Heading out hiking this weekend? Typical of April in the Adirondacks, there will be a mix of weather conditions to prepare for, certain roads are closed for mud season, and more. See what you need to know for hiking, camping, fishing, and more.
Snow, Rain & Cloudy Skies
- Crown Point: Fri 45° and snow, Sat 60° and partly cloudy, Sun 61° and mostly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 42° and rain, Sat 67° and partly cloudy, Sun 68° and cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 45° and rain and snow, Sat 64° and partly cloudy, Sun 65° and mostly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 40° and snow, Sat 47° and cloudy, Sun 53° and cloudy
- Malone: Fri 44° and showers, Sat 49° and cloudy, Sun 53° and mostly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 39° and snow, Sat 53° and partly cloudy, Sun 59° and cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 41° and snow, Sat 48° and cloudy, Sun 54° and cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 35° and snow, Sat 50° and cloudy, Sun 56° and cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 44° and rain, Sat 59° and partly cloudy, Sun 61° and mostly cloudy
While it’s technically spring, winter conditions are still present in the Adirondacks. As we can see from the above forecast, we can expect snow, rain, and clouds throughout the Adirondacks this weekend.
Temperatures at the trailhead will vary from temperatures at your destination. Higher elevations and exposed summits can have significantly colder temperatures than at the base of the mountain. Pack extra non-cotton, wind protectant layers and be sure to use them once exposed or feeling colder to help prevent hypothermia.
Snow depths range from 15 to 30 inches across most of the Adirondacks. Open areas in the lower and middle elevations – especially those on south facing slopes – have little to no snow. Snow is deeper in the higher elevations; snow is 7 to 8 feet deep above 3,000 feet in the High Peaks Region.
The Trail Conditions
Most trails are covered in deep snow, which will soften with the rain and warm temperatures. Snowshoes should be used on all hikes where snow depths exceed 8 inches. Post holing can occur even on heavily compacted snow as the snow warms, softens, and melts.
Open areas in the lower to middle elevations may have little to no snow, however, ice may be present on any trail. Carry trail crampons and steel-tipped hiking poles on all hikes, and use when conditions warrant.
Water levels will rise in rivers, streams, and drainages due to melting snow and rain. Low water crossings may be problematic or impossible to cross. Monorails have begun to form as snow melts on trails.
Minimize Campfire Impacts
Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the environment. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and a lantern for light.
Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires. Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.
Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes.
Campfires are prohibited in the High Peaks Wilderness.
Check the fire danger map before your trip. If the fire danger is moderate or higher, choose not to have a campfire and instead enjoy the stars.
The statewide ban on open burning is in effect until May 14th.
Ice on Waterbodies
Lakes and ponds remain frozen with up to 2 feet of ice. Ice may be covered with slush and water.
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.
Trout and salmon seasons opened on Monday, April 1st.
Rivers and brooks in the southern Adirondacks and the lower elevations will be open but may have ice and snow on the banks. Wear proper footwear and use a hiking stick with a carbide tip to access the water.
Currently, rivers and brooks in much of the Adirondacks are dangerous or impossible to access due to snow and ice. Water temperatures are extremely cold.
Anglers should wear a personal flotation device (PDF) as a precaution in addition to a walking stick for balance. A person falling into the water could quickly lose their ability to keep their head above the water.
Water levels will rise as snow melts and may even rise significantly from morning to afternoon as the day warms. Monitor water levels to ensure your safety.
You can take ice fishing shanties on and off the ice when in use, but you cannot leave them empty on ice.
Check area conditions before you go.
Rock Climbing Routes
Effective Monday, April 1st, some Adirondack climbing routes are closed to protect Peregrine falcon nest sites.
Designated Snowmobile Trails & Gate Closures
Watch and listen for snowmobiles when skiing or snowshoeing on designated trails. Move off the trail to allow them to pass you safely.
There are some gate closures:
Saranac Lakes Wild Forest – C7B snowmobile trail and D&H rail bed; Debar Mountain Wild Forest – C8 snowmobile trail and D&H rail bed; Santa Clara Conservation Easement – C8 snowmobile trail; and Black River Wild Forest – all snowmobile gates are closed at this time.
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.
Practice Leave No Trace also applies to fishing. Know area fishing regulations, be considerate of other anglers when casting within proximity to each other, and always pick up fishing lines, lures, and other waste from the shoreline and trails. Avoid transferring fish from one water body to another.
High Peaks Wilderness
Lake Colden Caretaker Report: 60 inches of snow at the stake at 2,750 feet elevation, 7 to 8 feet of snow above 3,000 elevation.
South Meadow Lane, Marcy Truck Trail, and the ski trails are in good condition for skiing despite the loss of some snow depth prior to the weekend.
Snow cover on foot bridges may be above the handrails. Use caution when crossing.
There is an avalanche warning in the High Peaks. Expect wind slabs to have formed on leeward slopes and significantly more amounts in deposit zones, such as gullies. The current snow conditions have created a great bed surface for snow to slide on. 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 trigger avalanches.
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 as soon as weather and road conditions allow, and is expected to last throughout the summer.
The trails through the Elk Lake Conservation Easement Tract to Mt. Marcy via Panther Gorge and to Dix Mountain are open for public use. However, the Clear Pond Gate is closed for winter. The Clear Pond Parking Area is two miles from the Elk Trailhead – plan your travels accordingly.
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.
Black River Wild Forest
The following Forest Preserve access roads in the Black River Wild Forest have closed for mud season: Wolf Lake Landing Road (access to Bear Lake and Woodhull Lake), Mill Creek Road (access to the Gull Lake Parking area), and Loop Road (access to campsites along North Lake). Forest Preserve access road gates will be reopened as conditions permit.
Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area
The gates for the road to Catfish Bay are closed dude to muddy conditions. This WMA sets on the shores of Lake Champlain north of the Adirondacks.
Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area
The gate has been closed due to flooding on this road. This WMA sets on the shores of Lake Champlain in the northeast corner of the Adirondacks.
Lake George Wild Forest
The Town of Fort Ann has closed Shelving Rock Road for mud season. Parking along Shelving Rock Road and at the gate is prohibited. Sleeping Beauty, Shelving Rock, and the Buck Mountain East Trailhead are not accessible while the road is closed.
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.