Trailheads and parking areas are expected to get busy this weekend with the holiday week ahead. We’ve also got some thunderstorms in the forecast to be aware of – brush up on thunderstorm safety and see everything else you need to know for hiking in the Adirondacks this weekend.
Weather Forecast & Thunderstorm Safety
- Crown Point: Fri 88° and mostly sunny, Sat 80° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 72° and scattered thunderstorms
- Indian Lake: Fri 82° and mostly sunny, Sat 75° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 65° and showers
- Lake George: Fri 91° and mostly sunny, Sat 88° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 75° and scattered thunderstorms
- Lake Placid: Fri 80° and partly cloudy, Sat 74° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 64° and showers
- Malone: Fri 85° and partly cloudy, Sat 77° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 68° and showers
- North Creek: Fri 77° and sunny, Sat 77° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 67° and scattered thunderstorms
- Saranac Lake: Fri 82° and mostly sunny, Sat 75° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 66° and showers
- Speculator: Fri 81° and mostly sunny, Sat 75° and isolated thunderstorms, Sun 65° and scattered thunderstorms
- Ticonderoga: Fri 88° and mostly sunny, Sat 78° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 71° and scattered thunderstorms
Summer weather is upon us, with sunny days and thunderstorms. Rest and hydrate often to help combat the humidity and heat exhaustion. Apply sunscreen and ChapStick with SPF liberally and often. Bring plenty of food to keep up with the calories you’ll burn. Always bring a headlamp, first aid kit, and map of your planned route.
Keep an eye and ear on the weather, especially with thunderstorms in the forecast. Avoid summits, water surfaces, and other open areas during thunderstorms.
As soon as you’re 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.
Holiday Week Up Ahead
July 1st marks the annual Canada Day holiday with July 4th following on Thursday. Trails and parking areas, along with towns and villages, are expected to be busy this weekend through the following weekend.
Know the parking regulations where you plan to travel, and plan alternative hikes to check out if you find parking areas are full. Plan to arrive early to the trailheads.
Also, the Tupper Lake Tinman Triathlon is on Saturday. Motorists should expect road delays and slower traffic throughout the day around Tupper Lake.
Please Share the Roads
Cyclists are utilizing the busy north country roads training for the Lake Placid Ironman at the end of July. It’s more important than ever to be alert on all roadways, and double check shoulders before turning into parking areas, driveways, or onto other roads.
Parking Restrictions on Route 73
Parking is now prohibited on the shoulders along State Route 73. Violators have been ticketed and the fines are hefty. Park in designated pull offs and parking areas only.
Parking is also prohibited on a four-mile section of this route, between Chapel Pond and the Rooster Comb Trailhead. Parking is still allowed at trailheads and designated pull-offs.
If parking is full, the DEC encourages hikers to discover the many other hiking spots in the area, or to visit during week when there are fewer hikers.
Trail Conditions & Muddy Trail Advisory Lifted
The DEC has lifted the Muddy Trail Advisory, however, trails are still muddy above 2,500 feet and in other locations. Continue to walk through the mud, not around it, to protect trails and trailside vegetation.
Trails are slippery and unstable when wet and muddy, especially on steeper slopes. Hikers should use caution. Sturdy boot and trekking poles provide traction and added balance in these conditions.
Consider avoiding much of the mud by sticking to trails under 2,500 feet for now.
Black Fly & Mosquito Season
Bug season is here. Black flies and mosquitoes are present in large numbers.
Wear light colored long sleeves and long pants. Tuck shirts into pants, button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist, and tuck the bottom of pant legs into your socks. Pack a head net to wear when insects are thick. Use an insect repellent with DEET and follow the label directions.
Practice Leave No Trace
Follow proper trail etiquette to maintain minimal impact on the environment and natural resources of the Adirondacks.
Seasonal Access Roads
Most seasonal access roads are open while a few remain closed for mud season. Seasonal access roads are dirt and gravel which 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.
The fire danger is currently low.
Please Report Moose Sightings
The DEC is asking us to report moose sightings and observations. The DEC and its research partners use these public sightings as indices of moose distribution and abundance in New York.
This is part of a multi-year research project to obtain information on the status of New York State’s moose population, health of the moose, and the factors that influence moose survival and reproductive rate.
