The Muddy Trail Advisory is still in effect, although the weather doesn’t look too bad for much of the weekend. See what else you need to know for hiking in the Adirondacks, including what bugs are starting to come out.
The Weather Report
- Crown Point: Fri 68° and rain, Sat 59° and partly cloudy, Sun 59° and cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 65° and rain, Sat 52° and partly cloudy, Sun 55° and cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 73° and thunderstorm, Sat 65° and partly cloudy, Sun 64° and cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 62° and rain, Sat 51° and partly cloudy, Sun 53° and cloudy
- Malone: Fri 67° and rain, Sat 54° and partly cloudy, Sun 60° and cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 65° and rain, Sat 54° and partly cloudy, Sun 55° and cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 63° and rain, Sat 53° and partly cloudy, Sun 55° and cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 61° and rain, Sat 53° and mostly sunny, Sun 53° and cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 66° and rain, Sat 60° and partly cloudy, Sun 59° and cloudy
Muddy Trail Advisory
The Muddy Trail Advisory from last week is still in effect. Please avoid trails above 2,500 feet at this time to protect trails, soils, and vegetation.
Walk through the mud and not around. This keeps pressure in the center of the trail which is designed to take the use. By walking around mud or puddles, trailside vegetation becomes damaged or removed, softer portions of the trail erode, and wider trails can be created. Widened trails means less habitat for wildlife and insects, and more damage to tree roots and vegetation.
Wear waterproof boots and pack extra wool socks.
Current Trail Conditions
Mud and water are present on most or all trails. Monorails of ice and compacted snow may be present on some trails – use crampons and walk on the monorails.
Water levels are high. Keep in mind that low water crossings may be problematic or impossible to cross, especially in the afternoon when the snowmelt increases. Streams and drainages that are passable in the morning may not be in the afternoon.
Black Fly & Mosquito Season
We are transitioning into black fly season. Wear clothing that fully covers your body, use bug spray where you’re not protected, and bring a bug net with you to wear as needed to protect yourself from black flies. Wear light colored clothing – flies are attracted to dark colors.
Mosquitoes are also starting to come out. To minimize the nuisance of all biting insects, wear long sleeve shirts and pants. Tuck shirts into pants, button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist, and tuck the bottom of pant legs into your socks.
Use an insect repellent with DEET and follow the directions.
The fire danger is currently moderate in the eastern portion and low throughout the remainder of the Adirondacks. The fire danger can change daily during the spring. Brush burning is prohibited across the state until May 14th.
If you get lost or injured keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service, call the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch at 518.891.0235.
Packing the proper gear is very important, and you should be prepared to encounter all conditions.
For Those Camping
Bear canisters are required in the High Peaks Wilderness. Bears are coming out hibernation now and are very hungry. If you’re planning a backcountry camping trip in the High Peaks Wilderness, bring a bear resistant canister to reduce your chances of encountering a bear.
Practice Leave No Trace
Follow proper trail etiquette to maintain minimal impact on the environment and natural resources of the Adirondacks.
Water Levels & Temperatures
Rain and melting snow are keeping water levels in rivers and streams flowing fast and high. Water temperatures are still very cold. All anglers, boaters, and paddlers should wear personal flotation devices, even if you’re fishing from shore.
People immersed in cold waters can lose the ability to think clearly and move quickly after only a short time in the water.
Due to the high waters, the DEC has been unable to install docks at many DEC boat launches.
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.
The Biking Situation
Bikers are asked to stay off trails for the time being (and seasonal access roads) until they have dried and hardened. Wet and muddy trails are easily rutted and damaged through use.
Electronic powered bikes are prohibited on all bike trails on the Forest Preserve.
Rock Climbing Routes
Some Adirondack rock climbing routes are closed to protect peregrine falcon nest sites.
Silver Lake Wilderness
West River Road which provides access into the Whitehouse area is now open.
Ferris Lake Wild Forest
Powley Road remains closed for mud season.
High Peaks Wilderness
South Meadow Lane is now open to public motor vehicle use.
Avoid high elevation trails in this area while Muddy Trail Advisory is in effect.
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.
Black River Wild Forest
Mill Creek Road is now open.
Wolf Lake Landing Road and Loop Road remain closed.
The bridge across the inlet to Bear Lake on the Bear Lake Trail is currently out. All users should be prepared to ford the stream or cross elsewhere.
The DEC has issued a correction: The Middle Branch Trail is flooded with beaver activity between Cedar Pond and Middle Branch Lake, not Middle Settlement Lake, as currently stated on their website.
Pharaoh Lake Wilderness
The bridge over Alder Brook on the Goose Pond Trail was heavily damaged by ice this spring. Alder Brook cannot be crossed at this time.
Saranac Lake Wild Forest
Moose River Pond Road is open.
The DEC Lake Placid Boat Launch is closed while the bulkhead is being repaired. It’s expected to reopen before Memorial Day Weekend.
Debar Mountain Wild Forest
The Debar Pond access road is open.
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.