The Muddy Trail Advisory is still in effect, cyclists are out and about in the Adirondacks, bears in the Eastern High Peaks have been getting into a certain kind of “bear resistant” canister, and more – see what you need to know for hiking and camping in the Adirondacks this weekend.
Weather & Proper Hydration
Longer, hotter days are becoming more frequent. Bring at least 1 – 2 liters of water on every trip, and more if necessary. Plan out water sources along your trip where you can refill your container using a water filter.
Hydrating regularly will allow for a more enjoyable experience and will help you avoid overheating or heat sickness on your adventure. Always bring UV protectant clothing, sunglasses, sunscreen, and Chapstick.
Here’s the current weather report:
- Crown Point: Fri 74° and showers, Sat 84° and mostly sunny, Sun 88° and partly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 71° and mostly sunny, Sat 70° and partly cloudy, Sun 71° and partly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 77° and scattered showers, Sat 88° and mostly sunny, Sun 91° and partly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 70° and partly cloudy, Sat 76° and partly cloudy, Sun 83° and scattered thunderstorms
- Malone: Fri 72° and partly cloudy, Sat 77° and partly cloudy, Sun 84° and scattered thunderstorms
- North Creek: Fri 70° and scattered showers, Sat 78° and mostly sunny, Sun 85° and scattered thunderstorms
- Saranac Lake: Fri 71° and partly cloudy, Sat 77° and partly cloudy, Sun 83° and scattered thunderstorms
- Speculator: Fri 70° and partly cloudy, Sat 76° and mostly sunny, Sun 82° and partly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 74° and rain, Sat 84° and mostly sunny, Sun 87° and partly cloudy
- Tupper Lake: Fri 70° and partly cloudy, Sat 76° and mostly sunny, Sun 83° and mostly cloudy
Be Aware of Cyclists
The DEC is reminding us that Adirondack roadways are shared by all, and hikers should watch out for cyclists.
Cyclists are currently training for the annual Lake Placid Ironman in late July, and they’re utilizing Route 86 between Jay and Lake Placid, Route 73 between Lake Placid and Keene, and Route 9N between Keene and Jay as part of the training course.
Please use caution and drive slowly, particularly through the Cascade Lakes area and Wilmington Notch where the road becomes very narrow and there is little to no shoulder. Vehicles should always keep an eye out for cyclists on all roads in the Adirondacks.
Parking along the side of the road removes access to safe shoulders for cyclists who are sharing the roadways. Please park only in designated parking areas along roadsides and at trailheads.
Bear Resistant Canisters & Camping
The use of bear resistant canisters is required for overnight campers in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness until November 30th but they’re highly recommended elsewhere. Store all food, toiletries, and garbage in these canisters, which should be stored away from the campsite or lean-to.
Choose a dark coated bear canister where food inside is not visible. Black bears in the Eastern High Peaks have regularly defeated bear canisters made of clear plastic.
In addition to storing all food, toiletries, and garbage in a bear resistant canister, campers should also abide by the following:
- Do not use a food hang for any reason – it’s prohibited.
- Prepare food away from campsite or lean-to, and prepare and eat food well before dark.
- Take food out immediately before preparation and/or eating.
- Take out only as much food as will be eaten.
- If approached by a bear, make noise and make all reasonable efforts to keep bears from obtaining food, but do not risk physical contact. Back away from the bear, but never run.
DEC Seeking Trail Crew Supervisor
You could be a part of the effort to maintain and protect the High Peaks Wilderness! The DEC is currently seeking a trail crew supervisor and trail crew laborers to work in the backcountry of the High Peaks Wilderness as part of the DEC High Peaks Trail Crew. The crew will spend the week camping out in tents (or a lean-to) or staying at one of DEC’s Interior Outposts.
Most of the projects are located six miles from the nearest road and will require a strenuous hike with heavy pack to get to and from the work site. Tasks will include hardening tent sites, relocating privies, installing turnpiking, rock and drainage work, bridge building, and clearing blowdown.
