Hiking in the Adirondacks this weekend? Come prepared! You’ll encounter a variety of weather conditions that will vary from low elevations to middle elevations to the highest points. Review the current weather forecast and trail conditions before heading out.
Spring & Winter Conditions
We’re continuing to look at a mixture of spring and winter conditions, specifically, spring temperatures in lower elevations and winter conditions up high. Higher elevations and exposed summits may have significantly colder temperatures than at the base of the mountain.
Pack extra non-cotton, wind protectant layers and be sure to use them once exposed or feeling colder to help prevent hypothermia.
Rain and snow showers are forecast through the weekend with daytime temperatures in the 40s and nighttime temperatures in the 30s.
Here’s the current forecast:
- Crown Point: Fri 56° and rain, Sat 64° and rain, Sun 48° and rain
- Indian Lake: Fri 50° and rain, Sat 56° and scattered showers, Sun 41° and rain and snow
- Lake George: Fri 57° and rain, Sat 68° and scattered showers, Sun 54° and cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 54° and showers, Sat 56° and scattered showers, Sun 42° and rain and snow
- Malone: Fri 58° and cloudy, Sat 54° and rain, Sun 42° and rain
- North Creek: Fri 49° and rain, Sat 57° and scattered showers, Sun 42° and rain and snow
- Saranac Lake: Fri 55° and rain, Sat 56° and showers, Sun 42° and rain and snow
- Speculator: Fri 49° and rain, Sat 56° and rain, Sun 41° and rain and snow
- Ticonderoga: Fri 56° and rain, Sat 65° and partly cloudy, Sun 48° and showers
- Tupper Lake: Fri 55° and scattered showers, Sat 56° and rain, Sun 41° and scattered showers
Mud is prevalent in the lower elevations (below 1,500 feet), but snow and ice may be encountered sporadically, especially in wooded areas, on north facing slopes, and other shaded areas.
Middle elevations are looking at snow, ice, and mud, which have created monorails on the trails. Walk on monorails and through the mud and water.
Ice and snow are present in the highest elevations (above 4,000 feet). Trails are icy and crampons and snowshoes should be carried and used when warranted. Climbing or mountaineering crampons may be required in some places.
Carry trail crampons (microspikes) on all hikes, even for the lower elevations, and use when needed.
Paddlers, Water Crossings & Ice on Water Bodies
Paddlers should always wear a personal flotation device (PFD). PFDs are required prior to May 1st.
Water temperatures are currently very cold. A person in the water can quickly lose the ability to keep their head above the water. Use caution entering and exiting your canoe or kayak. Expect high water levels and swift currents.
Research your trip ahead of time and heed any high water warnings or advisories for select paddling routes. Watch closely for trees, branches, rocks, and debris both above the surface and underwater.
Stream crossings may be impassable; rivers are also flowing high and fast. Prepare to take alternate routes or turn back if needed. Fast moving streams should be avoided. Keep dogs on leashes near fast-moving water. Fishermen should use a flotation device when wading in waterways as well as carry a walking stick for added balance.
Most ponds and lakes are still covered in thinning ice – except near inlets, outlets, docks, and along shorelines. Ice is thin and dark on most waters. No ice is safe at this time.
Seasonal Access Roads
All gates on seasonal access roads are closed for mud season. Seasonal access roads will remain closed until they have dried and hardened, and all needed repairs and maintenance are completed.
Rock Climbing Routes
A number of rock climbing cliffs and routes in the eastern Adirondacks are closed to climbers to allow peregrine falcons to mate and select nesting sites. Once the sites are identified the DEC will reopen routes that won’t interfere with the nesting activities.
Rock climbers are urged to be cautious and observant while climbing in other locations and report any aggressive or agitated peregrine falcon behavior to the DEC Wildlife Office at 518.897.1291 or email@example.com.
The DEC appreciates the continued cooperation of the climbing community for avoiding closed routes, volunteering to observe nest sites, and reporting peregrine falcon activity.
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.
The unpaved Northville Boat Launch Parking Area on State Route 30 is closed for mud season. The boat launch and parking area will reopen once the parking area has dried and hardened, and any needed repairs and maintenance are completed. Currently, there is open water by the boact launch, but Great Sacandaga Lake is still covered with ice. Fishing is prohibited in the open water by the boat launch until May 5th.
The bridge over Ouluska Brook has collapsed into the brook. Due to the low water conditions, crossing the brook is still possible.
The Erie Canal Bridge over Otter Creek in the Independence River Wild Forest has been damaged and is closed indefinitely.
Eastern High Peaks
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.
High Peaks Wilderness
There was 43 inches of snow at the Lake Colden Caretaker Cabin as of April 23rd with up to 3 to 5 feet of snow in the highest elevations.
Be aware of ice falling from cliffs above Avalanche Pass.
Corey’s Road in the Western High Peaks is closed beyond the Calkins Brook/Raquette River Trailhead Parking. It will remain closed through mud season and will reopen when it has dried and hardened, and all maintenance and repairs have been completed.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
A small section of the Whiteface Mountain Trail just above the junction with the Whiteface Highway (Wilmington Turn) has been rerouted to avoid the hazard created by variable ice conditions and the “rock cut” of the highway.
Sentinel Range Wilderness
Trails are covered with deep snow in this area. Snowshoes or skis should be used on all trails.
Beaver activity has flooded some parts of the Jack Rabbit Trail.
Boreas Ponds Tract
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.