This weekend is looking good for Adirondack hiking! No rain is currently forecasted, and the temperatures will not get too hot. See what else is going on where you’ll be headed.
The Current Weather Forecast
- Crown Point: Fri 75° and mostly sunny, Sat 72° and mostly sunny, Sun 76° and partly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 69° and partly cloudy, Sat 69° and partly cloudy, Sun 71° and partly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 76° and mostly sunny, Sat 74° and partly cloudy, Sun 77° and partly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 66° and partly cloudy, Sat 68° and partly cloudy, Sun 71° and partly cloudy
- Malone: Fri 69° and partly cloudy, Sat 71° and partly cloudy, Sun 76° and partly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 71° and mostly sunny, Sat 69° and partly cloudy, Sun 71° and partly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 68° and partly cloudy, Sat 69° and partly cloudy, Sun 73° and partly cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 69° and mostly sunny, Sat 69° and partly cloudy, Sun 70° and partly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 74° and partly cloudy, Sat 71° and mostly sunny, Sun 76° and partly cloudy
Remember that temperature variances this time of year means early mornings and nights can be in the 40s and 50s, so dress accordingly. Start your morning hike in warm layers; campers should pack sleeping bags rated for colder weather.
Also take a look at when the sun will set on the day of your hike, so you can plan to complete your trip during daylight hours. Always bring a headlamp and extra batteries with you just in case.
Temperatures will be cooler and wings stronger at mountain summits. Be sure to pack extra layers of clothing when hiking to a summit above 2,500 feet.
If you get lost or injured, keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service call 911 or the DEC 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.
There is a nuisance bear active in the Eastern High Peaks. This bear has been approaching hikers and campers in an attempt to obtain food.
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. You may also want bear spray.
Please report nuisance bear incidents to the DEC.
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.
Hikers planning to use the AMR parking lots and hike any of the nearby trails are recommended to identify alternative hikes before arriving as the lots fill quickly.
Plan Ahead – Bathroom Breaks & Trash
Prepare to take responsible bathroom breaks in the woods by packing the following: earth-friendly toilet paper, a small shovel to dig a cathole (a stick also works), and a sealable bag to carry out all toilet paper when a cathole is not used.
Deposit and bury solid human waste and toilet paper in catholes dug 6 to 8 inches deep, at least 200 feet away from water, camps, and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished. Don’t leave your toilet paper lying on the ground – this is unsanitary for pets, wildlife, and others. And pack hand sanitizer!
When it comes to trash, carry everything out you carried in with you, including wrappers, food scraps, and tissues. Trailhead portable toilets are not acceptable trash receptacles. Bringing an extra baggie makes it easy to pack your waste and bring it with you until there’s a proper place to dispose of it.
A note on food scraps: When foods craps are tossed in the woods they can attract wildlife like bears and deer. Eating these can have harmful impacts. It’s easy to think it’s okay, because it’s biodegradable, but it actually takes over two years for food scraps to begin to decompose.
Practice Leave No Trace
Follow proper trail etiquette to maintain minimal impact on the environment and natural resources of the Adirondacks.
This week the DEC reminds us to leave cairns on trails alone, and to not create unauthorized cairns. This can have a severe negative impact for visitors.
The fire danger is currently low.
Bugs are still out. Expect to encounter deer flies, mosquitoes, no-see-ums (biting gnats), and ticks.
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.
Seasonal Access Roads
All but two seasonal access roads are open to public motor vehicle traffic. 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.
The Current Trail Conditions
Trails are mostly dry but due to recent heavy rains, expect to encounter wet and muddy conditions in low areas and along water.
Wear footwear suitable for hiking through wet and muddy areas. Protect trails and trailside vegetation – stay in the center of the trail and walk through the mud and water, not around it. Be aware that water levels will increase during and immediately after significant rain events, and low ater crossings may be difficult to cross.
For the Bikers
Trails are mostly dry but may have some muddy sections due to recent heavy rains. Don’t ride on muddy trails. They’re 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 rivers and streams are below average to low. Shallow sections of rivers and streams may be “bony” or otherwise too shallow to float through.
Water temperatures are warm, though high elevation brooks are cool.
Personal flotation devices are strongly recommended to be worn by all boaters, paddlers, and anglers.
Docks have been installed at all boat launches.
Trout and salmon can experience physical stress whenever water temperatures climb above 70 degrees F. In streams, heat-stressed fish will seek deep pockets of cold water, small feeder streams, or water released from deep reservoirs. These refuges allow trout to avoid or recover from potentially fatal levels of heat stress.
Anglers can help trout and salmon by taking the following precautions during warm-weather fishing trips:
- Avoid catch-and-release fishing for heat stressed trout on hot days
- Don’t disturb trout where they have gathered in unusually high numbers
- Fish early in the day
- Always have an alternative fishing plan in case water temperatures are too high at the intended destination
Rock Climbing Routes
All rock climbing routes are open! The DEC appreciates the climbing community’s cooperation during the closure period to allow peregrine falcons to nest.
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.
Kushaqua Conservation Easement Tract
Logging trucks will be using North Branch Road for the next month or so. Drive slowly, and watch and listen for logging trucks when driving on the road. Move safely off the road as needed to allow them to pass.
High Peaks Wilderness
The Garden Trailhead Parking Lot will remain closed until late 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.
There continues to be high bear activity from Marcy Dam through Avalanche Pass to Lake Colden and Uphill Lean-to/campsites. Campers should make every effort to avoid problems with bears: be sure lids on bear resistant canisters are secure, store canisters at least 100 feet away from sleeping areas, do not cook or eat in sleeping areas, and consider bringing bear spray.
The Bradley Pond Lean-to has been repaired by volunteers from the Adirondacks 46ers.
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.
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.
Boreas Ponds Tract
Work on Gulf Brook Road continues. The road will be closed to motor vehicles Monday through Friday for the next several weeks. Hikers, bikers, and horseback riders may use the road but must use caution in active work areas, and follow the instructions of staff. The road is open to the Fly Pond Gate on Saturday and Sunday.
John Brown Conservation Easement Tract
Logging operations are finished, and the Brown Tract Trail is fully open for public use.
Saranac Lake Wild Forest
The State Department of Transportation is replacing the Spider Creek Culvert on State Route 30 between Follensby Clear Pond and Fish Creek Ponds.
Watercraft are not able to pass through the culvert. A temporary carry to bypass the culvert has not been established yet. People seeking to paddle in this part of the Adirondacks should consider using existing canoe routes that avoid this culvert.
Parking at the water access site near the construction site will be open but may be congested. The northern entrance to this parking area will be blocked. The culvert will be closed through November.
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.