Trails are expected to be busier this weekend in honor of Presidents Day. Find out where the greatest risk of avalanches is, learn about events going on this weekend like Free Fishing Days, and more. Stay safe out there in the Adirondacks!
Current Weather Forecast & Snow Report
- Crown Point: Fri 44° and snow with brief sleet, Sat 32° and partly cloudy, Sun 24° and mostly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 39° and snow with brief sleet, Sat 22° and cloudy, Sun 23° and mostly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 47° and rain and snow, Sat 37° and partly cloudy, Sun 32° and mostly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 39° and rain and snow, Sat 20° and cloudy, Sun 21° and mostly cloudy
- Malone: Fri 39° and rain and snow, Sat 21° and snow showers, Sun 17° and mostly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 41° and rain and snow, Sat 24° and partly cloudy, Sun 24° and mostly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 40° and rain and snow, Sat 21° and snow showers, Sun 21° and mostly cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 40° and rain and snow, Sat 23° and partly cloudy, Sun 24° and mostly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 43° and freezing rain, Sat 31° and partly cloudy, Sun 25° and mostly cloudy
The snowstorm earlier this week had added to the snow pack with snow depths ranging from 1 to 2.5 feet across most of the Adirondacks. Snow depths range from 20 to 25 inches in the lower elevations. Snow is deeper in the higher elevations; snow is 4 to 5 feet deep above 3,000 feet in the High Peaks Region.
Heavier snow now overlies less dense snow. Expect wind slabs to have formed on leeward slopes and significantly more amounts in deposit zones, such as gullies. Also remember that the thaw that occurred last week has created a great bed surface for snow to slide on.
Of course, temperatures will be much colder, winds stronger, and snow deeper at the mountain summits, and ice will be present.
Increased Risk for Avalanches
The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement for an increased risk of avalanches. Recent snow and sleet combined with the pre-existing state of the snow pack has created the potential for avalanches in the back country of the Green Mountains in Vermont and the Adirondacks in Northern New York.
The greatest threat will be across the High Peaks Region of Essex County, New York, and Smugglers Notch Area of the Green Mountains in Vermont. Avalanche conditions are present on high elevation slopes.
Outdoor enthusiasts heading into the backcountry to snowshoe, ski, or ice climb need to be aware of the avalanche danger, the risks involved, and how to take the proper precautions. Avoid avalanche prone areas like steep, unstable slopes, or downslope areas from vulnerable locations. If you’re skiing, hiking, or snowshoeing, stay on the marked trails and avoid exposed open slopes.
Also, monitor announcements from local or state officials about the possible risk of avalanches and stay tuned to the latest National Weather Service forecasts and statements.
Save This Number to Your Phone
If you do find yourself lost or injured, keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service, call the DEC or Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch at 518.891.0235.
Be Prepared for Winter Conditions
The sun is still setting early – always carry a flashlight or headlamp with you, on every single hike.
Avoid hypothermia by dressing properly, staying dry, and adding or removing layers to regulate your body temperature. Dress in layers of noncotton, wicking fabric and pack extra clothing. Wear a hat and gloves.
Carry plenty of food and water. Eat, drink, and rest often. Being tired, hungry, or dehydrated makes you more susceptible to hypothermia.
Don’t Forget Sun Protection
Sun protection – one of those things that is easy to forget about in the winter. This weekend is forecasted to be sunny. Don’t let the cold temperatures mislead you, you still need to wear sunscreen or ultraviolet (UV) protected clothing when recreating. Even in the cold, the sun still emits dangerous UV rays.
Heads Up for the Holiday Weekend
Plan for busier trails this weekend in light of Presidents Day. Be courteous of others while recreating, regardless of their activity, speed, or skill level. Hike in single file, especially when approaching other hikers.
Stay to the right and pass on the left when safe and appropriate. Allow faster hikers to pass. When approaching other hikers from behind, politely let them know of your presence and desire to pass.
