It’s cold out there! With the recent hikers who were lost near Algonquin Mountain for two days, we’re reminded that it’s more important than ever to take proper precautions. Here’s what you need to know if you’re braving the cold out in the Adirondacks this weekend.
Snow is present at all elevations. Snow depths are currently as follows:
- Adirondack Loj Trailhead (2,175 feet): 4 to 8 inches
- Marcy Dam (2,360 feet): 8 to 14 inches
- Lake Colden Caretaker’s Cabin (2,775 feet): 21 inches
- Above 3,000 feet: 2 feet or more
- Above 4,000 feet: 3 feet or more
Prepare for Winter Conditions
Adhere to the following:
- Wear water- and wind-resistant outer layers
- Wear layers of fleece, wool, and other non-cotton clothing
- Pack extra clothing, including a fleece, wool, or other non-cotton jacket or sweater
- Add or remove layers as needed to maintain a comfortable body temperature
- Wear a cold weather hat and gloves or mittens
- Eat, drink, and rest often
- Carry snowshoes and foot spikes and wear when needed
- Always carry a flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries
Weather forecasts can and do change – check the latest information before heading out!
Snowshoes or Skis
Snowshoes or skis are required in the High Peaks Wilderness beyond Marcy Dam, and strongly recommended wherever the snow depths exceed 8 inches. Snowshoes help to prevent post-holding (leaving deep footprints in the snow), avoid injuries, and make traveling through snow easier.
Conditions for skiing in the Eastern High Peaks:
- South Meadow Lane and the Marcy Truck Trail are in good condition, although there might be snowmobile tracks from the recent search
- Trail between Adirondack Loj Trailhead and Marcy Dam is poor to fair
- Trails between Marcy Dam and 3,000 feet are fair to good
- Plenty of snow above 3,000 feet
Ice on Water
Ice has formed on high elevation ponds and lakes, including Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake, but the ice is thin and not able to bear the weight of people right now.
This road is now plowed beyond the bridge over Stony Creek – plan accordingly. Don’t park in the snowplow turnarounds.
Gulf Brook Road
The lower gate on this road near the Blue Ridge Road is closed and locked. Public motor vehicle use is prohibited until the end of spring mud season.
Elk Lake Road
This road is closed to public motor vehicle access beyond the Clear Pond Gate until the end of the spring mud season. Park in the parking area at the Clear Pond Gate and hike, ski, or snowshoe the two miles to Elk Lake Trailhead; the trails from Elk Lake Trailhead are open.
The five exterior parking lots along Elk Lake Road and Blue Rudge Road will be plowed.
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 Region
South Meadow Lane: South Meadow Lane is closed to public motor vehicle traffic until the end of spring mud season. Vehicles may park at the barrier at the intersection with Adirondack Loj Road but should not block the opening to ensure emergency vehicles may access the lane.
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.
Garden Trailhead Parking Area: The town of Keene operates the Garden Parking Area and charges $7 a day for parking. Hikers should use an envelope and the collection slot to pay.
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.
Phelps Trail: The high water bridge over Slide Mountain Brook between the Garden and Johns Brook Lodge is broken and unusable.
Bradley Pond: The first and second foot bridges on the Bradley Pond Trail are damaged and unusable. The stream can be forded/rock hopped downstream 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 impassable for horse drawn wagons and difficult for horses.
The trail has been rerouted around a beaver pond south of Plumley’s Point on the shores of Long Lake. The reroute passes the beaver pond higher up the slope and eliminates having to cross the beaver dam and the wet feet obtained when water levels were high. Follow the blue NPT trail markers.
Moose Creek Suspension Bridge: The bridge between Shattuck Clearing and Cold River is now open.
Ouluska Brook: The bridge over this brook has collapsed. Due to low water conditions, crossing the brook is still possible.
Giant Mountain Wilderness
North Trail to Giant Mountain: Beaver activity has flooded this trail just past the lean-to.
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.