It’s Memorial Day Weekend, and that means hikers have an extra day to enjoy all the Adirondack region has to offer. Check out the weather report, trail conditions, and further notices before heading out on your excursion. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend hiking!
Weather for the Weekend Through Monday
- Crown Point: Fri 67° and cloudy, Sat 71° and rain, Sun 82° and mostly sunny, Mon 72° and mostly sunny
- Indian Lake: Fri 61° and cloudy, Sat 62° and rain, Sun 72° and scattered showers, Mon 61° and cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 69° and cloudy, Sat 72° and rain, Sun 85° and scattered thunderstorms, Mon 78° and mostly sunny
- Lake Placid: Fri 57° and cloudy, Sat 63° and rain, Sun 68° and scattered thunderstorms, Mon 64° and mostly cloudy
- Malone: Fri 64° and cloudy, Sat 68° and rain, Sun 69° and scattered thunderstorms, Mon 66° and partly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 63° and mostly cloudy, Sat 63° and rain, Sun 74° and scattered showers, Mon 71° and mostly sunny
- Saranac Lake: Fri 60° and cloudy, Sat 64° and rain, Sun 69° and scattered thunderstorms, Mon 66° and partly cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 60° and cloudy, Sat 62° and rain, Sun 72° and scattered showers, Mon 69° and partly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 65° and partly cloudy, Sat 69° and rain, Sun 79° and mostly sunny, Mon 70° and mostly sunny
Temperatures at the trailhead will be significantly warmer than temperatures at the summit. Pack extra non-cotton, wind protectant layers, and be sure to use them once feeling exposed or cool to help prevent hypothermia.
Stay Safe During Thunderstorms
Avoid summits, water surfaces, and other open areas during thunderstorms. As soon as you are first aware of an approaching thunderstorm move to lower elevations, head to shore, or otherwise seek shelter.
If caught outside in a thunderstorm, find a low spot away from tall trees, seek an area of shorter trees, and crouch down away from tree trunks.
A Word on Memorial Day Weekend
Three days weekends mean trailheads will be busier, parking lots will fill early, and you can expect to encounter many people on trails and waterways. Now is a great time to seek out outdoor recreational opportunities in other lesser used areas of the Adirondacks.
Please avoid parking on the shoulder of busy highways for safety purposes. Be aware of visitors crossing roads. Do not block driveways, roadways, or roads from emergency vehicles or residents.
Muddy Trail Advisory
The Muddy Trail Advisory is still in effect. Please protect high elevation trails and vegetation, and postpone hikes on trails above 2,500 feet until these high elevation trails have dried and hardened. Snow and ice are currently melting on high elevation trails.
Steep trails with thin soils can be dangerous to hike and are susceptible to erosion. Sensitive alpine vegetation is easily damaged. Choose any of the numerous trails under 2,500 feet to hike until the advisory is lifted.
Current Trail Conditions
Mud and water are present on nearly all trails. Monorails of ice and compacted snow may be present on some trails.
Wear waterproof boots and pack extra wool socks. Having the right 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. Choose to walk right down the center of the trail, through the mud.
When you go around the trail instead of down the middle you can damage sensitive trailside vegetation and the trails can widen. Widened trails mean less habitat for wildlife and insects, and more damage to tree roots and vegetation.
Water levels are high. Low water crossings may be problematic or impossible to cross.
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.
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 low, but this can change daily during the spring.
Practice Leave No Trace
Follow proper trail etiquette to maintain minimal impact on the environment and natural resources of the Adirondacks.
In particular, the DEC is reminding us for this weekend to dispose of waste properly. Use bathroom facilities if available, and go before you hit the trail. If privies are not available along the trail, know how to dig a cathole. Catholes ensure your waste is not seen or smelled by others on the trail. They also give your waste the best possible chance of decomposing and not spreading bacteria or diseases to wildlife.
Seasonal Access Roads
Many seasonal access roads are open while many others remain closed for mud season. Closed roads will reopen after the frost has thawed, the roads are dry, and any necessary repairs and maintenance are completed.
Seasonal access roads are dirt and gravel roads that can be rough. Four-wheel drive SUVs, pick-up trucks, and other high clearance vehicles are recommended for driving on these roads.
Roads may be narrow – use caution, drive slowly, and watch for oncoming vehicles.
Planning on 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.
The DEC recommends a dark coated bear canister where the food is not visible. The use of bear-resistant canisters is required for overnight users in the High Peaks Wilderness between April 1st and November 30th.
For the Bikers
Good news for bikers – the DEC had been asking bicyclists to stay off muddy trails, but most are dry and rideable now. There are still some muddy trails, so please avoid those. If you are leaving tracks in the trail, that’s the sign to turn back.
Remember that electric powered bikes (e-bikes) are prohibited on all bike trails on the Forest Preserve.
