crown Point – peak to just past peak
- Saranac Lake – just past peak
- Tupper Lake – past peak
- Lake Placid – past peak
- Indian Lake – past peak
- Speculator – past peak
- Old Forge – past peak
The regions labeled “past peak” may still be worth a hike for you, as there is still much color out there and it’s just starting to fade. Particularly since we have been having above average temperatures with no heavy frost predicted, the colors have been holding out well.
However, we do have some colder weather forecasted, so if you’re dying to see that foliage get out there this weekend!
Rain, sleet, and snow are predicted in many areas this weekend. Snow will accumulate in the higher elevations. Check the National Weather Service forecast before you head out – you can also check the National Weather Service Mountain Point Forecasts for the summits.
Avoid hypothermia by doing the following:
- Wear layers of fleece, wool, and other non-cotton clothing
- Pack extra clothing, including a fleece, wool, or non-cotton jacket or sweater
- Add or remove layers as necessary while hiking
- Wear a hat and pack gloves or mittens
- Bring a waterproof jacket
Trails will be wet and muddy in lower elevations, and snowy and icy in the higher elevations. Make sure you’re dressed properly with appropriate footwear, including snowshoes for higher elevations. Remember to remain on the trails, walking through mud and water as necessary to avoid eroding trailside vegetation.
The sun is setting earlier and earlier. This weekend it’s expected to set around 6pm, and even earlier in deep valleys and on northern and eastern facing slopes. Plan to return to trailhead by sunset, but always carry a flashlight or headlamp just in case.
Fire danger has gone from moderate last week to low this week. You’ll still want to take proper precautions with making sure all embers, ash, etc., are cool from campfires.
Water levels are still low, but again showers, sleet, and snow are forecasted so this could change quickly. Water levels can rise during and right after rain.
Rehabilitation work has recently been completed on Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain. This is one of the mountains that has been identified by the DEC as a less crowded, but still full of foliage, hike. The trail has been rerouted and renovated with stone steps, proper drainage, and other significant changes.
Elk Lane Trailhead to High Peaks Wilderness
The Elk Lane Trailhead located on the privately-owned Elk Lake Easement Lands that goes to the High Peaks Wilderness will be closed to the public starting on Saturday, for the Northern Zone Big Game Hunting Season.
Northern Zone Big Game Hunting Season opens this weekend; small game, and waterfowl hunting seasons are also open. Hikers should be aware that hunters with firearms or archery equipment will be out hunting, and they have the legal right to participate in these activities on the forest preserve. Hunting accidents with non-hunters are incredibly rare, but you should wear bright colors just in case.
Lake Arnold/Feldspar Brook Trail
This trail is flooded and the bog bridging cannot be crossed. You’ll need to use alternate routes on other trails in the area. The DEC is working to find a permanent solution.
East River Trail
The second bridge on the East River Trail to Allen Mountain and Hanging Spear Falls has been replaced by the DEC and Student Conservation Association Adirondack Program. Please do not bounce on the bridge.
Moose Creek Suspension Bridge
Repairs on the bridge on the Northville-Placid Trail between Shattuck Clearing and Cold River are completed and the bridge is now open for use.
Boreas Ponds Tract
The Interim Access Plan for the Boreas Ponds Tract has been developed, 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
The lands of this tract are unclassified at this time. The Interim Access Plan does not have any bearing on future land classification of the tract currently in development and does not prejudge what access and uses will be allowed in the future. The public is prohibited from trespassing in and around the leased 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.
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.
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
North Trail to Giant Mountain: Beaver activity has flooded this trail just past the lean-to.
McKenzie Mountain Wilderness
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.