The weather is getting colder out there and we’re already seeing snow! You can still have an enjoyable and safe hiking experience – just be aware of the weather conditions and trail notices before you take on the trails.
As the weather gets colder, it’s important to be aware that conditions can and do change quickly. Always have extra clothes and supplies with you. Be prepared for any condition, and be prepared to unexpectedly have to spend the night in the woods.
The National Weather Service is forecasting up to 14 inches of snow on the High Peaks summits by Friday afternoon; 1 to 2 inches is predicted for the lower elevations. The snow will change to sleet and then rain by Saturday morning. Check the National Weather Service forecast before heading out.
The summits will of course be colder with stronger winds. Check the National Weather Service Mountain Point Forecasts for specific summits.
Sunset will be around 5:50pm and earlier in deep valleys and on northern and eastern facing slopes. It will become darker sooner when cloudy. Prepare to be back to the trailhead by sunset, but have a flashlight or headlamp with you just in case.
Avoid hypothermia by doing the following:
- Wear waterproof outer layers.
- Wear layers of fleeces, wool, and other non-cotton clothing.
- Pack extra clothing, including a fleece, wool, or another non-cotton jacket or sweater.
- Add or remove layers to maintain a comfortable body temperature.
- Wear a cold weather hat and gloves or mittens.
- Eat, drink, and rest often.
The foliage is past peak virtually everywhere in the Adirondacks. However, there is still some great color out there. You likely won’t see much red, but many leaves are currently shades of yellow, orange, and gold.
Trails are wet and muddy in the lower elevations, and covered in snow and ice in the higher elevations. Be prepared for slippery trails. Wear appropriate footwear and traction devices. You may want snowshoes for higher elevations – the DEC is recommending snowshoes in the Giant Mountain Wilderness specifically. As always, remain on the trails to avoid trailside erosion.
Water levels are average but are expected to rise with the forecasted precipitation. Use caution when traveling through low water crossings and drainages.
High Peaks Information Center
The information center at Adirondack Loj will be closed for renovations until late December. The Adirondack Mountain Club will operate out of a heated tent to offer snowshoe and microspike rentals, along with some retail merchandise. The flush toilet and shower facilities will not be available, although there are porta-johns. Parking will still be available.
Most big game, small game, and waterfowl hunting seasons are currently 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.
Elk Lake Trailhead to High Peaks Wilderness
The Elk Lake 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.
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 public easement agreement only allows for hiking on designated trails and roads. Do not trespass on AMR lands or waters, or participate in 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.