The first day of summer was yesterday, which means that this weekend is the first official weekend of summer hiking in the Adirondacks! Make the most of your adventure by staying safe and checking out the weather, trail conditions, and hiking notices.
We can expect longer, hotter days now that summer is upon us. Make sure to hydrate properly, bringing at least 1 to 2 liters of water on every trip, and more depending on the temperature and the length of your hike. Plan out water sources along the way where you can refill your container using a water filter.
Remember that temperatures will be cooler and winds stronger at the summits.
Here’s the current forecast:
- Crown Point: Fri 82° and mostly sunny, Sat 71° and rain, Sun 71° and rain
- Indian Lake: Fri 76° and mostly sunny, Sat 64° and rain, Sun 71° and partly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 77° and scattered showers, Sat 88° and mostly sunny, Sun 68° and rain
- Lake Placid: Fri 76° and mostly sunny, Sat 65° and rain, Sun 66° and rain
- Malone: Fri 77° and mostly sunny, Sat 71° and scattered showers, Sun 64° and scattered thunderstorms
- North Creek: Fri 76° and mostly sunny, Sat 63° and rain, Sun 70° and rain
- Saranac Lake: Fri 78° and mostly sunny, Sat 67° and showers, Sun 66° and rain
- Speculator: Fri 74° and partly cloudy, Sat 61° and thunderstorms, Sun 68° and rain
- Ticonderoga: Fri 80° and mostly sunny, Sat 70° and rain, Sun 71° and rain
- Tupper Lake: Fri 78° and mostly sunny, Sat 66° and showers, Sun 66° and showers
Group Size Limits
The High Peaks Wilderness regulations limit day use group size to 15 people, and overnight use group size to eight people. If you are planning to have a larger group you’ll need to contact a local forest ranger for a permit.
The reason for group size limits is to better protect the trails, reduce disturbances to wildlife, and to maintain a wilderness experience for all users. If you are traveling with a larger group, minimize your noise to avoid disturbing other hikers and wildlife. Hike in a single file line to keep impact focused to the center, most hardened section of the trail.
Tupper Lake Tinman Triathlon
The annual Tupper Lake Tinman Triathlon is happening on Saturday, June 23rd. Expect traffic delays and busy roads. Be cautious of cyclists on Route 3 between Tupper Lake and Cranberry Lake for the better portion of the day, as well as runners throughout the town of Tupper Lake.
Watch Out for Cyclists
Cyclists are out and about in the Adirondacks, so please keep an eye out for them as you’re making your way to the trailhead. Adirondack roadways are shared by all.
Parking along the side of the road removes access to safe shoulders for cyclists who are sharing the roadways. Only park in designated parking areas along roadsides and at trailheads.
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 and Wilmington Notch areas where the road becomes very narrow and there is little to no shoulder.
Bring Extra Baggies & Keep Trails Clean
The DEC is asking hikers to bring extra baggies in your pack to ensure you’re able to carry out all trash, including food scraps.
Banana peels, orange peels, and apple cores that are tossed in the woods are often found by wildlife and can adversely affect wildlife eating and survival patterns. Tossing your scraps also attracts larger wildlife like black bears to the more populated trail areas – this greatly increases the risk for human-bear conflict. Litter and food scraps can also negatively affect the wilderness aesthetically, tainting an otherwise beautiful forested trail.
Please help to keep trails beautiful and wild, protect wildlife, and reduce wildlife conflict by always carrying out what you carry in.
Bear Resistant Canisters & Camping
Bear resistant canisters are currently required in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness and are strongly recommended throughout the rest of the Adirondack Park.
Be sure all your food and waste will fit securely within the bear canister. Plan to cook your meals earlier in the evening before dusk. Make sure to distance yourself from the bear canister and any food items overnight.
The Muddy Trail Advisory has been lifted, but certain trails are still slippery due to mud. Trails in high elevations and areas of trails in low spots, along water bodies, and in drainages will especially be muddy and might have water.
Remember to avoid damaging hiking trails and sensitive trailside vegetation and habitats by staying in the center of the trail and walking through the mud and water, not around it. Wear water-resistant hiking boots and expect them to get dirty.
Unexpected weather can occur, or you can simply take a wrong turn. Prepare for the unexpected by researching your trip route ahead of time so you’re able to clearly communicate your possible location with emergency responders. Leave your route itinerary with a friend or family member at home, so they are also able to clearly communicate your possible location, should you not arrive back on time.
Always carry an emergency essentials kit, no matter the length or difficulty of the hike. Try to always hike with a friend for safety purposes – plus, great trips are best shared with friends.
Save the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch number in your phone: 518.891.0235.
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.
Fire danger is still low. Continue to be safe with campfires.
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
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.
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.
Boaters, Paddlers, and Anglers
Water temperatures are warmer in shallow bays and shallow, small lakes and ponds. Water temperatures are still cold in large, deep lakes, and rivers and streams, even on warm days.
Paddlers and boaters 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. Anglers fishing from shore or wading in fast-flowing streams should wear a PFD.
Water levels are currently average or below average for this time of year.
A number of rock climbing routes and cliffs in the eastern Adirondacks are still closed to allow peregrine falcons to nest and raise their young. Some have opened.
High Peaks Wilderness/Vanderwhacker Forest (Boreas Ponds)
Gulf Brook Road will be closed on weekdays for the next several weeks, beginning at sundown on Sunday, June 24 to the end of July. The road will open on weekends from 5pm through sundown on Sunday. Until the repairs are complete, only four-wheel drive SUVs, pickup trucks, and other high clearance vehicles should use the road.
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.
The Bradley Pond lean-to has a 3-foot by 6-foot hole in the roof. The lean-to can still be used, but should be avoided if it’s raining. The DEC is working on a temporary fix for this season and will fully repair the roof during the off season.
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.
Bog River Complex (Lows Lake)
The DEC is overseeing a maintenance project on the Lows Upper Dam to bring the dam into compliance with New York Dam Safety Regulations. Construction activities will impact recreational users of the portage from Hitchins Pond to Low Lake, as well as private landowners and users of the Sabattis Boy Scout Camp.
Work is scheduled to occur Monday through Friday on this dam and is expected to last throughout the summer. Members of the public wishing to access Hitchins Pond and Lows Lake will continue to launch at Low’s Lower Dam, located near the end of State Highway 421.
Recreational users should continue to use the existing designated portage around Low’s Upper Dam. From Hitchin’s Pond, travel northwest past the old homesite. Stay within the designated traffic area (delineated with orange construction fence) at all times as you may your way through the work area. Continue to the dock on the right side of the Bog River Flow.
If you have any questions or concerns contact Henry Deddrick, Supervising Forester at the DEC’s Potsdam sub-office at 315.274.3342.
Shaker Mountain Wild Forest
The South Trail up Kane Mountain off Schoolhouse Road is closed. The trail crosses private lands, and the landowner revoked permission for the public to cross. Hikers must use the formal Kane Mountain Trailhead off Green Lake Road.
Blue Mountain Wild Forest (Township 19 Conservation Easement Tract)
O’Neill Flow Road is open to public motor vehicle access.
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 Park State Land Master Plan. The DEC has made changes to the proposals contained in the Public Draft UMP.
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 in the future.
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.
Jay Mountain Wilderness
Blowdown has been cleared from the Jay Mountain Trail.
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 the Jack Rabbit Trail.