We have some thunderstorms forecasted for the weekend, although Friday looks nice! There are some parking notices, bear advisories, and more to be aware of for Adirondack hiking. See below for what you need to know.
Weather for the Weekend
- Crown Point: Fri 69° and mostly sunny, Sat 71° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 71° and scattered thunderstorms
- Indian Lake: Fri 67° and partly cloudy, Sat 68° and thunderstorms, Sun 64° and scattered thunderstorms
- Lake George: Fri 75° and partly cloudy, Sat 77° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 73° and scattered thunderstorms
- Lake Placid: Fri 64° and mostly sunny, Sat 65° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 63° and scattered thunderstorms
- Malone: Fri 62° and mostly sunny, Sat 68° and scattered showers, Sun 64° and scattered thunderstorms
- North Creek: Fri 69° and partly cloudy, Sat 68° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 66° and scattered thunderstorms
- Saranac Lake: Fri 64° and mostly sunny, Sat 65° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 63° and scattered thunderstorms
- Speculator: Fri 68° and mostly sunny, Sat 68° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 64° and scattered thunderstorms
- Ticonderoga: Fri 69° and mostly sunny, Sat 72° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 71° and scattered thunderstorms
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.
Bear Advisories & Bear Canisters
While preparing for your camping or hiking trip, check area notices for bear advisories. If there are active bears presents where you are planning to go, either choose an alternative trip or thoroughly educate yourself on how to reduce your chance of a bear encounter with proper food storage, disposal of food waste, and then what to do if you happen to encounter a bear.
Bear resistant canisters are the most effective means for preventing bears from obtaining food while you’re camping. Black bears in the High Peaks Wilderness have regularly defeated bear resistant canisters made of clear plastic. Choose a dark coated bear canister where food is not visible inside.
The use of bear-resistant canisters is required for overnight users in the High Peaks Wilderness between April 1st and November 30th. All food, toiletries, and garbage must be stored in bear-resistant canisters.
Watch Out for Cyclists
Cyclists training for the annual Tupper Lake Tinman in late June and Lake Placid Ironman in late July are utilizing Route 30 between Cranberry Lake and Saranac Lake, Route 86 between Jay and Lake Placid, Route 73 between Lake Placid and Keene, and Route 9N between Keene and Jay as part of their raining courses.
Remember that Adirondack roadways are shared by all. Please use caution and drive slowly, especially through the Cascade Lakes area and the Wilmington Notch where the road becomes very narrow and there is little to no shoulder. Vehicles should always be aware and keep an eye out for cyclists on all roads.
Parking along the side of the road removes access to safe shoulders for cyclists. Please park only in designated parking areas long roadsides and at trailheads.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ausable Mountain Reserve Conservation Easement Tract/High Peaks & Giant Mountain Wilderness
Parking will be prohibited on a four-mile section of State Route 30 between Chapel Pond and the Rooster Comb Trailhead. Parking will still be allowed at trailheads and other designated pull-offs. The DEC is encouraging hikers to visit the other numerous hiking opportunities in the area, or visit during the weekdays when there is less demand.
Black River Wild Forest
Wolf Lake Landing Road to the gate just before Woodhull Lake is now open. A beaver had flooded and damaged the road. The roadway may still be soft in places – stay in the center of the roadway surface.
Boreas Ponds Tract
The DEC will be working on June and July to provide additional access and recreational infrastructure.
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 the 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.
Blue Mountain Wild Forest/Township 19 & 20 Conservation Easement Tracts
The following roads remain closed to public motor vehicle use: Minerva Club Road, O’Neil Flow Road, and Barker Pond Road. Pickwickett Pond Road is open to public motor vehicle use.
Essex Chain Lakes Complex
Chain Lakes Road South to the Outer Gooley Parking Area is pen.
Fulton Chain Wild Forest
Carey Lake Road is open for public motor vehicle use.
Horseshoe Lake Wild forest
All seasonal access roads are open including the access road to Lows Lake/Hitchens Pond Waterway Acces Site.
Kushaqua Conservation Easement Tract
Mountain Pond Road remains closed due to muddy conditions.
Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement Tract
The following roads remain closed: Mud Lake Road, Old Military Road (access to the Pillsbury Mountain Trailhead), and Jessup River Road beyond the Sled Harbor Sand Pit (access to the Spruce Lake Trailhead).
Pharoah Lake Wilderness
The bridge over Alder Brook on the Goose Pond Trail has been repaired and is ready for use.
Sable HIghlands Conservation Easement Tract
D&H Road is closed to public motor vehicle use due to a logging operation. The road will reopen when the logging operation finishes in late June.
Piney Ridge Road will remain open while logging is occurring – drivers should use caution and be aware of logging equipment and trucks on the road.
Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tract
The following roads remain closed: Robbs Creek Road, Hatchery Brook Road, Cave Hill Road, and Pine Lakes Road.
Moose River Plains Wild Forest/West Canada Lakes Wilderness
The following roads or road sections remain closed to public motor vehicles: Limekiln Lake – Cedar River Road between Cedar river Entrance and Campsite #39, Rock Dam Road, Otter Brook Road at the bridge over South Branch Moose River, and Indian Lake Road.
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
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.