We’re looking at cold temperatures and some snow in the forecast after recent rain and warmer weather. Avalanche conditions are still present in the Adirondacks. Check out what you need to know before heading out this weekend.
What’s Happening With the Weather
- Crown Point: Fri 33° and mostly cloudy, Sat 22° and mostly cloudy, Sun 35° and snow showers
- Indian Lake: Fri 24° and snow showers, Sat 14° and cloudy, Sun 28° and snow
- Lake George: Fri 36° and partly cloudy, Sat 27° and mostly cloudy, Sun 39° and snow showers
- Lake Placid: Fri 24° and snow showers, Sat 12° and snow showers, Sun 26° and snow showers
- Malone: Fri 25° and snow showers, Sat 11° and snow showers, Sun 26° and snow showers
- North Creek: Fri 28° and snow showers, Sat 17° and cloudy, Sun 30° and snow
- Saranac Lake: Fri 24° and snow showers, Sat 13° and snow showers, Sun 27° and snow showers
- Speculator: Fri 24° and snow showers, Sat 14° and cloudy, Sun 27° and snow showers
- Ticonderoga: Fri 32° and snow showers, Sat 22° and mostly cloudy, Sun 35° and snow showers
Colder temperatures have returned after a couple of days of above freezing temperatures and rain. Nighttime temperatures will be hovering either size of 0 degrees. Avoid hypothermia by dressing properly, adding or removing layers as needed, carrying plenty of food and water, eating and drinking often, and resting as needed.
Last weekend’s storm brought 1 to 2 new feet of snow across the Adirondacks. Heavy rain this week has reduced snow depths and compacted the snow pack. An additional 4 to 12 inches are forecast for the western half of the Adirondacks.
Snow is deeper in higher elevations; snow is 3 to 5 feet deep above 3,000 feet in the High Peaks region.
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.
Travel Advisory in Effect
The National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook statement for all of the Adirondacks for Friday and Friday night. Subfreezing temperatures will cause a rapid refreezing of standing water and slush on roads and sidewalks. Icy roads can be expected, especially at intersections and on secondary
Current Trail Conditions
Heavy rain this week has reduced snow depths and compacted the snow pack. Trails will be sloppy and variable. Wet snow and slush will harden as temperatures fall. Trails may be icy, a crusty layer of snow over snow or wet snow, or a combination.
Carry both trail crampons and snowshoes and use whichever is warranted. Snowshoes should be worn on all trails where snow depths exceed one foot.
Ice on Water Bodies
Ice has formed on almost all waters. A layer of water, slush, and ice may be on top of hard ice below snow cover. A layer of water and slush is present on the surface of the ice beneath a cover of snow. Always check the thickness of the 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.
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.
For the Snowmobilers
Most trails are open and in good condition. Check with local snowmobile clubs to determine the status and condition of trails. There’s also further info on snowmobile trails below in the Specific Notices.
Specific Notices on Hiking Trails
William C. Whitney Wilderness
Lake Lila Road is closed to motorized vehicles but is open to the public for skiing and snowshoeing. Remain on the road and do not trespass on adjacent privately-owned lands.
Lake George Wild Forest
Gates at Hogtown, Dacy Clearing, Shelving Rock, and Log Bay are open to snowmobile use. All designated snowmobile trails on Forest Preserve lands ont he eastern shore of Lake George are open.
Snowmobile gates and trails to Long Pond in town of Horicon and Palmer Pond in the town of Chester are open.
Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tract
Pine Lakes Road and Cave Hill Road are open to snowmobiling.
High Peaks Wilderness
Avalanche conditions are still present on the high elevation slopes. There has been at least one report of a skier in an avalanche that occurred during the storm. Only hike in this area if you are experienced and know how to prepare for avalanches.
Snow depths in the High Peaks region range from 30 to 50 inches, with 47 inches at Lake Colden.
Expect wind slabs on leeward slopes and significant amounts in deposit zones, such as gullies. Extremely cold temperatures associated with this storm have further built on the existing temperature gradient. The current weather is bringing heavier, higher water content in the form of snow, sleet, and rain.
The Marcy Dam #4 lean-to has been removed. A new Phelps Brook lean-to has been installed off the Marcy Truck Trail. A lean-to was built by students from the Franklin-Essex Clinton Counties BOCES Natural Resource Science Program.
Grass River Conservation Easement Tract
A section of the C8D Snowmobile Trail on Cayey Road is temporarily closed. Snowmobilers can use the S86 or the 705 Trail to connect with the C8E to detour around the closed section.
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.
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.