Use Bear Resistant Canisters When Camping
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.
For the Boaters, Paddlers & Anglers
Water levels are higher and water temperatures colder than usual for this time of year. Paddlers, tubers, and waders should expect to encounter strong currents on rivers. A group of paddlers on the Batten Kill in Washington County were unable to avoid a tree that had fallen the river (aka a strainer) due to the strong currents.
Personal flotation devices (lifejackets) 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.
Docks have been installed at all but a few boat launches where high water levels are preventing installation.
For the Bikers
Most trails are dry and rideable, but some remain closed due to wet and muddy conditions. Don’t use the muddy trails – they are easily rutted and damaged through use. If you are leaving tracks, that’s a sign to turn back.
Remember that electric powered bikes (e-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.
Boreas Ponds Tract
Gulf Brook Road was closed at Blue Ridge Road on Thursday the 27th but should be open once again to the Fly Pond Area. Other work on the road has been delayed.
During the next few weeks, Gulf Brook Road will be open seven days a week to the Fly Pond Parking area. The DEC will provide notice when the work starts, and the road will be open on Saturdays and Sundays only.
West Canada Lake Wilderness
Trails throughout the area contain significant amount of blowdown. Blowdown is particularly prevalent on the Northville-Placid Trail and Cedar Lakes Trail. Plan for hikes to take longer due to working through or around blowdown.
John Brown Conservation Easement Tract
The Brown Tract Trail will be closed for three weeks beginning July 1st while logging operations take place.
Moose River Plains Wild Forest
Rock Dam Road remains closed to public motor vehicle use.
Blue Mountain Wild Forest/Township 19 & 20 Conservation Easement Tracts
The following roads are now open to public motor vehicle use: Minerva Club Road, O’Neil Flow Road, and Barker Pond Road.
Kushaqua Conservation Easement Tract
Mountain Pond Road remains closed due to muddy conditions.
Terry Mountain State Forest
The Terry Mountain State Forest remains closed for mud season.
Lake George Wild Forest
Gay Pond Road remains closed due to the large amount of blowdown on the road.
Wilcox Wild Forest
Pumpkin Hollow Road remains closed for mud season.
High Peaks Wilderness
Hikers seeking to use the Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail, which opened last fall, will be rerouted around the construction underway to make significant improvements to Olympic Sports Complex facilities.
Hikers can park at the Baithlon Facility parking area in the Complex and use a marked 2.9-mile detour bypassing the construction zone using roads, ski trails, and a temporary trail to reach the Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail approximately one mile below the summit.
Expect to encounter trail workers along the trail to the summit of the mountain as they complete the final touches on the sustainably designed and recently opened trail. Hikers may also reach the summit using the traditional route – the 2.2-mile Mt. Van Hoevenberg West Trail which begins at the trailhead on Meadows Lane.
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 roadway on the Bradley Pond Trail has been washed out by the Harkness Lake Outlet approximately a half mile from the parking lot. Hikers will be unable to cross the outlet when water levels are high.
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.
The Garden Trailhead Parking Lot is closed. Hikers can access the Garden Trailhead using the Town of Keene’s Shuttle from Marcy Field. Currently the shuttle only operates on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The Town of Keene posts the shuttle schedule and additional information on their website.
The public is prohibited from walking, biking, or driving on the alternate route that the shuttle takes. When the shuttle is not operating, hikers are encouraged to hike other trails in the area.
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 and 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
The Garden Trailhead Parking Lot is closed. Hikers can access the Garden Trailhead using the Town of Keene’s shuttle from Marcy field. Currently the shuttle operates on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The Town of Keene posts the shuttle schedule and additional info on their website. The shuttle utilizes an alternate route across private property; the public is prohibited from walking, biking, or driving on this alternate route. Hikers are encouraged to hike other trails in the area when the shuttle is not operating.
The Marcy Dam #4 Lean-to has been removed. A new Phelps Brook Lean-to has been installed off the Marcy Truck Trail. The lean-to was built by students from the Franklin-Essex-Clinton Counties BOCES Natural Resource Science Program. The students and volunteers from Lean2Rescue assembled the new lean-to. Follow signs from the bridge below Marcy Dam to the new lean-to.
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.