If you’re planning on hiking in the Adirondacks this weekend you’ll want to bring some snowshoes or skis with you! Check out the latest info with the winter weather, trail conditions, and more.
- Crown Point: Fri 27° and mostly cloudy, Sat 30° and partly cloudy, Sun 24° and mostly sunny
- Indian Lake: Fri 21° and mostly cloudy, Sat 20° and snow showers, Sun 20° and mostly sunny
- Lake George: Fri 29° and partly cloudy, Sat 32° and partly cloudy, Sun 29° and mostly sunny
- Lake Placid: Fri 21° and cloudy, Sat 19° and snow showers, Sun 17° and mostly sunny
- Malone: Fri 21° and mostly cloudy, Sat 19° and snow showers, Sun 12° and partly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 22° and mostly cloudy, Sat 21° and partly cloudy, Sun 22° and mostly sunny
- Saranac Lake: Fri 21° and mostly cloudy, Sat 19° and snow showers, Sun 17° and mostly sunny
- Speculator: Fri 19° and cloudy, Sat 19° and snow showers, Sun 20° and mostly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 20° and mostly cloudy, Sat 24° and partly cloudy, Sun 18° and mostly sunny
- Tupper Lake: Fri 21° and cloudy, Sat 19° and snow showers, Sun 18° and partly cloudy
Below freezing temperatures, snow, and ice are present at all elevations. Be prepared for wintery conditions by adhering to the following:
- Wear a waterproof outer layer
- Wear layers of noncotton clothing
- Carry extra layers of noncotton clothing
- Carry extra wool socks
- Wear a hat and gloves or mittens
Temperatures will be colder with winds stronger at the summits. You’ll want to wear a jacket or coat (outer shell), a hat, and gloves or mittens that will block wind. Avoid skin exposure while on the summits. Carry extra layers of noncotton clothing specifically for the summits.
Winter Recreational Opportunities Available
The recent snowstorm has provided excellent conditions for outdoor recreation in the Adirondacks. When arriving with proper clothing and equipment for snow, ice, and cold weather, outdoor recreation enthusiasts can have a safe and enjoyable time.
“Now that snow has arrived in the Adirondacks, visitors can take advantage of all the winter recreation opportunities in the park,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement. “However, winter can also present dangerous – even perilous – conditions to the unprepared. Visitors exploring the backcountry should dress for cold weather and use snowshoes and skis to navigate trails where appropriate.”
Snow depths range from two to 18 inches right now, with the deepest snow currently found in the western and central Adirondacks; snow depths are thinner in the eastern and southern Adirondacks. Snow depths are much deeper in the higher elevations like the High Peaks.
Snowmobiling, Skiing & Snowshoeing
Most gates and designated snowmobile trails in the western and central Adirondacks are or will be open by the weekend, including the Moose River Plains and the Seventh Lake Mountain snowmobile trail, and Lake Pleasant.
Other trail systems are being checked for blowdown, washouts, and other problems. They’ll need additional snow before opening. Snowmobilers should check on local trail conditions before heading out.
Skiers and snowshoers using designated snowmobile trails should keep to the side to allow for the safe passage of snowmobiles. Snowmobilers should slow down when passing skiers and snowshoers.
Snow and ice are present on all trails at all elevations. The recent snow storm brought about 10 inches to the High Peaks. The use of snowshoes is now required in the High Peaks Wilderness. Water and mud might also still be present on some lower elevations.
Wear proper footwear, including traction devices, especially on steep sections of trails and at water crossings where rocks might be covered with a layer of ice. Snowshoes or skis are strongly encouraged wherever snow depths are higher than eight inches.
Using snowshoes or skis on trails eases travel while on snow, and also prevents “post holing,” which can ruin trails and cause sudden falls and injuries. Ice crampons and traction devices should be carried for use on icy portions of trails, including on the summits and other exposed areas.
You can expect to encounter blowdown (fallen or hanging trees, limbs, and branches) on trails.
Remember that traveling through snow takes more energy and time that it would typically take to hike the same distance – this is especially true if it’s freshly fallen snow. Plan your hiking trip accordingly.
