Summer is the season for hiking, and if you’re ready to breathe in some fresh mountain air, then plan a weekend trip to the Adirondacks. The weekend forecast calls for mostly sunny skies around the region, and we have all the hiking notices and tips you need to know beforehand.
Summer Weather Around the ADK
- Crown Point: Fri 83° and sunny, Sat 87° and sunny, Sun 76° and sunny
- Indian Lake: Fri 79° and sunny, Sat 81° and sunny, Sun 75° and sunny
- Lake George: Fri 84° and sunny, Sat 85° and isolated thunderstorms, Sun 81° and partly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 78° and sunny, Sat 79° and sunny, Sun 72° and sunny
- Malone: Fri 82° and sunny, Sat 82° and mostly sunny, Sun 74° and sunny
- North Creek: Fri 81° and sunny, Sat 84° and sunny, Sun 78° and sunny
- Saranac Lake: Fri 79° and sunny, Sat 79° and mostly sunny, Sun 73° and partly cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 77° and sunny, Sat 78° and sunny, Sun 74° and sunny
- Ticonderoga: Fri 84° and sunny, Sat 87° and sunny, Sun 77° and sunny
As you can see, we have a sunny weekend ahead of us in most of the Adirondacks! Rest and hydrate often to help combat humidity and exhaustion. Apply sunscreen and Chapstick with SPF liberally and often. Bring plenty of food and keep up with the calories you’ll burn.
Keep an eye and an ear on the weather – thunderstorms can pop up even when they’re not forecasted. Always bring a headlamp, first aid kit, and a map of your planned route.
Plan to start your hike early in the morning when the temperatures are cool.
In their recent bulletin, the DEC recommended the Murphy-Bennett Trail as a great hike this weekend. This 6.8-mile trail in Hope, NY, accesses Bennett Lake, Middle Lake, and Murphy Lake. You can access the trail from the Creek Road Parking Area in Hope.
Stay Hydrated & Avoid Heat Exhaustion
If you experience any of the symptoms listed below, take a rest by finding a shady area, drink plenty of water, and take measures to cool yourself down. If there’s a stream nearby, splash your neck, face, and wrists with cool water. Don’t resume your hike until your symptoms have completely faded.
These are the symptoms to watch out for:
- Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat
- Heavy sweating
- Weak, rapid pulse
- Low blood pressure upon standing
- Muscle cramps
Tips to stay hydrated:
- Drink more than you think is necessary in the week leading up to the hike
- Drink 1 to 2 cups of water or sports drink before hike
- Limit caffeine
- Drink at least 1 quart of water per hour when hiking
- Alternate between water and sports drink
- Drink more than you think is necessary
- Assess your hydration along the hike by looking for signs of: low volumes of dark urine, rapid heart rate, weakness, excessive fatigue, or dizziness
Continuing to hike when dehydrated can lead to heat stroke, muscle breakdown, or kidney failure.
It’s also important to rehydrate when your hike is done. Rehydration is enhanced with fluids or foods containing sodium and potassium like bananas, citrus fruits, lemonade, and orange juice.
Things to Plan Ahead For
Plan to buy your firewood locally, within 50 miles of your camping destination. By transporting firewood from outside of this radius, you could be spreading diseases and invasive insects that can quickly kill large numbers of trees.
Aquatic Invasive Species
Boaters – spend time cleaning your boat before transporting it to another body of water. Boats, trailers, waders, and other fishing equipment can spread invasive species from water body to water body unless properly cleaned after use.
Regulations prohibit boats from launching from or leaving DEC launch sites without first draining the boat and cleaning the boat, trailer, and equipment of visible plant and animal material.
A nuisance bear has been active in the Eastern High Peaks. The bear has approached hikers and campers to try and get food. Bear canisters are required in the region, so make sure your food and waste are properly stored. Bear spray is an option for close encounters, and the DEC asks that you report any nuisance bear incidents to them.
Current Trail Conditions
Trails are still drying but you may come across wet and muddy conditions in low areas, along waterbodies, and after rain events. Water levels will increase during and immediately after significant rain events, and low water crossings may be difficult to cross. Wear the proper footwear for muddy and wet areas, and stay on the center of the trail in order to protect the vegetation alongside it.
If you get lost or injured keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service, call 911 or the DEC Forest Ranger emergency Dispatch at 518.891.0235.
Bear Advisories & Bear-Resistant Canisters
While preparing for your camping or hiking trip check area notices for active bear advisories. If there are active bears where you’re planning to go, either choose an alternative trip or thoroughly educate yourself on how to reduce your chance of a bear encounter with proper storage, disposal of food waste, and what to do if you happen to encounter a bear.
Find out where increased bear activity has been identified in the Specific Notices section below.
The use of bear-resistant canisters is required for overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks through November 30th; they’re highly encouraged elsewhere. All food, toiletries, and garbage should be stored in these canisters.
Be Aware of Parking Restrictions
Parking is prohibited on the shoulders of State Route 73 between Chapel Pond and Rooster Comb Trailhead. Violators will be ticketed and the fines are hefty. Park in designated pull offs and trailhead parking areas only.
Practice Leave No Trace
Follow proper trail etiquette to maintain minimal impact on the environment and natural resources of the Adirondacks.
