If you’re planning on hiking this weekend you’ll definitely want to check out the details on the current Muddy Trail Advisory to know which trails to avoid. Here’s everything else to be aware of.
The Weather Report
- Crown Point: Fri 62° and rain, Sat 58° and cloudy, Sun 63° and partly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 61° and rain, Sat 57° and cloudy, Sun 58° and mostly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 64° and rain, Sat 61° and cloudy, Sun 61° and cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 56° and rain, Sat 55° and cloudy, Sun 62° and partly cloudy
- Malone: Fri 51° and rain, Sat 59° and mostly cloudy, Sun 67° and partly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 61° and rain, Sat 56° and cloudy, Sun 57° and mostly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 55° and rain, Sat 55° and cloudy, Sun 63° and partly cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 61° and rain, Sat 59° and cloudy, Sun 57° and cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 62° and rain, Sat 58° and partly cloudy, Sun 63° and mostly cloudy
Nighttime temperatures will remain above freezing, even in the high elevations.
Temperatures at the summits will be much colder, winds stronger, snow deeper, and ice will be present.
Muddy Trail Advisory
The DEC has issued a Muddy Trail Advisory for the High Peaks Wilderness. Please avoid trails above 2,500 feet to protect the trails, soils, and vegetation.
Current Trail Conditions
Mud and water are present in the lower to middle elevations. Water levels are high and water temperatures are very cold. Low water crossings may be problematic or impossible to cross.
Snow and ice are present in the upper middle to high elevations. Snow and ice may also be found in ravines, north facing slopes, thick forests, and other locations that receive little sunlight in the upper middle elevations.
When you do encounter mud on trails walk through it and not around it. This keeps the pressure on the center of the trail which is designed to take the use. By walking around mud or puddles, trailside vegetation becomes damaged and softer parts of the trail erode; this creates unwanted wider trails. 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. This will allow for a pleasant hike during mud season.
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.
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 fire danger is currently low, but can change daily during the spring. Brush burning is prohibited across the state until May 14th.
For the Anglers & Paddlers
Wear proper footwear and use a hiking stick with a carbide tip to access the water. Water temperatures are extremely cold and water levels are high. You should wear a personal flotation device.
Due to the high waters, the DEC has been unable to install docks at many boat launches.
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.
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.
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.
Practice Leave No Trace
Follow proper trail etiquette to maintain minimal impact on the environment and natural resources of the Adirondacks.
Black River Wild Forest
Mill Creek Road is now open.
Wolf Lake Landing Road and Loop Road are still 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.
A correction, the Middle Branch Trail is flooded by beaver activity between Cedar Pond and Middle Branch Lake, not Middle Settlement Lake as currently stated on the DEC’s site.
Pharoah 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
The Moose River Pond Road is open.
The DEC Lake Placid Boat Launch is closed while the bulkhead is being repaired. It’s expected to be reopened before Memorial Day Weekend.
Debar Mountain Wild Forest
The Debar Pond access road is open.
High Peaks Wilderness
The roadway on 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 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.
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.