If you’re interested, email Info.R5@dec.ny.gov for a full job description and application instructions.
Seasonal Access Roads
All seasonal access roads designated for public motor vehicle use are open, except for Rock Dam Road in the Moose River Plains Complex.
Seasonal access roads are dirt and gravel roads that can be rough. Four-wheel drive SUVs, pickup trucks, and other high clearance vehicles are recommended for driving on these roads.
Stay put if you get lost or injured while out hiking. If you have a cell service, call the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch at 518.891.0235 (save this number to your phone before you head out).
While you’re waiting for help, stay warm and dry by separating yourself from the wet ground with a thick layer like your pack. Protect yourself from the elements by building a shelter with items around you and in your pack. Use a space blanket for extra warmth.
Muddy Trail Advisory
The Muddy Trail Advisory is still in effect. The DEC is asking people to avoid trails above 2,500 feet in the High Peaks Region until these high elevation trails have dried and hardened. The trails have thin soils, are dangerous for hiking, and susceptible to erosion. Sensitive trailside alpine vegetation is easily damaged.
Trails below 2,500 feet elevation are mostly dry. You can expect to encounter mud and water in low areas, drainages, and along water bodies.
Continue to walk through mud and water and not around, to avoid trampling sensitive trailside vegetation. Wear waterproof hiking boots and expect them to get dirty.
Water Levels & Temperatures
Water levels are average or below average for this time of year.
Water temperatures are warmer in shallow bays and shallow, small lakes and ponds. Water temperatures remain cold in large, deep lakes, and in rivers and streams – even on warm days.
Boats, paddlers, and anglers fishing from shore or wading in the water should wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). People immersed in cold waters can quickly become hypothermic and lose the ability to swim and keep their head above water.
Bugs are out and about in the Adirondacks, including black flies, mosquitoes, and no-see-ums (biting midges) – the black flies are particularly bad right now. Follow these steps to minimize the nuisance of biting insects:
- Wear light-colored clothing
- Wear long sleeve shirts
- Tuck shirts into pants
- Button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist
- Wear long pants and tuck the bottom of pant legs into your socks
- Pack a head net to wear when insects are thick
- Use insect repellent with DEET
Rock Climbing Routes
A number of rock climbing cliffs and routes are still closed to allow peregrine falcons to nest and raise their young. Rock climbers are urged to be cautious and observant while climbing, and to please report any aggressive or agitated peregrine falcon behavior to the DEC Wildlife Office at 518.897.1291 or at info.R5@dec.ny.gov.
Fire danger is still low. Continue to be safe with campfires.
Practice Leave No Trace
Follow proper trail etiquette to maintain minimal impact on the environment and the natural resources of the Adirondacks, as well as to ensure an enjoyable outdoor experience for all visitors, by following the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace.
High Peaks Wilderness
The lands of Dix Mountain Wilderness are now part of the High Peaks Wilderness. The DEC will be changing signs, web pages, and regulations to eliminate the Dix Mountain Wilderness and transition to the High Peaks Wilderness.
Gulf Brook Road is open to public motor vehicles to Fly Pond Gate (Parking Lot #8 on Interim Access Plan Map) which is approximately 3.2 miles from Blue Ridge Road, 2.5 miles from LaBier Flow, and 3.5 miles from Boreas Ponds. This road is in very rough shape – four-wheel drive SUVs, pickup trucks, and other high clearance vehicles are recommended. The DEC is working on a plan to address these concerns.
Mr. Van Lean-to on the Mr. Van Ski Trail has been repaired and can be used.
Blowdown has been cleared from the Phelps Trail in Upper Johns Brook Valley.
The trail to Little Porter Mountain from the Garden Trailhead is closed. The portion of this trail crossing private land has been closed to the public by the landowner. Trespassing on these lands is now prohibited. The summit of Little Porter Mountain can still be accessed from the Marcy Field Trailhead or the Cascade Mountain Trailhead.
