Warmer weather and rain is coming to the Adirondacks this weekend – see what that means for trail conditions, check out the latest on snowmobiling routes, and get all the info you need for a safe and enjoyable trip.
Current Weather Forecast: Warmer Temperatures, High Waters & Icy Conditions
- Crown Point: Fri 51° and rain, Sat 49° and scattered showers, Sun 32° and partly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 48° and rain, Sat 38° and cloudy, Sun 28° and partly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 54° and rain, Sat 50° and showers, Sun 38° and partly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 51° and rain, Sat 39° and snow showers, Sun 25° and partly cloudy
- Malone: Fri 52° and rain, Sat 36° and snow showers, Sun 23° and partly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 49° and rain, Sat 41° and mostly cloudy, Sun 29° and partly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 50° and rain, Sat 38° and snow showers, Sun 26° and partly cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 49° and rain, Sat 37° and cloudy, Sun 28° and partly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 49° and rain, Sat 49° and showers, Sun 32° and partly cloudy
As the temperatures are rising in the Adirondacks waters are high and there is a flood watch in effect across the northern and eastern Adirondacks through 1pm on Saturday. Snow on trails will turn to slush or ice, and streams will be fast-moving and impassable.
Temperatures will still be much colder at higher elevations.
Be Prepared & Plan Ahead
Always carry a flashlight or headlamp. Dress in layers of noncotton, wicking fabric, and pack extra clothing. Wear a hat and gloves.
Bring microspikes or crampons for the expected icy conditions. Wear rain gear and pack extra thermal layers. Hypothermia can set in quickly once you’re wet, so make sure to dress in layers and add and remove clothing as needed.
Choose trails within your or your group’s ability and comfort level. Keep in mind it takes more time and effort to move on snow and ice.
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.
A Word on Snow Cover
Above freezing temperatures coupled with rain will result in thinner snow cover, especially in the lower elevations. Snow depths currently range from 6 to 12 inches throughout most of the Adirondacks.
Snow depths are shallower in the southern and northeastern regions and along the eastern and northwestern edges. Snow is deeper in the higher elevations. You can expect 3 to 4 feet of snow above 3,000 feet in the High Peaks Region.
Anticipate Wet, Icy & Muddy Trails
The warm temperatures and rain will melt the snow on trails to slush or water, which can turn into ice. Trails along rivers might be covered with water. Stream crossings may be treacherous or impassable.
Low elevation trails may be wet and muddy. Moderate elevation trails will have wet snow and slush. Trails will be icy after temperatures drop below freezing on Saturday night. Trail crampons should be carried and used when warranted.
Snow depths are much higher in the high elevations and may not thin much during this period of warmer weather and rain. Snowshoes should be carried on all hikes planned for 3,000 feet.
Snowshoes or skis are now required in the High Peaks Wilderness. Using snowshoes eases travel on snow and prevents post holding, which can ruin trails and cause falls and injuries.
Be Considerate of Others – Winter Hiking Trail Etiquette
Everyone is getting out to enjoy the snow and crisp Adirondack air. Be considerate of others by sharing the trail. When stopped, users should move off the trail. Snowshoers should avoid hiking on ski tracks on the trails. All users should remain alert when using shared trails for safety.
What to Know About Ice on Waterbodies
Ice has formed on all waters, expect the 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 the weight of snow may not hold the weight of a person.
Practice Leave No Trace
Do you know the seven principles of leave no trace? These guidelines set a foundation for preserving our beautiful Adirondack region.
Don’t Drive on Seasonal Access Roads
Gates on seasonal access roads on forest preserve and conservation easement lands are closed and locked. Motor vehicle use on all seasonal access roads 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 completed.
Some Snowmobile Trails are Open
Check with local snowmobile clubs to find out which trails are open and what the current conditions are on the trail. Please watch out for skiers and snowshoers using snowmobile trails.
Sign Up for a First Day Hike
Kick off the New Year right with an epic hike!
Specific Notices on Hiking Trails, Snowmobile Trails & More
Big Moose Conservation Easement Tract
The Stillwater Mountain Fire Tower and the trail to it are now open to public use.
Remsen to Lake Placid Travel Corridor
The DOT has completed repairs to the section south of Lake Lila. The C7 Snowmobile Trail is available throughout the Adirondacks, but may not be rideable due to the lack of snow or other conditions.
The DEC contractors working on the Brandy Brook Project in the village of Saranac Lake will have wooden mats across a section of track between Brandy Brook Lane and North Country Community College. This section of the C7B Snowmobile Trail is not open. Check all local trail conditions before heading out.
Tooley Pond/Grass River Conservation Easement Tracts
The S80 Snowmobile Trail (Railroad Grade and the Lake George Haul Road) on the Tooley Pond Conservation Easement is closed from intersection 33 to the Lake George Road. Trail 710 (New Bridge Connector Road) will be shared with logging trucks between intersections 33 and 34.
Conifer-Emporium Conservation Easement Tract
The S78 Snowmobile Trail (Grass River Railroad) is closed from Intersection 2 to Conifer. The DEC has moved the trail closed signs from C7A to S78 (near Intersection 2). A “No Snowmobiling on Plowed Road” sign is located at the Conifer end of the trail.
Saranac Lake/Debar Mountain Wild Forests
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 (East Branch St. Regis River), and Madawaska Flow/Quebec Brook.
High Peaks Wilderness
The Lake Colden Caretaker reports 24 inches of snow at the stake (2,750 feet) with 4 feet of snow above 3,000 feet. Ice on Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake is thin or nonexistent around inlets and outlets. Skis or snowshoes should be worn by those choosing to cross the ice.
The Avalanche Ski Trail and Avalanche Pass Trail have good snow conditions.
Snow is thin on South Meadow Lane and the Van Hoevenberg Trail below Marcy Dam.
Snowshoes are required above Avalanche Camp – 2,600 feet elevation.
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.