The DEC is reminding us to minimize campfire impacts. Where fires are permitted, use established ring fires, fire pans, or mound fires. Keep fires small. Only use sticks from the ground that can broken by hand.
Never leave a campfire unattended – even a small breeze could cause the fire to spread quickly. Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter the cool ashes. Drown the fire with water. Stir the remains, add more water, and stir again. If you don’t have water, use dirt. Don’t bury your coals as they can smolder and break out.
Consider using a small stove for cooking in remote areas instead of making a campfire. Burn only local firewood to avoid the spread of invasive species. Never burn trash, and never use fire accelerants like kerosene, gasoline, or lighter fluid.
Leave No Trace Hot Spot Events Coming Up
Speaking of Leave No Trace, The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and its Subaru Traveling Trainer team are partnering with ADK (Adirondack Mountain Club), the DEC, and other regional organizations to host a series of events focusing on the heavily-visited Eastern High Peaks Wilderness.
The Hot Spot seeks to address the challenges associated with high concentrations of visitors to the region, including damage to alpine plants, trail erosion, human waste, and negative human/wildlife interactions.
The events are happening August 7th to the 14th and are free and open to the public.
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.
The fire danger is currently low in the Eastern and High Peaks Fire Danger Rating Area. However, it is moderate in the Adirondack Fire Danger Rating Area.
Seasonal Access Roads
All but two seasonal access roads are open. Seasonal access roads are dirt and gravel which can be rough. Roads may be narrow – use caution, drive slowly, and watch for oncoming vehicles. Four-wheel drive SUVs, pickup trucks, and other high clearance vehicles are recommended for driving on these roads.
For the Bikers
Trails are dry and in good condition, however, you may encounter muddy trails or sections of trails. Please don’t ride on the muddy trails as they are easily rutted and damaged through use. If you’re leaving tracks, turn back.
Remember that electric powered bikes (e-bikes) are prohibited on all bike trails on the Forest Preserve.
Water Levels – For Boaters, Paddlers & Anglers
Water levels in many streams and rivers are average to low, but they can rise quickly in smaller rivers and streams after significant rain events. Shallow sections may be too “bony” to float through.
Personal flotation devices are strongly recommended to be worn by all boaters, paddlers, and anglers.
Docks have been installed at all boat launches.
Rock Climbing Route Closures
All Adirondack rock climbing routes are open.
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.
Moose River Plains
Rock Dam Road is open for public motor vehicle use. The shoulders of the road remain soft. Please use caution when using the road. Four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended.
Wilcox Lake Wild Forest
Pumpkin Hollow Road is open for public motor vehicle use.
Blue Mountain Wild Forest/Township 19
The O’Neill Flow and Barker Pond Roads are open for public motor vehicle use.
Ausable Mountain Reserve Conservation Easement Tract
Hikers planning to use the AMR parking lots and hike any of the nearby trails are recommended to identify alternate hikes before arriving as lots fill quickly.
Parking is prohibited along the Ausable Club Road and at the trailhead.
Dogs are prohibited.
Boreas Ponds Tract
Work on Gulf Brook Road has begun. The road is closed to motor vehicles on Monday through Thursday. Hikers, bikers, and horseback riders may use the road but use caution in active work areas and follow the instructions of staff. The road is open to Fly Pond Gate on Friday through Sunday.
High Peaks Wilderness
There has been increased bear activity at Marcy Dam and Feldspar. Avoid problems with bears by cooking early and securing the bear resistant canister immediately after taking food out. Consider bringing bear spray with you for unexpected close encounters.
The Garden Trailhead Parking Lot is still closed. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the replacement of Johns Brook Road Bridge will not be completed until early September. Hikers will only be able to access the Garden Trailhead using the shuttle from Marcy Field until then. The Town of Keene website provides the shuttle schedule and additional information.
The Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail, which opened last fall, will be re-routed around the construction underway to make significant improvements to the Olympic Sports Complex facilities. Hikers can park at the Baithlon Facility parking area in the Complex and use a marked 1-mile detour bypassing the construction zone using roads, ski trails, and a temporary trail to reach the Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail.
It’s a 3.8-mile roundtrip hike from the parking area to the summit and back. 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 can also reach the summit using the traditional 2.4-mile (4.4-mile roundtrip) Mt. Van Hoevenberg West Trail which begins at the trailhead on Meadows Lane.
The roadway on Bradley Pond Trail has been washed out by the Harkness Lake Outlet approximately half a mile from the parking lot. Hikers will be unable to cross the outlet when water levels are high.
The Bradley Pond Lean-to has a 3-foot by 6-foot hole in the roof. The lean-to can still be used as long as it’s not raining. The DEC is working on a temporary fix and will fully repair the roof at some point.
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.
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.
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.
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
Dix Mountain Area/Eastern Zone of High Peaks Wilderness
The lands of the Dix Mountain Area are now part of the Eastern Zone of the High Peaks Wilderness. All regulations applicable to the Eastern Zone are now in effect, including by not limited to:
Group size: Groups should consist of no more than 15 hikers and no more than eight campers.
Bear-resistant canisters: These are required for overnight users between April 1st and November 30th. All food, toiletries, and garbage must be stored in bear-resistant canisters.
Glass containers: Glass containers are prohibited.
Giant Mountain Wilderness
All rock climbing routes on the Lower Washbowl Cliffs and Upper Washbowl Cliffs are open.
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.