Remember the days are short now, and you should be carrying a headlamp or flashlight with you on all hikes. Make sure there are fresh batteries and bring extras. Don’t rely on your cell phone as a flashlight because the battery will drain quickly and you’d be unable to call for help.
Ice on Water
Ice has or is beginning to form on many waters. Ice won’t bear the weight of a person at this time. Ice may be covered in snow – it still won’t hold the weight of a person.
Seasonal Access Roads
All seasonal access roads are closed to public motor vehicles at this time. The use of these roads by motor vehicles can tear up and rut snowmobile trails and even the roads themselves.
The two trails through the Elk Lake Easement lands connecting to the High Peaks Wilderness and the Dix Mountain Wilderness are once again open. However, the Clear Pond Gate on the Elk Lake Road will remain closed through the spring mud season. This will add four miles to a roundtrip hike; prepare accordingly.
The gate on Corey’s Road will remain open until March 1st, however, the road and parking areas may not be plowed. If you do not have four-wheel drive, and there is snow on the ground, you might consider parking along the plowed section of road and walking. Do not block traffic here. Also, have a shovel in your vehicle in case you need to dig it out after a snowstorm.
South Meadow Lane is closed to public motor vehicle traffic until the end of spring mud season. Vehicles can park at the barrier just off the Adirondac Loj Road. Do not block the opening; it’s used for emergency access.
The lower gate on the Gulf Brook Road is closed until the end of spring mud season.
A large tree has fallen on the lean-to on the Mr. Van Ski Trail, causing severe damage and rendering the lean-to unsafe and unusable. The DEC is working with partners to evaluate the extent of the damage, and determining what will be needed for repairs.
Several sections of the Phelps Trail in the Upper Johns Brook Valley contain extensive blowdown. Please use caution when hiking around this area. The high water bridge over Slide Mountain Brook on this trail between the Garden Trailhead Parking Area and Johns Brook Lodge has been replaced.
The Cold Brook Trail between Indian Pass and Lake Colden is no longer a designated trail and is not maintained. It hasn’t been a designated trail since Tropical Storm Irene devastated this trail in 2011.
A new section of the Bradley Pond Trail to Santanoni Mountain has been constructed near the beginning of the trail to avoid the two crossings which had unusable bridges. The new trail section leaves the old trail just as the trail leaves the gravel road and crosses Santanoni Brook on a newly constructed bridge, and then joins the old trail a short distance later.
The Owl’s Head Trail across private lands to the summit is closed to public access and use on weekends, but is available for public use on weekdays. When hiking here please stay on the trail and avoid trespassing on private lands.
Blowdown has been cleared from the Blueberry Horse Trail between Calkins Creek Horse Trail and Ward Brook Horse Trail in the Western High Peaks. The trail has been “brushed out” (trailside vegetation has been trimmed). The trail is once again passable to horses and riders, however, riders should take care near drainages and several stream crossings that will be muddy. The DEC plans to improve the trail tread of this route in the future.
A new section of Bradley Pond Trail to Sanatanoni Mountain has been constructed near the beginning of the trail to avoid the two crossings, which had unusable bridges. The new section leaves the old trail just as the trail leaves the gravel road and crosses Santanoni Brook on a newly constructed bridge, and then joins the old trail a short distance later.
The high water bridge over Calamity Brook has been repaired. Although it leans slightly, it is usable for crossing. The lean will be corrected at a later date. The repairs were completed by SCA High Peaks Backcountry Stewards, a DEC Forest Ranger, and the DEC High Peaks Wilderness Land Manager.
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.
The Boquet Lean-To on the Dix Mountain Round Pond Trail has been moved away from the river and repaired by volunteers from the Adirondack 46ers.
A trail reroute has been constructed around the flooded area on the North Trail to Giant Mountain just past the lean-to.
Beaver activity has flooded parts of Jack Rabbit Trail.
The Calkins Creek Horse Trail has two bridges out, making it impassable for horse-drawn wagons and difficult for horses.
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, making them unsafe.