Bring those skis or snowshoes with you if you’re heading out hiking in the Adirondacks this weekend. It’s more important than ever to check the current trail conditions, weather, and more!
Check the Weather – Then Check Again Before You Leave
- Crown Point: Fri 19° and mostly sunny, Sat 29° and cloudy, Sun 30° and snow showers
- Indian Lake: Fri 11° and partly cloudy, Sat 25° and snow showers, Sun 32° and snow with brief sleet
- Lake George: Fri 21° and mostly sunny, Sat 23° and snow showers, Sun 35° and snow showers
- Lake Placid: Fri 10° and partly cloudy, Sat 23° and snow showers, Sun 31° and snow showers
- Malone: Fri 10° and mostly sunny, Sat 22° and snow, Sun 26° and snow showers
- North Creek: Fri 13° and partly cloudy, Sat 27° and cloudy, Sun 31° and snow showers
- Saranac Lake: Fri 11° and mostly sunny, Sat 24° and snow showers, Sun 31° and snow showers
- Speculator: Fri 11° and partly cloudy, Sat 26° and snow showers, Sun 31° and snow showers
- Ticonderoga: Fri 19° and mostly sunny, Sat 28° and cloudy, Sun 31° and snow showers
Temperatures will be much colder, winds stronger, snow deeper, and there will be ice present at the mountain summits.
Snow & Snow Cover
There is 1 to 3 feet of snow on the ground across the majority of the Adirondacks. Snow on the very northeastern edge is 10 to 12 inches deep. Snow is deeper in the higher elevations; snow is 5 to 6 feet deep above 3,000 feet in the High Peaks Region.
Be Prepared & Stay Safe
The sun sets earlier – always carry a flashlight or headlamp. Dress in layers of non-cotton, wicking fabric and pack extra clothing. Wear a hat and gloves.
Wear snowshoes or skis for use in deep snow to reduce injuries and ease travel. Use trekking poles for added support and balance when traveling on ice trails and summits – these are especially helpful when descending elevation.
Know that unexpected weather is likely at high elevations. While there may be mild weather conditions and warmer temperatures at the trailhead, be prepared to encounter unexpected weather such as sleet, heavy snow, or high winds on the summits. Bring extra layers and be prepared to turn around if the weather becomes too dangerous.
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.
Current Trail Conditions
Trail conditions are excellent for snowshoeing and skiing. Snowshoes should be worn on all trails. The use of snowshoes eases travel on snow, prevents post holing that can ruin trails, and reduces injuries from trips and falls.
Traveling through snow takes more time and energy than hiking on bare ground, especially if you’re breaking trail through freshly fallen snow. Carry trail crampons and use when warranted.
If you’re skiing or snowshoeing on designated snowmobile trails watch and listen for the snowmobiles. Move off the trail as necessary to allow snowmobiles to safely pass.
Ice on Waterbodies
Ice has formed on most waters. 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.
Be Safe Traveling
We’ve been having hazardous weather lately and we need to stay safe on the roads before getting to our hiking destinations, as well as staying safe when out in backcountry.
Most snowmobile trails are open and in good condition. Check with local snowmobile clubs to determine the status and condition of trails. There’s also further information on snowmobile trails in the specific notices below.
If you are skiing or snowshoeing on designated snowmobile trails make sure to watch and listen for the snowmobiles. Move off the trail as necessary to allow them to pass.
Specific Notices on Hiking Trails
High Peaks Wilderness
The Lake Colden Caretaker Report indicates 51 inches of snow at the stake, and 5 to 6 feet on the summits. Snowshoes are required on all trails. Conditions are good on the South Meadow and Avalanche Pass Ski trails.
Avalanche conditions are present on high elevation slopes. Backcountry downhill skiers, snowboarders, and others who may traverse slides and other steep open terrain must be aware of the risk of avalanche. There have been two skier-triggered avalanches in the High Peaks Region so far this winter. Know how to recognize avalanche conditions, methods to avoid avalanches, and the equipment and procedures to rescue avalanche victims.
Snow depths in the High Peaks range from 40 to 60 inches, depending on elevation and aspect. The most recent winter storm and arctic vortex brought less snow than forecasted – just 4 to 8 inches of low density snow.
However, strong winds associated with the storm further deposited the snowfall onto leeward slopes. Expect wind slabs to continue to form on leeward slopes and significant amounts of snow in deposit zones, such as gullies. A strong temperature gradient is present and will continue to affect the layers within the snowpack.
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.
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.
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 on the eastern shore of Lake George are open.
Snowmobile gates and trails to Long Pond in town of Horicon and Palmer Pond in town of Chester are open.
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.