For the Boaters, Paddlers & Anglers
Water levels are still high with water temperatures cold. Personal flotation devices are strongly recommended to be worn by all anglers, boaters, and paddlers. 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 is still unable to install docks at some boat launches. Docks have been installed at the following boat launches: Chateaugay Lake, Ticonderoga (Lake Champlain) half the docks, Mossy Point (Lake George) half the docks, Second Pond (Saranac Chain of Lakes), Upper Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Long Lake, and Raquette River.
Anglers should wear proper footwear and use a hiking stick with a carbide tip to access the water. Anglers should wear a PDF like boaters and paddlers.
Rock Climbing Routes
Some Adirondack rock climbing routes are closed to protect peregrine falcon nest sites.
Saranac Lakes Wild Forest
Repairs have been completed on the Lake Placid Boat Launch, and it’s open for boaters to use.
Debar Mountain Wild Forest
The Debar Meadows Road and the Debar Mountain Trailhead Road are open for public motor vehicle use.
Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement Tract
All seasonal access roads are open, except for the access road to the Pillsbury Mountain Trailhead, which is closed due to a washout. Hikers can park in the gravel pit and walk 1.5 miles to the trailhead.
Essex Chain Lakes Complex
The following roads will open to public motor vehicle use Saturday morning: Chain Lakes Road North, Drake’s Mill Road, Cornell Road, and Deer Pond Road.
The Chain Lakes Road South to the Outer Gooley Parking Area remains closed.
Kashaqua Conservation Easement Tract
The following roads are open for public motor vehicle use: North Branch Road, Hunter’s Camp Road, Aden Road, and Road 5-2.
Mountain Pond Road remains closed due to muddy conditions.
Boreas Ponds Tract
The DEC will be working in June and July to provide additional access and recreational infrastructure.
Gulf Brook Road will remain closed through Memorial Day holiday weekend due to a significant washout on the road. When the road opens, motorists will be able to access the Fly Pond Parking area on weekends only.
Hikers, bicyclists, and horseback riders will be able to use the road during the week but must use caution in construction areas and obey all instructions from workers.
Blue Mountain Wild Forest
A new 2.2-mile spur trail connecting the 134-mile Northville-Placid Trail (NPT) to the hamlet of Long Lake in Hamilton County is open. The trail connects with the NPT approximately 1.9 miles south of Route 28N.
The connection is marked with yellow trail markers and crosses Forest Preserve and town-owned lands. The trailhead is located in a gravel parking lot at the intersection of Route 30/28N, South Hill Road, and Pavilion Lane across from the Long Lake Post Office. The trail eliminates 1.5 miles of hiking on the shoulder of Route 28N.
Moose River Plains Wild Forest/West Canada Lakes Wilderness
Cedar River Road is open to the Cedar River Flow for public motor vehicle use.
The Limekiln Lake – Cedar River Road will be opened from the Limekiln Lake entrance to just east of the Lost Ponds Trailhead at Campsite 39.
The Otter Brook Road is open to the bridge over the South Branch Moose River.
Beaver Lake Trailhead cannot be accessed by motor vehicles.
The following roads or road sections remained closed to public motor vehicles: Limekiln Lake – Cedar River Road between the Cedar River entrance and Campsite #39, Rock Dam Road, Otter Brook Road at the bridge over south Branch Moose River, and Indian Lake Road.
Santa Clara Conservation Easement Tract/Debar Mountain Wild Forest
The following seasonal access roads are open to public motor vehicle use: Madawaska Road, Pinnacle Road, Howe Access Road, Four Mile Road, and Vanderwalker Road.
Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Tract
Piney Ridge Road and D&H Road are open to public motor vehicle use. Both roads have some minor washouts, but should be passable by four-wheel drive SUVs, pick-up trucks, and other high clearance vehicles. There are some trees bent or hanging over the road. Drivers should use caution and proceed slowly.
High Peaks Wilderness
Preventative Search and Rescue (PSAR): DEC forest rangers and assistant forest rangers will continue this pilot initiative this weekend to reduce the number of incidents in the Adirondack High Peaks region and help to ensure the public has an enjoyable and safe outdoor experience.
Corey’s Road is now open for public motor vehicle use.
The Clear Pond Gate on Elk Lake Road is open. The road is open to the Elk Lake Trailheads.
Gulf Brook Road remains closed for mud season.
South Meadow Lane is now open to public motor vehicle use.
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.
Independence River Wild Forest
All gates to seasonal access roads have been opened, and the roads are available for public motor vehicle use.
Watson’s East Triangle Wild Forest
Bear Pond Road is open to public motor vehicles.
Croghan Tract Conservation Easement Tract
Main Haul Road, which also provides access to western portions of the Pepperbox Wilderness,is open to public motor vehicles.
Oswegatchie Conservation Easement Tract
All gates to seasonal access roads have been opened, and the roads are available for public motor vehicle use.
Black River Wild Forest
Loop Road (access to campsites along North Lake) is open for public motor vehicle use to the washout at Golden Stair Creek.
William C. Whitney Wilderness
Lake Lila Road is open for public motor vehicle use. Do not trespass on private property along the road.
Wilcox Lake Wild Forest
Pumpkin Hollow Road is closed for mud season.