It’s a beautiful spring weekend and a long one for our Canadian neighbors! Before you head out for an impromptu hike – find out where muddy trail advisories are still in effect, what bugs might be biting and why you should still stay on the lower elevation trails.
Victoria Holiday Weekend
This is a three-day weekend for our friends in Canada, and the Adirondacks are a popular destination for a getaway. Trailhead parking lots may reach capacity early in the day and interior campsites might be filled by Friday evening. Hikers are encouraged to visit less used areas of the Adirondacks this weekend.
Muddy Trail Advisory
Mud mixed with melting ice and snow are making the higher elevation trails slippery and vulnerable to erosion by hikers. Hikers should avoid trails above 2,500 feet. Only use the trails at lower elevations for the time being, as these typically dry sooner after snowmelt and are on less erosive soils than the higher peaks.
Trail Conditions & Water Crossings
Trails are wet and muddy, especially in low spots and along waterways. Some trails along waterways might be covered with standing water. Water levels are high and water crossings may be difficult.
Black flies and mosquitoes are out in the lower elevations. Follow these steps to protect yourself from the nuisance of biting insects:
- Wear light colored long sleeve shirts and long pants
- Tuck shirts into pants
- Button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist
- Tuck the bottom of pant legs into your socks
- Pack a head net to wear when insects are abundant
- Use an insect repellent with DEET
Avoid summits, water surfaces, and other open areas during thunderstorms. Move to lower elevations as soon as you’re aware a storm is coming. If you are caught outside in a thunderstorm find a low spot away from tall trees, find shorter trees instead, and crouch away from the tree trunks.
Fire danger is currently moderate.
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.
Temperatures will be colder, winds stronger, and snow and ice are present on the highest summits, north-facing slopes, and other shaded areas.
Elk Lake Road is now open to public motor vehicle access to the trailhead parking area. The trail from the Elk Lake Trailhead on the privately-owned Elk Lake Easement Lands is now open.
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.
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 over Slide Mountain Brook on Phelps Trail before the Garde and Johns Brook Lodge is broken and unusable.
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 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.