This is it – that one weekend in the fall when foliage is close to or at its peak! Now is the time to get out there and soak in all that beautiful color. Read up on where you can find the foliage and everything else to know for hiking and recreating in the Adirondacks.
- Crown Point: Fri 56° and partly cloudy, Sat 52° and cloudy, Sun 58° and mostly sunny
- Indian Lake: Fri 47° and partly cloudy, Sat 45° and cloudy, Sun 52° and sunny
- Lake George: Fri 60° and partly cloudy, Sat 56° and cloudy, Sun 60° and mostly sunny
- Lake Placid: Fri 45° and mostly cloudy, Sat 43° and rain and snow, Sun 52° and scattered showers
- Malone: Fri 46° and mostly cloudy, Sat 45° and mostly cloudy, Sun 53° and mostly sunny
- North Creek: Fri 49° and partly cloudy, Sat 46° and cloudy, Sun 53° and mostly sunny
- Saranac Lake: Fri 46° and cloudy, Sat 44° and cloudy, Sun 53° and mostly sunny
- Speculator: Fri 47° and partly cloudy, Sat 44° and rain and snow, Sun 51° and mostly sunny
- Ticonderoga: Fri 56° and partly cloudy, Sat 52° and cloudy, Sun 57° and mostly sunny
Remember that weather forecasts can and do change suddenly, so check the National Weather Service Forecast again before you head out.
The sun is setting earlier and rising later. Carry a flashlight or a headlamp with you.
Prepare for much colder summits and exposed areas. Dress in layers of non-cotton, wicking fabric, and pack extra clothing. Those hiking to higher summits should also pack a winter hat and gloves. Have extra warm layers, wool socks, hats, and gloves with you at all times.
Recent heavy rains have resulted in wet and muddy trails, especially in low spots, along water bodies, and in drainages. Avoid damaging hiking trails, trailside vegetation, and habitats. Wear water resistant hiking boots and let them get muddy. Stay in the center of trails and walk through mud and water.
Blowdown (fallen trees, limbs, and branches) may be present on trails. Be prepared for hikes to take longer than planned and to bushwhack around blowdown or turn back if blowdown is heavy.
Research Your Trip
The DEC is reminding us to spend time researching your trip beforehand. This will give you insight into how long it will take you to complete the trip, and will help you better plan your start time so you can make sure you’re back before dark.
Make sure you have the proper equipment for what you’ll be doing. Researching also gives you an idea of milestones such as junctions or specific markers along the trip to keep a lookout for to ensure you’re staying on track.
The ground is getting colder with the dropping temperatures. It’s time to start using sleeping pads and cold temperature rated sleeping bags. For extra warmth, try filling up a Nalgene water bottle with hot water right before bed and tucking it in your sleeping bag overnight.
Fall Foliage Report
Much of the Adirondack region is at or near peak. This is the time to enjoy the foliage!
- 60 to 90% color change in Crown Point
- 100% color change in Lake Placid
- 90% color change in Lake Pleasant
- 90% color change in Malone
- 90% color change in Old Forge
- 85% color change in Saranac Lake
- 40% color change in Schroon Lake
- 50 to 60% color change in Ticonderoga
- 90 to 95% color change in Tupper Lake
- 100% color change in the Whiteface area
- 65% color change in Willsboro
Leaf Peeping Etiquette
If you’re driving on busy roads, don’t slow down to look at the leaves. This is unsafe for drivers behind you, and also causes congested parking areas. Find a safe place to pull over to admire the leaves and get pictures.
Park only in designated parking spots. Don’t park alongside busy roadways.
Share the views! As mentioned before, summits and trails will be busier. If the outlook is smaller, be sure to allow space for everyone to experience the view.
Hike in a single file line, especially when approaching other hikers. Stay to the right and pass on the left when safe and appropriate. Allow faster hikers to pass. When approaching other hikers from behind, politely let them know of your presence and desire to pass.
Be sure you are prepared for the hike you’re going on! Do research ahead of time. This is very important, especially if you’re hiking with children, dogs, or others who might not be serious hikers. Make sure to choose a safe and enjoyable hike for everyone in your group.
State lands are shared by all. If you’re going for a hike, wear brightly colored clothing and dress your dog in orange. Keep dogs on leashes for their safety.
Watch for Moose
Motorists should be aware that moose are rutting this time of year. Moose will be wandering around looking for mates and walking into roads without paying attention to vehicles. Four moose-vehicle collisions have occurred recently during a three-day period. Take precautions to avoid colliding with a moose.
Fall Paddling & Water Levels
If you’re planning on paddling this weekend know that the water has cooled significantly. Wear or pack warm layers. Always wear your personal flotation device while on the water at this time of year. People immersed in cold waters can lose their ability to think clearly and move quickly after only a short time in the water. Anglers fishing from shore or wading also need to wear a PFD.
