The first weekend in March is bringing us some great winter weather – without the frigidly cold temperatures. This is a great time to get out there and enjoy snowshoeing, skiing, and snowmobiling.
Pleasant Winter Weather
- Crown Point: Fri 35° and mostly sunny, Sat 35° and snow showers, Sun 37° and mostly sunny
- Indian Lake: Fri 31° and mostly sunny, Sat 31° and snow showers, Sun 31° and mostly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 39° and partly cloudy, Sat 38° and snow showers, Sun 40° and mostly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 30° and mostly sunny, Sat 32° and snow showers, Sun 30° and mostly cloudy
- Malone: Fri 28° and mostly sunny, Sat 29° and snow showers, Sun 30° and cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 32° and partly cloudy, Sat 30° and snow showers, Sun 32° and mostly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 30° and mostly sunny, Sat 33° and snow showers, Sun 31° and mostly cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 32° and mostly sunny, Sat 31° and snow showers, Sun 32° and mostly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 34° and mostly sunny, Sat 33° and snow showers, Sun 37° and mostly cloudy
The DEC is calling the forecast for this weekend “pleasant winter weather.” Daytime high temperatures will range from the mid-20s to mid-30s, with nighttime low temperatures in the teens. Light snow and snow showers are predicted throughout the weekend.
Temperatures will be much colder, winds stronger, snow deeper, and ice will be present at the summits.
Weather forecasts can and do change, so check again before you head out.
What the Snow Cover Looks Like
Snow depths range from 1 to 3 feet across most of the Adirondacks. The deepest snow depths are in the central and southern Adirondacks. Snow depths range from 8 to 12 inches in the very northeastern and southeastern sections of the region.
Snow is deeper in the higher elevations; snow is 6 to 7 feet deep above 3,000 feet in the High Peaks Region.
Current Trail Conditions
Trail conditions are excellent for snowshoeing and skiing. Due to the heavy winds earlier this week, expect to encounter blowdown (fallen trees, limbs, and branches) on trails, especially lesser used trails. Plan for hikes to take longer than usual and be prepared to turn back if blowdown is too heavy.
Trails will have a thin covering of light snow over a layer of hard snow covering softer snow underneath. Ice may be present on trails in some locations due to recent thaws and rain, and current below freezing temperatures.
Well-used trails will be hard packed, but may have soft snow underneath. Snowshoes or skis are required on all trails in the High Peaks Wilderness. Carry trail crampons and steel-tipped hiking poles on all hikes and use when warranted.
Remember that traveling through snow takes more time and energy than hiking on bare ground.
Designated Snowmobile Trails
For hikers: Watch and listen for snowmobiles when skiing or snowshoeing on designated snowmobile trails. Move off the trail as necessary to allow them to safely pass.
For snowmobilers: Due to heavy winds earlier this week, expect to encounter blowdown on trails, especially lesser used trails. Otherwise, good snow cover is present throughout most of the Adirondacks and trail conditions are expected to be good to excellent.
Check with local snowmobile clubs to determine the status and condition of trails. Remember to watch out for skiers or snowshoers using these trails and slow down to safely pass them.
Save This Number to Your Phone & Stay Safe
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.
Try to stay warm and dry by separating yourself from the wet snow with a thicker layer on the ground. Protect yourself from the elements by building a shelter with items around you and in your pack. Build a campfire to provide heat, light, and comfort. A campfire will also be useful for search crews to locate you.
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.
Ice on Waterbodies & Stream Crossings
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, ice that holds snow may not hold the weight of a person (or snowmobile, or vehicle).
Stream crossings may be impassable. Be prepared to take alternate routes or turn back if a steam crossing is impassable. Keep dogs on leashes near fast moving water. Some bridges in the High Peaks Wilderness have snowpack that is higher than the bridge railings. Use caution when encountering these crossings. Turn back if you do not feel safe.
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.
High Peaks Wilderness
Lake Colden Caretaker Report: 61 inches of snow at the stake at 2,750 feet, 6 to 7 feet of snow above 3,000 feet elevation.
South Meadow Lane, Marcy Truck Trail, and the ski trails are in good condition for skiing.
The snow cover on foot bridges may be above the handrails. Use caution when crossing.
Avalanche conditions are present on the high elevation slopes. Backcountry downhill skiers, snowboarders, and others who may traverse slides and other steep, open terrain should be aware of avalanche risks and what to do to avoid triggering avalanches.
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.
Blue Mountain Lake Wild Forest/Township 19 & 20 Conservation Easement Tracts
The O’Neil Flow Road (Snowmobile Route 538 between Indian Lake and Newcomb) no longer has shared use with logging trucks.
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.