We’re looking at super cold temperatures this weekend, and although no snow is predicted, enough has fallen recently that conditions are good for skiing and snowmobiling. Read on to see everything else you need to know for hiking and recreating in the Adirondacks this weekend.
Be Prepared for Cold Weather – Dress Appropriately
- Crown Point: Fri 14° and partly cloudy, Sat 18° and mostly sunny, Sun 15° and partly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 6° and partly cloudy, Sat 13° and mostly sunny, Sun 17° and partly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 21° and mostly sunny, Sat 27° and mostly sunny, Sun 23° and partly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 3° and partly cloudy, Sat 9° and partly cloudy, Sun 14° and sunny
- Malone: Fri 3° and partly cloudy, Sat 8° and partly cloudy, Sun 9° and sunny
- North Creek: Fri 9° and partly cloudy, Sat 16° and mostly sunny, Sun 18° and partly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 4° and partly cloudy, Sat 10° and cloudy, Sun 14° and sunny
- Speculator: Fri 7° and partly cloudy, Sat 15° and partly cloudy, Sun 19° and partly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 15° and partly cloudy, Sat 18° and mostly sunny, Sun 16° and partly cloudy
Daytime temperatures are forecasted around the single digits with nighttime temperatures in the single digits below zero through the weekend for most of the Adirondacks.
Wind chill factors will be in the double digits below zero due to strong winds. Keep skin covered to avoid frostbite.
Avoid hypothermia by dressing properly, staying dry, and adding or removing layers as needed to regulate your body temperature. Carry plenty of food and water. Eat, drink, and rest often. Being tired, hungry, or dehydrated makes you more susceptible to hypothermia.
Remember that traveling in snow takes more time and energy than traveling the same trail on bare ground. Take breaks to rest as needed.
Also bring with you: a winter hat and gloves, a wind resistant jacket, a face mask for the summit, and extra wool socks.
A Word on Snow Cover
The recent storm has brought plenty of snow to the area. Snow depths currently range from 12 to 15 inches in the lower elevations. Snow depths are 1 to 3 feet above 3,000 feet.
The sun sets earlier – always carry a flashlight or headlamp on all trips. Dress in layers of non-cotton, wicking fabric and pack extra clothing. Wear a hat and gloves.
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.
For the Snowmobilers
Many trails are open or will be open this weekend. Shallow snow depths in the southeastern Adirondacks may prevent trails from opening in that area. Check with local snowmobile clubs to determine the status and condition of trails.
Watch for skiers and snowshoers using snowmobile trails. Slow down to safely pass.
Ice on Waterbodies
Ice has formed on all waters, expect fast flowing rivers and streams. A layer of water and slush is present on the surface of the ice beneath a cover of snow. 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.
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.
Specific Notices on Hiking Trails
High Peaks Wilderness
Recent snow has created good conditions for skiing and snowshoeing in the High Peaks. Regulation requires the use of skis or snowshoes on all trails in the High Peaks Wilderness, and is strongly encouraged on all trails where snow depths exceed 1 foot.
The use of snowshoes eases travel on snow, prevents post holing which can ruin trails, and reduces injuries from trips and falls.
Snow depths currently range from 12 to 15 inches in the lower elevations. The Lake Colden Caretaker reported 37 inches of snow at the stake on Wednesday the 9th. Snow depths above 3,000 feet elevation range from 2 to 4 feet.
Lake Colden and Lake Avalanche are crossable. Use caution around inlets and outlets.
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.
Lake George Wild Forest
Due to the poor conditions – ice and mud – on Dacy Road, the gate has been closed. The DEC will reopen the gate when snow conditions improve.
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.