Due to recent rain water, most streams and rivers are at or above average levels for this time of year. Boaters and paddlers should still be alert for objects on or below the surface that are normally covered by deeper water.
You should also use caution if you’re crossing a stream. Streams and rivers are considered “flashy” right now, which means the water levels will rise steadily after rain, and will also go low again shortly after.
Fire danger is currently low, but continue to be safe with campfires. DEC forest rangers have responded to several wildland fires started by unattended or improperly extinguished campfires.
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.
Electric bicycles (e-bikes) of any class are not allowed on trails or roadways where public motorized access is prohibited.
Nuisance bear activity has significantly receded in the Eastern High Peaks. Hikers and campers should still take steps to avoid negative encounters with bears. The DEC requires the use of bear resistant canisters by overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness through November 30th.
High Peaks Wilderness
The town of Keene’s shuttle between Marcy Field parking lot and the Garden Trailhead will not be operating this weekend and has closed for the season.
The town of Keene will continue to staff the Garden Parking Lot from 7am until 7pm on Saturdays and Sundays through the last weekend of October. The cost is $10 ($13 Canadian) per day. Use the self-serve process to pay when the attendant is not present.
The trails through the Elk Lake Conservation Easement Tract – to Mt. Marcy via Panther Gorge and to Dix Mountain – will be closed to public use for the duration of the big game hunting season beginning Saturday, October 20th. The trails will reopen for public use on December 3rd.
The new Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail is now open for public use. The 1.7-mile trial climbs 920 feet from the trailhead in the Olympic Sports Complex to the 2,940-feet summit of the mountain in the High Peaks Wilderness.
Gulf Brook Road is closed during the week while the DEC completes ditching and repair work on the portion of the road between the Fly Pond Gate and the Four Corners. The road will open to public motor vehicle access each weekend from 5pm Friday through sundown on Sunday.
Parking is prohibited on the shoulders of both lanes of State Route 73 in the vicinity of Roaring Brook Falls Trailhead and the Ausable Club Road (south). The parking prohibition supports the DEC’s multi-year, comprehensive effort to promote sustainable tourism and address public safety in the Adirondacks.
Student Conservation Association Adirondack Corps recently replaced ladders, a small bridge, and bog bridging along the Avalanche Pass-Lake Colden Trail along Avalanche Lake.
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 regulations are now in effect on the lands in the former Dix Mountain Wilderness. Group should consist of no more than 15 hikers and no more than eight campers.
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.
Saranac Lake Wild Forest
The DEC staffing of the Lower and Upper Locks on the Saranac River in the Saranac Chain of Lakes has ended for the season. Boaters can operate the locks using the posted instructions.
Boreas Ponds Tract/Vanderwhacker Wild Forest
Currently there are no designated tent sites on these lands – roadside or truck camping is not available at this time.
Motorized access and recreational activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, paddling fishing, hunting, and trapping will continue as described in the Interim Access Plan.
The public is prohibited from trespassing in and around leased hunting camps.
Silver Lake Wilderness
The DEC has completed construction of a new paddlers’ take-out site along the West Branch Sacandaga River on the Shaker Place Conservation Easement along State Route 10. The new access provides a safer and more user-friendly experience.
West Canada Lake Wilderness
A broken footbridge spanning Lamphere Brook on the Northville-Placid Trail was recently replaced with a new 35-foot bridge. State Police Aviation and DEC Forest Rangers transported materials for the bridge to the remote stream crossing by helicopter this past spring.
A Student Conservation Association Adirondack Corps crew completed the bridge replacement this fall. The bridge was fully replaced using treated poles and lumber for strength and longevity.
Essex Chain Lakes Complex
Gates have been open on two roads providing hunters and others motor vehicle access to additional lands and roadside primitive tent sites. Camp Six Road has three roadside primitive tent sites and a parking lot at the end – one mile from the Chain Lakes North Road.
The gate at the Outer Gooley Club on the Chain Lakes Road South is open, providing access to three primitive tent sites and a parking area 1.5 miles beyond the gate. Two additional tent sites are located past the gate at the seasonal parking are – one further north on the Chain Lakes Road South and one at Pine Lake.
Shaker Mountain Wild Forest
The DEC staff constructed a new lean-to along the Northville-Placid Trail just north of the West Stony Creek crossing.
Moose River Plains Wild Forest
Lean2Rescue has completed three projects on Eighth Lake during the past several weeks. Dunning lean-to located on the northern shore of the lake has been completely rehabilitated. Volunteers with the organization replaced the roof, the floor, and select logs that were in poor condition. They also stained the lean-to.
The “double-wide lean-to” on the western shore of Eighth lake has been completely rehabilitated. The four base logs, the floor, and the roof were all replaced, and the lean-to was stained.
Earlier this summer the lean-to located on a small island near the western shore of Eighth Lake was removed. Due to the small size of the land, it cannot sustain camping. The site has been converted to a day use site.
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.