The weather is not looking great for hiking this weekend. But, if you know what to wear and bring to stay warm and safe you can still have an enjoyable time in the Adirondacks! Here’s what you need to know.
More Rain…and Snow
Here’s the current weather forecast:
- Crown Point: Fri 56° and rain, Sat 47° and scattered showers, Sun 49° and scattered showers
- Indian Lake: Fri 51° and rain, Sat 37° and rain and snow, Sun 41° and snow showers
- Lake George: Fri 60° and rain, Sat 51° and scattered showers, Sun 52° and scattered showers
- Lake Placid: Fri 53° and rain, Sat 37° and rain snow, Sun 41° and cloudy
- Malone: Fri 48° and rain, Sat 41° and rain and snow, Sun 44° and cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 51° and rain, Sat 40° and cloudy, Sun 43° and rain and snow
- Saranac Lake: Fri 54° and rain, Sat 38° and rain and snow, Sun 42° and cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 51° and rain, Sat 38° and rain and snow, Sun 42° and snow showers
- Ticonderoga: Fri 56° and rain, Sat 47° and scattered showers, Sun 50° and scattered showers
Cool temperatures with rain and snow showers throughout the weekend are predicted. Check the weather again for the specific area you’re planning to hike before you head out.
Temperatures at the trailhead will vary from those at your destination, so be sure to dress in layers. Higher elevations and exposed summits can be extremely cold. Pack extra non-cotton, wind protectant layers and be sure to use them once feeling exposed or colder to prevent hypothermia.
Current Trail Conditions: Muddy on Lower Elevations, Rotten Snow on Higher Elevations
With the rainy weather throughout the weekend low elevations trails will be extremely wet and muddy. Remember to continue walking through the mud and water and not around it. This helps keep the pressure in the center of the trail, which is designed to take the use.
Walking around the mud damages trailside vegetation and erodes softer parts of the trail, which can create unwanted wider trails. Widened trails means less habitat for wildlife and insects and more damage to tree roots and vegetation.
Wear waterproof boots, gaiters, and rain pants. Having the proper equipment means you don’t have to choose between walking down the center of the trail or walking around the mud to protect your feet.
Also, pack extra wool socks. Every boot has its limit on very wet trails. Bringing extra wool socks to keep your feet warm and dry will provide a more enjoyable hike, and allow you to keep walking through the mud.
Ice and snow are still present on trails in high elevations. Crampons and snowshoes should be carried on all hikes above 3,000 feet. Hikers should be prepared for deep, soft, rotten snow and icy conditions on most mountains. Snowshoes prevent post-holing. Post-holding through soft, rotten snow can cause extreme exhaustion.
As the snow next to the trails melts, compacted ice in the center creates monorails. Monorails can be tough to traverse. Take your time and use crampons and other traction devices for walking directly on the monorail. This avoids post-holding in trailside snow and trampling fragile vegetation and wildlife habitats.
Water Levels & Ice on Water
Water levels are high and temperatures are very cold. Low water crossings may be problematic to impossible to cross. Rain and melting snow have raised water levels and rivers and streams are flowing high and fast.
Ice is off almost all waters. Some high elevation ponds may still have some ice. No ice is safe at this time.
For the Paddlers
Personal flotation devices are required before May 1st. Water temperatures are cold. A person in the water can quickly lose the ability to keep their head above water. Use caution entering and exiting your canoe or kayak. Expect high water levels and swift currents.
Research your trip ahead of time and heed any high water warnings or advisories for select paddling routes. Watch closely for trees, branches, rocks, and debris both above the surface and underwater.
Due to the high waters the DEC has been unable to install docks at many of the DEC boat launches.
For the Anglers
Wear proper footwear and use a hiking stick with a carbide tip to access the water. Water temperatures are extremely cold. You should wear a personal flotation device.
Be aware that on Saturday water levels are expected to rise through the day. Monitor water levels to ensure your safety.
For the Bikers
The DEC is asking bikers to avoid muddy bike trails and closed seasonal access roads during this spring mud season. Wet and muddy trails are easily rutted and damaged through use. Please wait until the trials and roads have dried and hardened.
Electronic powered bikes (e-bikes) are prohibited on all bike trails on the forest preserve.
For the Climbers
Some rock climbing routes are closed to protect peregrine falcon nest sites.
The current fire danger is moderate, although this can change daily in the spring. Brush burning is prohibited across the state until May 14th.
Seasonal Access Roads
All seasonal access roads are closed for mud season. The roads will be reopened after the frost has thawed, the roads are dry, and any necessary repairs and maintenance are completed.
Saranac Lake Wild Forest
The DEC Lake Placid Boat Launch is closed while the bulkhead is being prepared. It’s expected to reopen before Memorial Day weekend.
High Peaks Wilderness
One to two feet of snow is present above 3,000 feet elevation.
The following are closed for mud season: South Meadow Lane, Corey’s Road, and elk Lake road beyond clear Pond Gate.
The Garden Trailhead Parking Lot is closed for spring and summer 2019. This is one of the main access points to the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness. It will be closed due to the replacement of the Johns Brook Bridge. Work will begin on installing the replacement bridge.
The roadway on the Bradley Pond Trail has been washed out by the Harkness Lake Outlet approximately a half mile from the parking lot. Until water levels drop hikers will be unable to cross the outlet.
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.
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.
Debar Mountain Wild Forest
The following roads are closed for mud season: Debar Meadows Road, Debar Pond Road, and Debar Trailhead access (from Meacham Lake Campground).
Santa Clara Conservation Easement Tract
The following roads are closed for mud season: Madawaska Pond Road, Vanderwalker Road, Pinnacle Road, and 4-Mile Road.
Titusville Mountain State Forest
The following is closed for mud season: Elephant Head Road.
Terry Mountain State Forest
The following is closed for mud season: Terry Mountain Road.
Essex Chain Lakes Complex
The following roads are closed for mud season: Cornell Road, Deer Pond Road, Chain Lakes Road North, Drakes Mill Road, and Chain Lake Road South.
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 and waters or participate in any unauthorized activities.
Dogs are prohibited.
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.
Boreas Ponds Tract
Gulf Brook Road is closed for mud season.