The weather is looking great for hiking this weekend! Temperatures are getting pretty low at night though, so you will want to pack accordingly. See what else you need to know for outdoor recreation this weekend, including some areas to avoid that temporarily have restricted access.
Shorter Days and Colder Nights
Nighttime temperatures in the Adirondacks are near freezing and are ranging from the high 30s to the low 50s. The sun is setting earlier and rising later; plan for shorter days and be sure to carry a flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries. Campers should pack extra layers of clothing, a winter hat, and gloves. Both campers and hikers should be prepared for a swift change in temperature as soon as the sun begins to set.
Temperatures will also be cooler at the summits, and winds will be stronger. Plan accordingly.
The weather will be less humid and nice this weekend. Daytime temperatures are forecasted to be in the 70s and low 80s:
- Crown Point: Fri 81° and partly cloudy, Sat 83° and mostly sunny, Sun 84° and mostly sunny
- Indian Lake: Fri 76° and mostly sunny, Sat 78° and partly cloudy, Sun 80° and partly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 84° and partly cloudy, Sat 86° and partly cloudy, Sun 87° and sunny
- Lake Placid: Fri 78° and partly cloudy, Sat 77° and partly cloudy, Sun 80° and partly cloudy
- Malone: Fri 81° and sunny, Sat 79° and partly cloudy, Sun 81° and partly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 76° and mostly sunny, Sat 78° and partly cloudy, Sun 80° and partly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 79° and partly cloudy, Sat 79° and partly cloudy, Sun 81° and partly cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 74° and partly cloudy, Sat 77° and partly cloudy, Sun 78° and partly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 81° and partly cloudy, Sat 83° and mostly sunny, Sun 84° and mostly sunny
Temporary Limits on Access to Certain Adirondack Areas
Three infrastructure improvement projects going on in the Adirondacks right now will temporarily limit access to the following: the Boreas Ponds Tract, Lower Saranac Lake, and Middle Saranac Lake. Here are the details:
Boreas Ponds Tract
Gulf Brook Road, the main access to the Boreas Ponds Tract, is closed as of September 12th while the DEC completes ditching and repair work on the portion of the road between Fly Pond Gate and the Four Corners.
Due to the operation of heavy equipment at the work site, and the frequent trips by dump trucks hauling in material, the road will be closed for public safety reasons. The road will be open to public motor vehicle access each weekend from 5pm Friday through sundown on Sunday. The DEC will be closing Gulf Brook Road often during the week in the upcoming months.
Lower Saranac Lake
As of September 12th DOT contractors are conducting maintenance washing of the bridge on State Route 3 over the waterway between First Pond and Second Pond on the Saranac River. The bridge is adjacent to the DEC’s second Pond Boat Launch and the water provides boaters access to Lower Saranac Lake from the boat launch.
This operation is only expected to last up to five days. The contractor will be using geotextiles to protect the waterway and will avoid operations during heavy boat traffic.
Middle Saranac Lake
The DEC will close the Upper Locks on the Saranac Chain of Lakes September 19th and 20th to undertake repairs. The Upper Locks are located on the section of the Saranac River between Middle Saranac Lake and Lower Saranac Lake.
Middle Saranac Lake will be inaccessible by boat during this closure. The DEC will ensure boaters and campers are off the lake before the closure takes place. Once completed, these projects will ensure safe and convenient access to the lands and waters of the Adirondacks.
Recent rains have made trails muddy, especially in higher elevations, low spots, drainages, and along water bodies. Avoid damaging hiking trails, trailside vegetation, and habitats. Wear water-resistant hiking boots and let them get muddy. Stay in the center of the trail and walk through mud and water.
Bear canisters are currently required in the High Peaks Wilderness and are strongly recommended throughout the rest of the park. Be sure all of your food and waste will fit securely within the bear canister. If you’re not sure about an item, pack it in your canister anyway.
