We’re continuing to see a lot of snow and ice in the Adirondacks. Check out this weekend’s forecast, trail conditions, road closures, and more. Then get ready to enjoy an exhilarating hike in the cool, crisp Adirondack winter air!
The Current Weather Forecast
- Crown Point: Fri 39° and mostly sunny, Sat 42° and partly cloudy, Sun 38° and mostly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 37° and cloudy, Sat 37° and partly cloudy, Sun 34° and snow with brief sleet
- Lake George: Fri 42° and cloudy, Sat 47° and partly cloudy, Sun 39° and rain and snow
- Lake Placid: Fri 38° and cloudy, Sat 34° and partly cloudy, Sun 37° and cloudy
- Malone: Fri 38° and rain, Sat 32° and mostly cloudy, Sun 35° and mostly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 37° and cloudy, Sat 39° and partly cloudy, Sun 34° and snow with brief sleet
- Saranac Lake: Fri 38° and cloudy, Sat 34° and partly cloudy, Sun 38° and mostly cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 37° and cloudy, Sat 38° and partly cloudy, Sun 34° and snow with brief sleet
- Ticonderoga: Fri 38° and cloudy, Sat 41° and partly cloudy, Sun 36° and cloudy
Snow, ice, and below freezing temperatures are present throughout the Adirondacks. Remember that temperatures will be lower and winds stronger at the summits.
Snow depths currently range from 6 to 15 inches throughout most of the Adirondacks. Snow depths are shallower in the southeastern region and along the northeastern and northwestern edges. Snow is 3 to 4 feet deep above 3,000 feet in the High Peaks region.
Temperatures will be colder, winds stronger, and snow deeper at the mountain summits.
Weather forecasts can and do change quickly. Check the forecast again before you go out.
Be Prepared & Plan Ahead
The DEC is reminding hikers to know their own skill level and physical capabilities before heading out. Choose trails within your group’s ability. Remember that it takes more effort and energy to move through snow and ice.
Use trekking poles for added support and balance, especially when traveling in deep snow or on icy trails and summits. Trekking poles are especially useful when descending elevation on slippery trails.
Bring a headlamp or a flashlight with you on all hikes. Snow covered trails can be more difficult to travel on, and more difficult to navigate. Also bring extra batteries.
Prepare for varying temperatures by dressing in layers. Trailheads may be warmer, while the higher elevations and summits will be frigid, windy, and could produce volatile weather.
Always turn around if the weather becomes too extreme.
If you do get lost or injured, keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service, call the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch at 518.891.0235.
Road Conditions & Closures
In addition to checking the weather before you embark on your trip you’ll also want to check out the road conditions and closures.
What’s Going On With Seasonal Access Roads
Gates on seasonal access roads on the forest preserve and conservation easement lands are closed and locked.
Motor vehicle use on all seasonal access road is prohibited until the end of the spring mud season. The DEC will reopen the roads after they have dried and any needed repairs and maintenance are complete.
What to Know About the Trail Conditions
Snow and ice are present on all trails. Snow is six inches or deeper throughout most of the Adirondacks. Use snowshoes on all trails where the snow is 10 inches or deeper. Snowshoes or skis are currently required in the High Peaks Wilderness.
Using snowshoes eases travel on snow and prevents “post holing,” which can ruin trails and cause sudden falls and injuries.
Snowshoers and hikers should avoid walking on cross-country ski tracks wherever possible. Skiers and snowshoers using designated snowmobile trails should keep to the sides of the trail to allow safe passage.
Trail crampons should be carried for use on icy portions of the trails, including summits and other exposed areas.
Ice on Waterbodies & Ice Safety
Ice has formed on all waters, except fast flowing rivers and streams. Always check the thickness of ice before traveling across it. Avoid ice over running water, near inlets and outlets, and near boathouses and docks – especially those with bubblers or other ice prevention devices.
Remember that ice that holds snow may not hold the weight of a person.
For the Snowmobilers
Some designated snowmobile trails are open. Check with local snowmobile clubs to determine what trails are open and the conditions on the trail. There is also further information on snowmobile trails below, under the specific notices.