Park in designated parking areas at the trailheads. Be careful not to block gates, entrances, exists, or other vehicles. When parking your vehicle, be considerate and do not take up more space than necessary. Trailheads and parking areas are expected to be full during the holiday weekend.
Practice Leave No Trace
Take a look at the Leave No Trace Seven Principles so you know what to do to help preserve the Adirondack Park for generations to come.
Take Advantage of Free Fishing Days
February 16th and 17th are Free Fishing Days. Anglers may fish without a license. Ice fishing is a great way to reconnect with the outdoors and can be easily combined with ice skating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or other activities for a fun, healthy day outdoors.
Current Trail Conditions
Trails are covered in deep snow. Ice may be present below the snow, or on the trail surface on summits and other windswept locations. Snowshoes, trail crampons, and steel-tipped hiking poles should be carried on all hikes and used as warranted.
Remember that traveling through snow takes more time and energy than hiking on bare ground, especially if you’re breaking trail through recently fallen snow.
Ice on Waterbodies
Ice has formed on most waters. This weekend, ice will likely have a layer of water on top that will be refreezing. 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.
Streams may be impassable. Prepare to take alternate routes, or turn back if a stream crossing is impassable. Keep dogs on leashes near fast moving water.
Be safe on the ice, especially when ice fishing.
Snowmobile trails are in great conditions. Good snow cover is present throughout most of the Adirondacks and weather forecasts indicate it’s a great weekend to get out for a ride. Check with local snowmobile clubs to determine status and condition of trails.
If you’re snowmobiling, watch out for skiers and snowshoers and slow down to pass safely.
If you’re skiing or snowshoeing on designated snowmobile trails, watch and listen for the snowmobiles and move off the trail as necessary to allow them to pass.
Camp Santanoni Winter Weekend
The second Camp Santanoni Winter Weekend is this weekend. The first weekend was shortened to just one day because of weather, but this weekend is predicted to be sunny with plenty of snow and daytime temperatures in the mid-20s.
Cross-country skiers and snowshoers will have access to the historic camp properties to rest, tour the buildings, and view interactive displays. Snowshoes should be available to borrow if needed.
Lake George Wild Forest
The gate on Notch Lane Truck Trail on nearby Mount Tom State Forest in the town of White Creek has been closed for ice/mud conditions
Split Rock Wild Forest
The gate at Lewis Clearing Bay Trailhead along Lake Shore Road is open. Anglers can use the Lewis Clearing Bay Trail to access the ice on Lake Champlain.
High Peaks Wilderness.
There is 49 inches of snow at the stake, and 4 to 5 feet on the summits. Snowshoes and crampons should be carried on all hikes and worn when needed. South Meadow Lane, Marcy Truck Trail, and the ski trails are in good condition for skiing.
The DEC forest rangers and its partners are launching a preventative initiative to reduce the number of search and rescue incidents in the High Peaks this holiday weekend. Hikers can expect to see forest rangers, stewards, and volunteers at the ADK’s High Peaks Information Center, at trailheads, and on the trails of popular hiking routes in the High Peaks.
The DEC is seeking two trail crew supervisors and eight trail crew laborers to work in the backcountry of the High Peaks Wilderness as part of the DEC High Peaks Trail Crews. The trail crews work with other crews to construct a new sustainable-design trail up Cascade Mountain. Each week, the entire crew will spend the week in the backcountry, camping out in tents. Most of the project is located 2 to 5 miles from the nearest road, and will require a strenuous hike with a heavy pack to get to each week.
Tasks will primarily include trail building, but may also involve hardening tent sites, relocated privies, installing turnpiking, rock and drainage work, bridge building, and clearing blown.
If you’re interested, email Info.R5@DEC.NY.gov for a full job description and application instructions. This is a great opportunity to participate in the effort to maintain and protect the High Peaks Wilderness.
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.
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.
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. Don’t trespass on AMR lands or waters, or participate in unauthorized activities. Dogs are prohibited.
Boreas Ponds Tract
Gulf Brook Road is closed for the winter.