Hiking is a popular activity on Memorial Day Weekend and trails and trailhead parking lots may be crowded. In addition, the Muddy Trail Advisory is still in effect. Those hiking in the Adirondacks this weekend are advised to check out trails outside the High Peaks, and to stay in the lower elevations.
Memorial Day Weekend
The hiking trails are very popular on holiday weekends. Trailhead parking lots may reach capacity early in the day and interior campsites may be filled by Friday evening. Hikers are encouraged to check out less used areas of the Adirondacks.
Note: A few of the hikes in the above list should not be taken while the Muddy Trail Advisory is still in effect.
Muddy Trail Advisory
Trails above 2,500 feet have a mix of mud, ice, and snow as the ice melts and frost leaves the ground. These trails are therefore slippery and vulnerable to erosion by hikers. Hikers can prevent damage to hiking trails and sensitive alpine vegetation by avoiding high elevation trails at this time. Please use only the trails at the lower elevations – these tend to dry more quickly after snowmelt and are on less erosive soils than the higher peaks.
Trail Conditions & Water Crossings
Trails are wet and muddy, particularly in low spots and along waterways. Some trails along waterways may be covered by standing water.
Water levels are high and water crossings may be difficult.
Protect Trailside Vegetation
Stay on the trails to protect vegetation and prevent further erosion of trails, especially in the higher elevations. Although trails are wet right now – and may even be covered in standing water – you should walk through this water and mud; do not walk on the vegetation growing beside the trails.
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 trees and other vegetation from being damaged.
Overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks are required to store all food, toiletries, and garbage in a bear-resistant canister. Bear-resistant canisters are encouraged throughout the rest of the Adirondacks.
If there is a thunderstorm avoid summits, water surfaces, and other open areas. As soon as you become aware of a storm moving in head to lower elevations or otherwise seek shelter. If you are caught outside during a storm, find a low spot away from tall trees – seek shorter trees and crouch down away from tree trunks.
Temperatures are colder and winds stronger at the summits.
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
In addition, this is a bad year for ticks in the Northeast! Protect yourself from ticks as well >>
Sections of the trail between Lake Arnold and the Feldspar lean-to are underwater and impassible. Hikers should seek other routes.
The high water bridge on the Calamity Brook Trail is unsafe, unusable and should not be crossed. Crossing Calamaity Brook, which is completely open at this time, without using the bridge will be difficult, especially with the high water levels. On warm and rainy days water levels in the brook will be higher in the afternoon; plan accordingly. The East River Trail (aka the Opalescent River/Hanging Spear Falls Trail) can be used to access the Flowed Lands and Lake Colden. It’s an additional 3.7 miles one-way to reach the Flowed Lands using this route. The DEC will be working on stabilizing and repairing the high water bridge.
The high water bridge over Slide Mountain Brook on the Phelps Trail between the Garden Trailhead Parking Area and Johns Brook Lodge broke in the spring of 2016 and the remains were removed. Materials were flown to the site so a new bridge can be built in 2017.
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.
A trail reroute has been constructed around the flooded area on the North Trail to Giant Mountain just past the lean-to.
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.
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.
The first 1,500 feet of the Blueberry Hiking Trail in the western High Peaks has been closed. The trail now connects with the Blueberry Horse Trail approximately 0.3 miles east of the previous location (0.8 miles from Seward Trailhead). This reroute eliminates the need to hike through a large wet area, and also avoids hiking more than 120 feet of bog bridging.
The Blueberry Horse Trail between the Calkins Creek Horse Trail and Ward Brook Horse Trail in the western High Peaks contains extensive blowdown, is grown in with vegetation, and is also poorly marked. The trail is impassable to horses making it impossible to complete the Cold River Horse Trail Loop. The DEC has worked to open up about 75% of the trail and work on this trail is continuing.
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.
The first and second footbridges on the Bradley Pond Trail are damaged and unusable. The stream can be forded/rock hopped.
The second bridge on the East River Trail to Allen Mountain and Hanging Spear Falls has been replaced. Please do not bounce on the bridge.
The bridge over Ouluska Brook on the Northville-Placid Trail has collapsed into the brook. If the water is low crossing the brook is still possible. The Northville-Placid 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 the water levels were high. Follow the blue NPT trail markers.
Beaver activity has flooded parts of Jack Rabbit Trail.
The Moose Creek Suspension Bridge between Shattuck Clearing and Cold River is now open.
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.
The Calkins Creek Horse Trail has two bridges out, making it impassable for horse-drawn wagons and difficult for horses.
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.