Please watch out for skiers and snowshoers who may also be using the snowmobile trails.
Be Careful Crossing Streams
Rocks will be icy along streams and in streams. Wear trail crampons and use hiking poles with steel or carbide tips when traversing ice covered rocks.
Sign Up for a First Day Hike
Kick off the New Year right with an epic hike!
Specific Notices to Check Out
Saranac Lake/Debar Mountain Wild Forecasts
Gates on the D&H rail bed (C-7B Snowmobile Route) have been opened. The C-7 Snowmobile Route has been groomed from Lake Clear to Loon Lake.
Santa Clara Tract/Madawaska-Quebec Brook Primitive Area
The following gates are closed: Pinnacle Road, Howe Access Road, Four Mile Road, Vanderwalker Road (East Branch St. Regis River), and Madawaska Flow/Quebec Brook.
Moose River Plains Complex
The Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road (aka the Moose River Plains Road) and other designated snowmobile trials are open for use.
Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tract
Some snowmobile trails are open, however trails on the nearby Forest Preserve lands are not suitable for snowmobiling at this time.
Remsen to Lake Placid Travel Corridor
Due to a large washout south of Lake Lila, the Department of Transportation has closed the C7 Snowmobile Trail between Beaver River and the Sabbattis Road until repairs are completed.
High Peaks Wilderness
Lake Colden Caretaker reports 30 inches (75cm) of snow at the stake (2,750 feet) with 3 to 4 feet of snow above 3,000 feet.
Ice on Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake is thin or non-existent around inlets and outlets. Skis or snowshoes should be worn by those choosing to cross the ice.
The trails through the Elk Lake Conservation Easement Tract – to Mt. Marcy via Panther Gorge and to Dix Mountain – are open for public use. However, the Clear Pond Gate is closed for the winter. The Clear Pond Parking Area is two miles from the Elk Lake Trailhead – plan your travels accordingly.
South Meadow Truck Trail, Avalanche Ski Trail, and Avalanche Pass Trail all have good snow conditions.
Snowshoes are required above Marcy Dam – 2,360 feet elevation.
South Meadow Lane is closed to motor vehicle use. Do not block the opening when parking at the entrance. This is used by emergency response vehicles.
The gate on Corey’s Road is closed to accommodate logging operations in Ampersand Park. Parking is available at Raquette Falls Trailhead.
The new Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail is open for public use. The 1.7-mile trail 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.
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 DEC’s multi-year comprehensive effort to promote sustainable tourism and address public safety in the Adirondacks.
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.
Camping is prohibited at the former location of the Boquet Lean-to north of Dix Mountain and the open area adjacent to the trail.
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, 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 the trail crossing private land has been closed to public use 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.
Private landowners have once again agreed to allow hiking on the Owls Head Trail during the week. Parking at the trailhead and hiking the trail are prohibited on weekends.
Cold Brook Trail is not a designated DEC trail is not maintained.
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 plans to improve the trailhead of this route int he future.
The bridge over Ouluska Brook on the Northville-Placid Trail has collapsed into the brook. During 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 rather than follow the paths created by others.
Fixed ropes, harnesses, and other equipment are often abandoned in the Trap Dike. Due to age, weatherizing, and wearing of these materials they are unsafe and should never be used.
The Calkins Creek Horse Trail has two bridges out, making it impassable for horse drawn wagons and difficult for horses.
Wilcox Lake Wild Forest
The trail to Spruce Mountain Fire Tower is open.
Saranac Lake Wild Forest
The gate on the Connery Pond Road is closed. Use the nearby trailhead parking area along State Route 86.
Boreas Ponds Tract
Gulf Brook Road is closed for the winter.
Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) (aka Ausable Club)
Parking is prohibited along the Ausable Club Road and at the trailhead.
The easement agreement provides for public hiking only on designated trails and roads. Do not trespass on AMR lands and waters or participate in any unauthorized activities.
Dogs are prohibited.
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.