There’s a lot to know for hiking this weekend! A few events are going on that could affect hikers, the Muddy Trail Advisory is still in effect, and there are a number of trail notices to be aware of. Check out what you need to know and then have an awesome weekend recreating in the Adirondacks!
Long, Hot Days & The Current Weather Report
As summer approaches, longer, hotter days are more frequent. Plan for adequate hydration on your hike. Bring at least one liter of water on any trip, and bring more if necessary, depending on the length of the trip and the temperature. Plan out water sources along your trip where you can refill your container using a water filter.
Hydrating properly will allow for a much more enjoyable hiking experience, and will help you to avoid overheating or experiencing heat sickness on your adventure. Always bring UV protectant clothing, sunglasses, and ChapStick, as well as plenty of sunscreen.
The weather is looking pretty mild this weekend, with temperatures ranging from the high 60s to mid-70s for much of the Adirondacks:
- Crown Point: Fri 72° and partly cloudy, Sat 74° and partly cloudy, Sun 71° 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 partly cloudy, Sat 80° and partly cloudy, Sun 77° and partly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 67° and partly cloudy, Sat 66° and partly cloudy, Sun 68° and partly cloudy
- Malone: Fri 68° and partly cloudy, Sat 68° and partly cloudy, Sun 67° and partly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 72° and partly cloudy, Sat 72° and partly cloudy, Sun 71° and partly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 69° and partly cloudy, Sat 68° and partly cloudy, Sun 70° and partly cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 71° and partly cloudy, Sat 70° and partly cloudy, Sun 71° and partly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 74° and partly cloudy, Sat 75° and partly cloudy, Sun 72° and sunny
- Tupper Lake: Fri 69° and partly cloudy, Sat 68° and partly cloudy, Sun 69° and partly cloudy
The DEC is reminding hikers to stay put if you get lost or injured. 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.
Events to Be Aware Of
A few events are taking place in the Adirondacks that might affect hikes:
The annual Black Fly Challenge is taking place on Saturday from 10:30am to 4pm at Arrowhead Park. The route of this bike race includes the full length of the Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road (also known as the Moose River Plains Road).
Visitors to the Moose River Plains are advised to avoid the road between 10:30am and noon, and to keep an eye out for cyclists on the road after noon.
The Lake Placid Half Marathon & Marathon is taking place on Sunday between 8am and 2pm at the Olympic Oval.
The course route includes Mirror Lake Drive and Main Street in the Village of Lake Placid, and State Route 73 and River Road. Be aware that you may come across road closures and traffic delays along this route.
Americade is going on now through Saturday in the Lake George area. Watch out for groups and individual motorcyclists traveling throughout the Adirondacks this weekend. You can expect traffic delays in and near Lake George.
Watch Out for Cyclists & Be Mindful of Parking
The DEC is reminding everyone that Adirondack roadways are shared by all. This is especially important right now because cyclists training for the annual Lake Placid Ironman in late July are 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 their training course.
Please use caution and drive slowly when you’re in this area for hiking, especially through the Cascade Lakes area and Wilmington Notch where the road becomes very narrow and there is little to no shoulder.
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.
Muddy Trail Advisory
The Muddy Trail Advisory is still in effect. The DEC is asking hikers to avoid trails above 2,500 feet in the High Peaks, Dix Mountain, McKenzie Mountain, and Sentinel Range Wilderness areas until these trails have dried and hardened.
Snow and ice are still present and melting on these high elevation trails. The soil is thin, dangerous for hiking, and susceptible to erosion. Vulnerable trailside alpine vegetation is easily damaged.
Trails below 2,500 feet are mainly dry. Expect to encounter mud and water in low areas, drainages, and along water bodies. Continue to avoid damaging hiking trails and sensitive trailside vegetation and habitats.
Wear waterproof hiking boots and expect them to get dirty. Stay in the center of the trails, walking through the mud and water.
Seasonal Access Roads
All designated seasonal access roads are open. 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.
Water Levels & Temperature
Water levels are average for this time of year. Water temperatures are warmer in shallow bays and shallow, small lakes and ponds. Water temperatures are still cold in large and deep lakes, rivers, and streams, even on warm days.
Paddlers, boaters, and anglers fishing or wading from shore should wear a personal flotation device. People immersed in cold waters can quickly become hypothermic and lose the ability to swim and keep their head above water.
Fire danger is still low. Continue to be safe with campfires.
Bear Resistant Canisters
The use of bear resistant canisters is required for overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks until November 30th but they’re highly recommended elsewhere. Store all food, toiletries, and garbage in these canisters.
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.
High Peaks Wilderness
Blowdown has been cleared from the Phelps Trail in the Upper Johns Brook Valley.
Once again the private landowners have agreed to allow hiking on the Owl’s Head Trail during the week, but parking at the trailhead and hiking the trail are prohibited on the weekends.
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. The road is rough and narrow – four-wheel drive SUVs, pickup trucks, and other high clearance vehicles are recommended.
The Clear Pond Gate is open and public motor vehicles can access the trailheads on Elk Lake Road.
The trail to Little Porter Mountain from the Garden Trailhead will be closed on June 1st. The portion of the trail crossing private land has been closed to public use by the landowner. You can access the summit of Little Porter Mountain from the Marcy Field Trailhead or the Cascade Mountain Trailhead.
The Mr. Van Lean-to on the Mr. Van Ski Trail has been repaired and is once again available for use.
Blowdown has been cleared from the Phelps Trail in the Upper Johns Brook Valley.
Corey’s Road and South Meadow Lane are now open to public motor vehicle use.
Now through the month of 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.
The town of Keene’s shuttle between Marcy Field parking lot and the Garden Trailhead will be operating from 7am to 7pm on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. There is a $10 ($13 Canadian) round trip fee to use the shuttle.
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.
The Blueberry Horse Trail is passable to horses and riders, however, riders should take care near drainages and several stream crossings that will be muddy. The DEC is planning 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.
Five Ponds Wilderness
A 10-mile section of the Oswegatchie River from High Falls downstream to the 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’s located approximately .6 miles east of High Falls.
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.
Blue Mountain Wild Forest
O’Neill Flow Road remains closed to public motor vehicle access.
Kushasqua Conservation Easement Tract
North Branch Road and Mud Pond Road remain closed to public motor vehicle access.
Sentinel Range Wilderness
Several sections of 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 is too difficult for your party to safely cross.
Beaver activity has flooded some parts of the Jack Rabbit Trail.
Dix Mountain Wilderness
The lands of the 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 bridge over Ouluska Brook has collapsed into the brook. Due to low water conditions, crossing the brook is still possible.
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.
All rock climbing routes on the Upper Washbowl Cliffs in Chapel Pond are open; the Lower Washbowl Cliffs are still closed.
Hurricane Mountain Wilderness
Jay Mountain Road is now open for public motor vehicle use.
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.