We’re continuing to see winter conditions in the Adirondacks, with snow and ice on the trails, and ice on the water bodies. Find out what you need to know for hiking, snowmobiling, and recreating this weekend.
Current Weather Conditions
- Crown Point: Fri 43° and partly cloudy, Sat 26° and partly cloudy, Sun 30° and partly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 36° and snow showers, Sat 17° and cloudy, Sun 23° and party cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 44° and partly cloudy, Sat 15° and cloudy, Sun 21° and partly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 35° and cloudy, Sat 23° and snow showers, Sun 31° and snow showers
- Malone: Fri 38° and cloudy, Sat 13° and cloudy, Sun 20° and partly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 38° and cloudy, Sat 19° and cloudy, Sun 25° and partly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 34° and cloudy, Sat 16° and partly cloudy, Sun 22° and partly cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 35° and snow showers, Sat 18° and cloudy, Sun 23° and partly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 43° and mostly cloudy, Sat 25° and partly cloudy, Sun 29° and partly cloudy
Weather forecasts and conditions can and do change quickly, so check again before you head out and prepare accordingly with the right clothing and gear. Be prepared to turn around if the weather becomes too dangerous.
Above freezing temperatures this week will be followed by freezing temperatures over the weekend. Daytime temperatures will be in the teens and 20s, while nighttime temperatures will be in the single digits.
Unexpected weather is likely at the high elevations. Even if the weather is fairly mild at the trailhead, prepare to encounter sleet and high winds on the summits.
A Word on Snow Cover
Warm weather and rain have reduced snow cover, but there is still a good amount of snow on the ground. Snow depths range from 1 to 2 feet in the center of the region, 6 to 12 inches in the outer ring, and snow is deeper in the higher elevations, with 4 to 5 feet above 3,000 feet in the High Peaks region.
Ice, Water & Waterbodies
Ice is present on all elevations across the Adirondacks. The recent rain and warmer temperatures have created very icy conditions on all trails. Wear crampons and bring snowshoes.
Use trekking poles for added support and balance when traveling on icy trails and summits. Trekking poles are particularly useful when descending elevation.
High waters are present throughout the Adirondacks as well from the recent thaw. Waterways may be impassable. Use high water crossing bridges and be prepared to turn around if a waterway is impassable.
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.
Remember that ice that holds snow may not hold the weight of a person.
What the Trail Conditions are Like
Trails will be hard and icy except in the higher elevations. Trail crampons and steel-tipped hiking poles should be carried on all hikes and used when warranted. Crampons will also be necessary on wind swept summits.
Unbroken trails will have a crust of ice on top of the snow. Snowshoes should be carried on any hikes where snow depths exceed 8 inches and used when warranted to prevent post-holing. Traveling through snow takes more time and energy than hiking on bare ground – especially if you’re breaking trail through recently fallen snow.
If you’re skiing or snowshoeing on designated snowmobile trails, make sure to keep an eye and ear out for snowmobiles approaching and move off the trail as needed to let them pass. Likewise, if you’re snowmobiling, watch out for skiers and snowshoers and slow down as you pass them.
Trail conditions are currently great for snowmobiling. Most trails are open. Check with local snowmobile clubs to determine status of the trails.
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.
High Peaks Wilderness
The Lake Colden Caretaker Report indicates 45 inches of snow at the stake, and 4 to 5 feet on the summits. Trails are hard ad icy. Water levels in brooks and rivers are high. Some waters have jumped their banks and washed snow out of trails. Some drainages have blown snow out of trails as well.
Avalanche conditions are present on high elevation slopes. Backcountry downhill skiers, snowboarders, and others who may traverse slides and other steep 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.
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.