We’re in the midst of a winter storm in the Adirondacks, so you’ll want to be extra safe if you’re heading out for snowshoeing, skiing, or snowmobiling. Always double check the weather and trail notices before you go out!
There is currently a Winter Storm Warning for Northern New York and portions of Central Vermont in effect from 7am Friday morning through 10pm Saturday. A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet, and ice are expected. This will make travel hazardous or impossible.
- Crown Point: Fri 25° and snow, Sat 37° and freezing rain, Sun 33° and cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 18° and snow, Sat 34° and snow with brief sleet, Sun 24° and cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 28° and snow, Sat 39° and freezing rain, Sun 37° and cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 19° and snow, Sat 35° and snow with brief sleet, Sun 22° and cloudy
- Malone: Fri 17° and snow, Sat 28° and snow with brief sleet, Sun 20° and mostly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 20° and snow, Sat 35° and freezing rain, Sun 26° and cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 20° and snow, Sat 35° and snow with brief sleet, Sun 22° and cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 21° and snow, Sat 34° and snow with brief sleet, Sun 25° and cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 18° and snow, Sat 29° and freezing rain, Sun 27° and cloudy
- Tupper Lake: Fri 20° and cloudy, Sat 34° and snow with brief sleet, Sun 22° and cloudy
Below freezing temperatures, snow, and ice are present at all elevations. Snow depths range from 4 to 8 inches in the lower elevations with 8 to 12 inches in the higher elevations.
Avoid hypothermia by staying warm and dry. Be prepared for cold and snow by wearing and carrying the following with you:
- Waterproof outer layer
- Layers of noncotton clothing
- Extra layers of noncotton clothing
- Extra wool socks
- Hat and gloves or mittens
Snow and ice are present on trails at all elevations. Thicker ice is present at higher elevations. The recent snow storm brought nearly 10 inches of snow to the High Peaks with another 2 to 4 coming down on Friday. Water and snow might still be present on some lower elevation trails.
The use of snowshoes is required in the High Peaks Wilderness; snowshoes or skis are highly encouraged wherever snow depths exceed 8 inches. Wear proper footwear, including traction devices, especially on the steep sections of trails and at water crossings where rocks may be covered with a layer of ice.
Due to recent high winds, you can expect to encounter blowdown (fallen or hanging trees, limbs, and branches) on trails.
Most snowmobile trails are open. The trails are in good condition from recent snow accumulations. Snowmobilers should still check local conditions before heading out.
If you’re snowmobiling, please slow down when you see skiers and snowshoers on the trails. If you’re skiing or snowshoeing on snowmobile trails please keep to the side so they can pass you safely.
Temperatures will be colder and winds stronger at summits and snow and ice will be present. Wear a jacket or coat (outer shell) on summits to block wind, or at other exposed locations. Avoid exposing the skin on summits. Carry extra layers of noncotton clothing just for the summits.
Remember the days are shorter now and you should be bringing a headlamp or flashlight with you on all hikes. Be sure to have fresh batteries and bring extras with you. Don’t depend on your cell phone as a flashlight because that drains the battery and you’d then be unable to call for help.
Ice on Water
Ice is beginning to form or has formed on many bodies of water. It will still not bear the weight of a person at this time, even if it’s covered with snow.
Seasonal Access Roads
Many seasonal access roads are currently closed until the end of the spring mud season.
Practice Leave No Trace
Please abide by the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace when you’re recreating in the High Peaks Region. This is important to protect lands and waters of the Adirondacks that we all love.
The trail through the Elk Lake Easement lands connecting to the High Peaks Wilderness is open for the public once again. 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; plan 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.