If you thought the foliage was fantastic last weekend, just wait! The latest fall foliage report shows peak conditions for even more areas in the Adirondacks – here’s where you’ll want to go for the best leaf peeping experience, and what you need to know for current trail conditions.
Here’s where the fall foliage is going to be, with the following percentages and conditions of leaf color change:
- Saranac Lake – at peak
- Malone – at peak
- Ticonderoga – at peak
- Northern Warren County – at peak
- Southern Warren County – near peak
- Mt. Arab – 85% – 90%
- Tupper Lake – 85% – 90%
- Crown Point – 75% – 100%
- Indian Lake – 90%
- Speculator – just past peak
- Lake Placid – just past peak
- Whiteface Mountain – just past peak
For the areas that are “past peak” – for the most part they are barely past peak, and many trees are still in the process of changing. There is still absolutely amazing color.
If you’re planning on driving up Whiteface Mountain instead of hiking, this is the last weekend to do it – Veteran’s Memorial Highway closes on October 16th.
Overall in the Adirondacks, there will be near peak to peak conditions. Get ready for some vivid yellows and oranges with beautiful spots of red!
Cold Weather and Shorter Days
It’s no secret the weather is getting colder, but particularly in the mountains and at the summits. Forecasts for this weekend are highs in the mid-50s during the day, with overnight lows in the mid-20s to mid-30s.
Sunday is expected to be slightly warmer than Friday and Saturday, but showers are forecasted for Sunday in several areas.
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
Ice may be present on the higher summits, along with strong winds – pack crampons and wear when necessary. Check the weather right before leaving.
The sun is expected to set around 6:15pm – this is earlier than last week. It may set even earlier in the deep valleys and on northern and eastern facing slopes. Plan to return to the trailhead by sunset, but carry a flashlight or headlamp with you just in case.
Lake Arnold/Feldspar Brook Trail
This trail in the High Peaks Wilderness is flooded. The bog bridging cannot be crossed. Alternate routes using other trails in the area can be used to avoid using this trail, and the DEC is working on a permanent solution.
Garden Trailhead Shuttle and Parking Area
This is the last weekend the town of Keene is operating the Garden Trailhead Shuttle between the Porter Mountain/Marcy Field Trailhead Parking Area and the Garden Trailhead. The shuttle will operate from 7am to 7pm on Saturday and Sunday, with a round trip costing $5.
The Garden Trailhead Parking Area is still available for parking and charges $7 a day. This is the last weekend that an attendant will be present at the parking area, from 1pm to 7pm on Friday, and 7am to 7pm on Saturday and Sunday. If you are there at another time you are expected to use an envelope and the collection slot to pay.
Elk Lane Trailhead: The portion of the Elk Lane Trailhead to the High Peaks Wilderness that is located on the privately owned Elk Lake Easement Lands will be closed to the public during the Northern Zone Game Hunting Season, which begins on Saturday, October 22nd.
With the popularity of the fall foliage, many areas can get quite crowded for hiking, particularly in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve, Dix Mountain Wilderness, Giant Mountain Wilderness, and the eastern High Peaks.
Consider checking out the following hikes, identified by the DEC as less crowded with equally amazing foliage and views of of the Adirondacks:
- Rocky Peak
- Baxter Mountain
- Owl’s Head Lookout
- The Crows
- Whiteface Mountain
- Scarface Mountain
- Copperas & Owen Ponds
- Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain
- Catamount Mountain
- Silver Lake Mountain
- Bear Den Mountain
- Cobble Lookout
- Clements Pond
Fire danger is still moderate. Never leave a campfire unattended, and ensure all wood, coals, embers, and ash are cool.
Water levels are still low, but again showers are forecasted in many areas for Sunday. Water levels can rise quickly during and right after rain.
Some big game, small game, and waterfowl hunting seasons are 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.
Bear-resistant canisters are still required for overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks, and recommended throughout the Adirondacks. Check out our black bear guide for more information on how to avoid encounters with these wild animals.
A trail reroute has been constructed around the washout near Uphill Lean-to by members of the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Program.
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.
More specific trail updates can be found here >>