It’s going to be a great weekend for hiking, which means you can expect trailheads and parking lots to be busy. There are a lot of new notices from the DEC this week to read up on, so check it all out below.
Weather for the Weekend
- Crown Point: Fri 78° and mostly sunny, Sat 73° and mostly sunny, Sun 81° and sunny
- Indian Lake: Fri 74° and sunny, Sat 74° and sunny, Sun 77° and mostly sunny
- Lake George: Fri 80° and mostly sunny, Sat 76° and sunny, Sun 80° and mostly sunny
- Lake Placid: Fri 72° and mostly sunny, Sat 72° and mostly sunny, Sun 79° and mostly sunny
- Malone: Fri 75° and sunny, Sat 71° and mostly sunny, Sun 82° and mostly sunny
- North Creek: Fri 76° and mostly sunny, Sat 73° and sunny, Sun 76° and mostly sunny
- Saranac Lake: Fri 73° and sunny, Sat 73° and sunny, Sun 80° and mostly sunny
- Speculator: Fri 74° and mostly sunny, Sat 74° and sunny, Sun 75° and mostly sunny
- Ticonderoga: Fri 77° and mostly sunny, Sat 72° and sunny, Sun 80° and sunny
Welcome, sunshine! This weekend is finally calling for warmer temperatures and abundant sun. Wear and pack sunscreen and bug spray. Pack plenty of water.
Be prepared to encounter leftover rotten snow in the highest elevations and muddy conditions in the lower elevations. Pack a long sleeve layer or windbreaker for exposed outlooks and summits where temperatures will be cooler.
Expect to encounter a lot of people out on the trails this weekend. Practice good trail etiquette while out recreating.
Trail Conditions & Muddy Trail Advisory
Mud and water are present on most trails. Protect high elevation trails and vegetation by walking through the mud and water and not around it.
Water levels are high. Low water crossings may not be problematic.
Although it may feel like summer this weekend, it’s still spring (hence the mud), and the Muddy Trail Advisory is still in effect. Please choose trails under 2,500 feet elevation, like Poke-a-Moonshine, pictured above.
A Note on Primitive Camping
Camping is prohibited above an elevation of 4,000 feet within the Adirondacks. In the High Peaks Wilderness, camping is only permitted within designated camp sites marked with a “camp here” disc. These regulations are in place to protect our natural resources.
When choosing to camp under 4,000 feet and not in a designated camp site, be sure to camp at least 150 feet away from any trail or water source. Don’t cut down trees or vegetation to make a camp site. Tread lightly while camping by keeping everything close to together to minimize the number of footsteps on healthy vegetation and to avoid trampling habitats. Always carry out what you carry in.
What to Know About Campfires & Firewood
Fires should be built in existing fire pits or fireplaces if provided. Use only dead and down wood for fires. Cutting standing trees is prohibited. Extinguish all fires with water and stir ashes until they are cold to the touch.
Do not build fires in areas marked by a “no fires” disk. Camp stoves are safer, more efficient, and cleaner. Fires are prohibited in the High Peaks Wilderness.
New York State regulations prohibits importing untreated firewood into New York as well as prohibits untreated firewood grown in New York to be transported 50 miles from its source or origin. This is extremely important, because you could be unknowingly transporting firewood infested with invasive species – this is one of the primary ways invasive pests and diseases spread to new areas.
Buy firewood locally from a campground or nearby vendor. If you choose to transport firewood within the state you’ll need to have a receipt indicating the firewood’s source, which must be within 50 miles of your destination.
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 mooose survival and reproductive rate.
Bear Advisories & Bear Canisters
While preparing for your camping or hiking trip, check area notices for bear advisories. If there are active bears present 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.
Black Fly & Mosquito Season
Bug season is here. 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.
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.
The fire danger is currently low, but this can change daily during the spring.
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.
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.
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.
Practice Leave No Trace
Follow proper trail etiquette to maintain minimal impact on the environment and natural resources of the Adirondacks.
High Peaks Wilderness
Hikers looking to use the Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail, which opened last fall, will be re-routed around the construction underway to make significant improvements to Olympic Sports Complex facilities.
Hikers can park at the Biathlon 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 sustainability 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.
Parking is prohibited on a four-mile stretch 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.
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 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
Boreas Ponds Tract
The DEC will be working on June and July to provide additional access and recreational infrastructure.
Moose River Plains Wild Forest/West Canada Lakes Wilderness
Limekiln Lake – Cedar River Road (Moose River Plains Road) is open to public motor vehicle use from Limekiln Entrance to the Cedar River Entrance.
The following roads remain closed: Rock Dam Road, Otter Brook Road at the bridge over South Branch Moose River, and Indian Lake Road.
Blue Mountain Wild Forest/Township 19 & 20 Conservation Easement Tracts
Pickwickett Pond Road is open to public motor vehicle use.
The following roads remain closed to public motor vehicle use: Minerva Club road, O’Neil Flow Road, and Barker Pond Road.
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.
Essex Lake Chains Complex
Chain Lakes Road South to the Outer Gooley Parking area is open.
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 Access 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).
Pharaoh Lake Wilderness
The bridge over Alder Brook on the Goose Pond Trail has been repaired and is ready for use.
Saranac Lakes Wild Forest
Connery Pond Road is open for public motor vehicle 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.