It probably won’t surprise anyone that there is currently a good amount of snow in the Adirondacks, making for great skiing, snowmobiling, and recreating opportunities. Check out the current trail conditions, weather report, and more.
Camp Santanoni Winter Weekend
This is the last weekend of the 2018 Camp Santanoni Winter Weekends. The snow conditions are excellent, and cross-country skiers and snowshoers are encouraged to come out.
With two major storms in one week winter conditions have returned to the Adirondacks! Snow depths range from 4 to 20 inches, with the deepest snow in the central and southern Adirondacks. There is shallow snow in the lower elevations.
This is the current forecast – as you can see, the snow is still coming:
- Crown Point: Fri 39° and snow showers, Sat 40° and cloudy, Sun 40° and mostly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 31° and snow showers, Sat 29° and cloudy, Sun 32° and mostly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 41° and snow showers, Sat 42° and mostly cloudy, Sun 45° and mostly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 31° and snow showers, Sat 28° and snow showers, Sun 29° and snow showers
- Malone: Fri 33° and snow showers, Sat 31° and showers, Sun 32° and snow showers
- North Creek: Fri 33° and snow showers, Sat 30° and mostly cloudy, Sun 34° and mostly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 32° and snow showers, Sat 30° and snow showers, Sun 32° and snow showers
- Speculator: Fri 31° and snow showers, Sat 29° and cloudy, Sun 32° and mostly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 32° and snow showers, Sat 33° and cloudy, Sun 33° and mostly cloudy
- Tupper Lake: Fri 32° and snow showers, Sat 30° and snow showers, Sun 31° and snow showers
Continue to dress for cold weather with a waterproof upper and lower outer shell, waterproof footwear, layers of synthetic or wool winter clothing (not cotton), and a hat and gloves or mittens.
If you’re heading to a mountain summit remember that conditions will be more extreme than they are at the trailhead. Expect colder temperatures, stronger winds, deeper snow, and ice will be present.
Low elevation trails are covered with snow but may have ice water or mud under the snow. Snowshoes are going to be warranted throughout the majority of the Adirondacks. Where the snow depths don’t warrant the use of snowshoes, trail crampons and other traction devices should be carried for use on lower elevation, less steep trails.
Thick ice is present on high elevation trails, especially on bedrock summits, steep rocky slopes, and other exposed areas. The thick ice might be covered with snow.
Carry mountaineering or climbing crampons if you plan to travel up trails to mountain summits and use when needed; trail crampons will be ineffective here.
The recent storm has brought some high winds to the Adirondacks in the higher elevations and you may encounter fallen trees and low hanging branches.
Although the snow is wonderful for winter recreation, remember that more snow also means more snow on the roads. With the snow continuing throughout the weekend, travel corridors and parking areas will be snow covered and slippery. Be aware of cars pulling in and out of parking areas and park efficiently side by side where lots permit.
Many gates and snowmobile trails that had been previously closed due to lack of snow are likely going to reopen this weekend. Check the local conditions before heading out.
Ice on Water Bodies & Ice Safety
Large areas of ice moving over rivers and streams are gone or have thinned considerably. Ice is also thinning on lakes and ponds, especially over river channels and other moving water. Water and slush are present beneath the snow on the surface of ice.
Be sure you know the thickness of the ice under the snow and if you don’t, then don’t travel over water bodies with ice. Especially use extreme caution at all stream crossings; rocks are covered with ice. The DEC is asking that dogs are kept on leashes near fast-moving water.
The DEC has received and responded to numerous reports of motorized vehicles falling through the ice. Remember that ice that can hold the weight of snow may not hold the weight of a person, snowmobile, or ATV. Stay away from ice over running water, near inlets and outlets, and near boathouses and docks.
The days are getting longer, especially with Daylight Saving Time on Sunday. However, it’s still recommended to always carry a headlamp or flashlight with you on all hikes. Make sure to have fresh batteries and carry extras. Don’t depend on your cell phone as a flashlight as the batteries will drain quickly and you would be unable to call for help.
Practice Leave No Trace
Always adhere to the seven Leave No Trace principles to best preserve the Adirondack region we all love and to allow for an enjoyable outdoor experience for all visitors.
High Peaks Wilderness
Skiers and others traveling off trail onto slides and other avalanche-prone territory should be prepared: know the amount of new snow; carry transceivers, probes, and shovels; know how to self-rescue; and report any avalanches you witness to the DEC Dispatch at 518.897.1300.
There is 45 inches of snow at Lake Colden (elevation 2,750 feet) with up to 5 to 6 feet of snow in the higher elevations. Snowshoes or skis are required past Marcy Dam and wherever else snow depths exceed 8 inches. Thick ice is present on high elevation trails.
Avoid the inlets and outlets of Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake; snow is covering thin ice around the open water.
Corey’s Road in the Western High Peaks is closed. It will remain closed through mud season. The road will reopen when it has dried and hardened, and all routine maintenance and repairs have been completed.
The road under the train trestle in the Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area has been closed due to flooding.
Due to logging operations on the Conifer-Emporium Easement Tract the DEC has closed the Cranberry Lake 50 connector trail and Lost Pond Trail to public use until further notice. The Cranberry Lake 50 trail has been temporarily re-routed to its former route through State Route 3 during the closure.
The Cascade Lakes Day Use Area, located off State Route 73 between Lower and Upper Cascade Lakes, is closed until further notice due to the icy condition of the unmaintained entry road.
The trail through the Elk Lake Easement lands connecting to the High Peaks Wilderness is open 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 the road and walking. It is imperative to 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.
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 the requirements and timing of 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Dix Mountain Wilderness
The trail through the Elk Easement lands connecting to the Dix Mountain Wilderness is open for public use once again; as mentioned in the High Peaks section, the Clear Pond Gate on Elk Lake Road is closed through spring mud season.
The Boquet lean-to on the Dix Mountain Road Pond Trail has been moved away from the river and repaired by volunteers from the Adirondack 46ers.
Giant Mountain Wilderness
A trail re-route has been constructed around the flooded area on the North Trail to Giant Mountain just past the lean-to.
The bridge over Ouluska Brook has collapsed into the brook. Due to the low water conditions, crossing the brook is still possible.
McKenzie Mountain Wilderness
The first bridge on the Jackrabbit Trail between McKenzie Pond Road and McKenzie Pond is flooded and impassable. The stream isn’t safe to cross. Skiers and snowshoers should avoid this portion of the trail until further notice.
The portion of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail through this wilderness is popular with cross-country skiers. The use of segments of the trail which cross through private property is by permission of the landowner. Please respect the private property by staying on the marked trail and obeying posted signs. Anyone using this trail should wear skis or snowshoes, and snowshoers should avoid walking in ski tracks.
Sentinel Range Wilderness
Beaver activity has flooded some parts of the Jack Rabbit Trail.
Boreas Ponds Tract
The Adirondack Park Agency has approved the classification of the Boreas Ponds Tract, after nearly two years of discussion.
The lower gate on Gulf Brook Road is closed until the end of spring mud season.
The public is prohibited from trespassing in and around leased hunting camps.
Adirondack Mountain Reserve (Ausable Club)
The public easement agreement only allows for hiking on designated trails and roads. Don’t trespass on AMR lands and waters or participate in any unauthorized activities. Dogs are prohibited on the AMR.