Now through October parking at the Garden Parking Lot costs $10 ($13 Canadian) per day. A town of Keene attendant will be at the lot from 7am until 7pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. Paying the fee is a self-serve process during the week.
Cold Brook Trail is not a designated DEC trail and is not maintained.
Blueberry Horse Trail is passable to horses and riders, however, riders should use caution near drainages and several stream crossings that will be muddy. The DEC is planning to improve the trailhead of this route in the future.
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.
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; don’t follow the paths created by others.
The Calkins Creek Horse Trail has two bridges out, making it impassable for horse drawn wagons and difficult for horses.
Lake Flower Boat Launch
The boat launch is open, but due to a cleanup project removing contaminated sediments from Lake Flower’s Pontiac Bay, no parking is available on site. Read up on alternate parking available >>
Independence River Wild Forest/Big Moose Conservation Easement Tract
The Stillwater Mountain Fire Tower will be closed to the public on Tuesday, June 18th, while repairs are made to the roof.
Blue Mountain Wild Forest (Township 19 Conservation Easement Tract)
O’Neill Flow Road is now open to motor vehicle access.
Kushaqua Conservation Easement Tract
North Branch-Hays Brook Road and Mud Pond Road are now open to motor vehicle access.
Moose River Plains Complex
Rock Dam Road remains closed to public motor vehicle access.
Five Ponds Wilderness
A 10-mile section of the Oswegatchie River from High Falls downstream to Inlet Hand Launch (Inlet Road) has numerous fallen trees across the river which may make passage difficult. Paddlers should portage around downed trees whenever possible.
An 800-foot portion of the High Falls Loop (part of the Cranberry 50) has been rerouted to avoid a dangerous log crossing of a beaver dam. The new route has been signed and blowdown has been removed. It is located approximately 0.6 miles east of High Falls.
Saranac Lakes Wild Forest
The Adirondack Park Agency has released the Final Draft Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest for public review for compliance with the Adirondack State Park Land Master Plan. Based on public comments, DEC has made changes to the proposals contained in the public draft. Read the management plan here >>
Essex Chain Lakes Complex
Access to the western portion of the Complex, including the Deer Pond Parking Area, the Fifth Lake MAPPWD route, and the campsites along Cornell and Deer Pond Cornell Roads, will be closed to public use and motor vehicle access, beginning at sunset on Sunday, July 22nd.
This closure will remain in effect until the end of August. The DEC is replacing three motor vehicle bridges, one each on Woody’s Road, Cornell Road, and Deer Pond Road, to facilitate safe passage along these corridors for the future.
Beaver activity on the inlet to Middle Branch Lake has flooded a small section of the Middle Branch Lake Trail. A short detour is necessary to pass through this section of trail.
Jay Mountain Wilderness
Blowdown has been cleared from the Jay Mountain Trail.
Giant Mountain Wilderness
All rock climbing routes on the Upper Washbowl Cliffs in the Chapel Pond are open. All rock climbing routes on the Lower Washbowl Cliffs are closed.
A trail reroute has been constructed around the flooded area on the North Trail to Giant Mountain just past the lean-to.
Sentinel Range Wilderness
Several sections of the Pitchoff Mountain Trail, including the segment to “Balanced Rocks,” are severely eroded. These areas are challenging to navigate. Please use caution and turn back if it’s too difficult for your party to safely cross.
Beaver activity has flooded some parts of Jack Rabbit Trail.
Boreas Ponds Tract
The DEC has released Draft Unit Management Plan (UMP) Amendments to the High Peaks Wilderness Complex UMP and the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest UMP that propose management actions regarding public access and recreation to the Boreas Pond Tract and other adjacent and nearby Forest Preserve lands. The DEC and APA are conducting concurrent public review processes of the Draft UMP Amendments until June 27th.
The public is prohibited from trespassing in and around leased hunting camps.