Although we are on the cusp of fall and insects are not as much of a problem as they have been, you may still encounter mosquitoes, stable flies, and no-see-ums (biting midges). 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
If you get lost or injured, keep calm and stay put. If you have a cell service, call the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch at 518.891.0235. Try to stay warm and dry — separate yourself from the ground by sitting on your pack or on an extra layer. Build a campfire to provide heat, light, and comfort. A campfire will also be helpful for search crews trying to locate you.
Practice Leave No Trace
Follow proper trail etiquette to maintain minimal impact on the environment and 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 Rating
The current fire danger rating is low. Continue to be safe with campfires. The DEC forest rangers continue to respond to wildland fires started by unattended or improperly extinguished campfires.
Stream Crossings & Water Levels
Use caution around steep, shallow, rocky streams and rivers. They’re considered “flashy,” which means the water levels can rise quickly after heavy rainfall. Water levels will also drop quickly after the rains have stopped.
Despite recent rains, the water levels in most streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds remain low to very low. Boaters and paddlers should be alert for objects on or below the surface that are typically covered by deeper water. Many shallow sections of rivers cannot be traversed by canoes or kayaks.
Electric bicycles (e-bikes) of any class are not allowed on trails or roadways where public motorized access is prohibited.
Hike Outside the High Peaks
To maintain the wilderness experience for everyone, and to protect against overuse of trails and the damaging of trailside vegetation, please consider hiking outside the High Peaks.
Try these equally great hikes without the crowds instead:
- Rocky Peak Ridge
- Whiteface Mountain
- Owl Head Lookout
- Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain
- Catamount Mountain
- The Crows
- Bear Den Mountain
- Silver Lake Mountain
- Whiteface Landing
- Copperas & Owen Ponds
- Cobble Lookout
- Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails
High Peaks Wilderness
Gulf Brook Road is closed during thew eek while DEC completes ditching and repair work on the portion of the road between Fly Pond Gate and the Four Corners. The road will be open to public motor vehicle access each weekend from 5pm Friday through sundown on Sunday.
SCA Adirondack Corps will be working on the Marcy Dam removal project beginning Monday the 10th with a planned completion date of Wednesday the 19th. Hikers are asked to stay away from rigging areas and follow flagging and signage for minor detours around the work site.
This is the fourth year of a five-year project to lower the dam spillway and allow Marcy Brook to return to a natural condition.
The lands of the Dix Mountain Wilderness are now part of the High Peaks Wilderness. The DEC will be changing signs, webpages, and regulations to eliminate the Dix Mountain Wilderness and transition to the High Peaks Wilderness.
Group size regulations are in effect in the former Dix Mountain Wilderness. Groups should consist of no more than 15 hikers and no more than eight campers.
The DEC is undertaking a multi-year, comprehensive effort to promote sustainable tourism and address public safety in the Adirondacks, focused on the State Route 73 corridor between Exit 30 of the Northway and Lake Placid.
The DEC has piled materials for improving campsites along South Meadow Lane in the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Trailhead Parking Area. Vehicles should park in the nearby pull offs along South Meadow Lane until the work is complete.
The Cedar Point Lean-to has been repaired and relocated by Lean2Rescue volunteers. The lean-to is now located on the southeastern shore of Lake Colden, off the trail about .2 miles from the Opalescent River. Camping is prohibited at the former lean-to site.
A primitive campsite with two tent pads has been developed in the Slide Brook Area south of Dix Mountain by volunteers from the NOLS Northeast Adirondack Service Expedition. The site is west of the trail just before the crossing of slide brook.
The Kagel lean-to has been relocated and reroofed by the Adirondack 46er Volunteer Trail crew. The lean-to is located a few hundred feet away from its previous location on a sustainable site away from the brook.
Camping is prohibited at the former location of the Boquet lean-to north of Dix Mountain and the open area adjacent to the trail.
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 developing a temporary fix for the 2018 season and will fully repair the roof during the offseason.
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.
Group size limits are now in effect on the lands in the former Dix Mountain Wilderness. Groups should consist of no more than 15 hikers and no more than eight campers.
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.
Giant Mountain Wilderness
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 the Jack Rabbit Trail.