If you’re looking to hit the trails this weekend be sure to keep to the lower elevations! The DEC is warning hikers to stay off the higher elevations due to muddy conditions and the need to protect the trails.
Muddy Trail Advisory
Hikers are currently being advised to only use trails on the lower elevations at this time. Trails above 2,500 feet have a mix of mud, ice, and snow, as the ice melts and frost leaves the ground, making them slippery and vulnerable to erosion by hikers. Please only hike the lower elevations at this time – they usually dry sooner after the snowmelt and are on less erosive soils than the higher peaks.
Stay on trails to protect vegetation and prevent further erosion. Walk through mud and water, not around it, and use microspikes to walk on hard-packed snow and ice.
Water levels are high, especially in the afternoon when snow is rapidly melting. Water crossing may be difficult or even treacherous. Easy water crossings in the morning may not be so when you return in the afternoon. Plan accordingly.
Fire danger is currently low.
The use of wood burning stoves is prohibited in the Eastern High Peaks. The ban on campfires applies to any type of use of wood as fuel to protect the trees and other vegetation from being damaged.
The High Peaks Information Center is now open.
Corey’s Road is open to public motor vehicle traffic to the summer parking lot.
South Meadow Lane is open to public motor vehicle traffic.
Rock climbing routes on the Upper Washbowl Cliffs are now open, but the rock climbing routes on the Lower Washbowl Cliffs remain closed to allow peregrine falcons to breed.
Overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks must store all food, toiletries, and garbage in a bear resistant canister.
The trail from the Elk Lake Trailhead on the privately-owned Elk Lake Easement Lands is now open. Elk Lake Road is closed to public motor vehicle access beyond the Clear Pond Gate until the end of 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.
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 the Adirondack Loj Road but should not block the opening to ensure emergency vehicles may access the lane.
East River Trail (also known as the Opalescent River/Hanging Spear Falls Trail) can be used to access the Flowed Lands and Lake Colden. It is an additional 3.7 miles one way to reach the Flowed Lands using this route. The DEC will work to stabilize and repair the high water bridge sometime this spring. The second bridge on this trail to Allen Mountain and Hanging Spear Falls has been replaced. Please don’t bounce on the bridge.
The top landing on the Mt. Adams Fire Tower has been damaged by ice and wind. Fencing and railings were broken off and the tower stairs and landings are slippery. The top landing and the cab are closed to the public at this time. The DEC plans to repair the tower sometime this year.
Lake Arnold/Feldspar Brook Trail is flooded and the bog bridging cannot be crossed. Alternate routes using other trails in the area can be used instead. The DEC is working to find a permanent solution to this section of the trail in the near future.
Calkins Creek Horse Trail has two bridges out, making it impassable for horse drawn wagons and difficult for horses.
The high water bridge on Phelps Trail over Slide Mountain Brook between the Garden Trailhead Parking Area and Johns Brook Lodge broke in the spring of 2016. The remains were removed. Materials have been flown to the site and a new bridge will be built this year.
Whiteface Landing Trail has been rerouted to avoid private camps on Connery Pond. The new trail route starts at the small parking area just before the private gate. Please respect the private property and stay on the trail.
The first and second foot bridges on the Bradley Pond Trail are damaged and unusable. The stream can be forded/rock hopped on the downstream side of the bridge sites.
The lower gate on Gulf Brook Road near the Blue Ridge Road is closed and locked. Public motor vehicle use is prohibited until the end of spring mud season.
The five exterior parking lots along Blue Ridge Road and Elk Road will be plowed.
The bridge over Ouluska Brook on the Northville-Placid Trail has collapsed into the brook. Due to low water conditions, crossing the brook is still possible.
A trail reroute has been constructed around the flooded area on the North Trail to Giant Mountain just past the lean-to.
Many of the herd paths found on Mount Marshall and some of the other trail-less peaks meander around the slopes of the mountain without reaching the peak. Those climbing these peaks should navigate with a map and compass rather than follow the paths created by others.
Fixed ropes, harnesses, and other equipment are often abandoned in the Trap Dike. Do not use any of these materials – they have been aged and weatherized and are unsafe.
Interim Access Plan for the Boreas Ponds Tract has been developed which identifies access and recreational opportunities including: five year-round parking areas and three seasonal parking areas, 3.2 miles of seasonal motor vehicle access on the Gulf Brook Road, 6.7 miles of roadway open to bicycling from Blue Ridge Road to the Boreas Ponds Dam, and approximately 25 miles of seven roadways open to horses and horse drawn wagons. The public is prohibited from trespassing in and around the leased hunting camps.
Backcountry Steward Positions in the High Peaks
Attention hikers! Do you want to work in the High Peaks? The DEC is looking to fill four Student Conservation Association (SCA) Backcountry Steward internship positions in the High Peaks Wilderness. These are six-month positions.