It’s cold out there, especially in the mountains! Check the current forecast, trail conditions, and additional information to be aware of if you’re heading out in the Adirondacks this weekend.
Snow, Ice & Cold Temperatures
- Crown Point: Fri 27° and mostly sunny, Sat 27° and partly cloudy, Sun 27° and mostly sunny
- Indian Lake: Fri 18° and partly cloudy, Sat 23° and snow showers, Sun 27° and partly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 33° and partly cloudy, Sat 32° and mostly cloudy, Sun 38° and mostly sunny
- Lake Placid: Fri 15° and partly cloudy, Sat 21° and snow showers, Sun 26° and partly cloudy
- Malone: Fri 14° and partly cloudy, Sat 22° and snow showers, Sun 29° and mostly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 19° and mostly sunny, Sat 24° and mostly cloudy, Sun 29° and partly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 15° and partly cloudy, Sat 22° and snow showers, Sun 27° and partly cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 18° and partly cloudy, Sat 23° and snow showers, Sun 26° and partly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 26° and mostly sunny, Sat 26° and mostly cloudy, Sun 33° and mostly sunny
Snow, ice, and below freezing temperatures are present throughout most of the Adirondacks. Snow depths are shallower in the southeastern and northeastern edges. The snow is deeper in the higher elevations – 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.
Be Prepared Before You Head Out
The sun sets earlier now, so carry a flashlight or headlamp with you on all hikes. Dress in layers of non-cotton, wicking fabric, and pack extra clothing. Wear a hat and gloves.
Turn around and head back if conditions ever become too extreme.
Trail are Covered in Snow & Ice
Snow and ice are present on all trails. Snow is 6 inches deep in most of the Adirondacks. Check snow depths where you plan to hike before leaving.
Use snowshoes on all trails where snow is 10 inches or deeper. Snowshoes or skis are 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 whenever possible. Trail crampons should be carried for use on the icy portions of trails, including summits and other exposed areas.
Remember that traveling in deep snow takes more time and energy than traveling these same trails in the summer. This is particularly true for freshly fallen snow.
Seasonal Access Roads & Road Conditions and Closures
Gates on seasonal access roads on forest preserve and conservation easement lands are closed and locked with the end of the regular northern zone big game hunting season.
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’ve dried and undergone any necessary repairs and overall maintenance.
What’s Going On With Hunting Seasons
The regular Northern Zone big game hunting season has ended. Small game and waterfowl seasons are currently open.
Ice on Waterbodies is Not Safe
Ice has thinned or completely melted due to warmer temperatures and rain during the first weekend of December. No ice is safe at this time.
Although ice may have snow on the surface, it is not thick enough to hold the weight of a person. Ice will remain unsafe until temperatures fall below freezing for a significant continuous period.
For the Snowmobilers
Gates and roadways on designated snowmobile trails will be opened to snowmobile use as conditions warrant. The DEC works with local snowmobile clubs to determine when trails are safe to use.
There is also more info on snowmobile trails below under Specific Notices.
Icy Rocks in Streams – Be Careful Crossing
Rocks will be icy along streams and in waters. Wear trail crampons and use hiking poles when traversing ice-covered rocks.
Specific Notices to Be Aware Of
Moose River Plains Complex
The Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road (aka Moose River Plains Road) and other designated snowmobile trails 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.
Blue Mountain Lake Wild Forest/Township 19 & 20 Conservation Easement Tracts
Four miles of the southern end of Snowmobile Route 538 between Indian Lake and Newcomb will be plowed to allow logging trucks to transport timber. Snowmobilers should reduce speed and expect to encounter log trucks while traveling this route.
High Peaks Wilderness
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.
The Lake Colden caretaker reports 2 feet of snow at the stake (2,750 feet elevation) with 3 to 4 feet of snow above 3,000 feet. Ice on Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake is 3 inches thick but is much thinner or nonexistent around inlets and outlets. Ski or snowshoes should be worn by those choosing to cross the ice.
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.
William C. Whitney Wilderness
Lake Lila Road is closed for the season. The road will be plowed so trucks and other heavy equipment can access and work on the trail corridor near the Nehasane Station. The road will not be skiable until the work is complete.
Essex Chain Lakes Complex
Due to deep snow, all gates are closed and locked, and all seasonal access roads are closed to motor vehicle use for the winter. The closed roads are Cornell Road, Deer Pond Road, Chain Lakes Road North, Drakes Mill Road, Camp Six Road, and Chain Lake Road South.
Moose River Plains Complex
The Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road (aka the Moose River Plains Road) and all of the other seasonal access roads that make up the Moose River Plains Road System are closed due to deep snows. The gates on the main road will reopen on December 3rd for snowmobile use.
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.