Safety is of the utmost importance when hiking in the Adirondacks during the winter. Check out the current reports below from trail conditions to weather forecasts to what to wear and bring.
The Current Weather Forecast
- Crown Point: Fri 30° and snow, Sat 27° and partly cloudy, Sun 32° and mostly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 26° and snow, Sat 20° and partly cloudy, Sun 30° and mostly sunny
- Lake George: Fri 31° and snow, Sat 29° and mostly sunny, Sun 33° and mostly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 26° and snow, Sat 19° and partly cloudy, Sun 32° and mostly cloudy
- Malone: Fri 25° and snow showers, Sat 22° and partly cloudy, Sun 37° and mostly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 26° and snow, Sat 22° and partly cloudy, Sun 41° and mostly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 26° and snow, Sat 20° and partly cloudy, Sun 33° and mostly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 29° and snow, Sat 27° and partly cloudy, Sun 32° and mostly cloudy
Daytime and nighttime temperatures will be below freezing through the weekend. About 1 to 3 inches of snow is forecasted through Sunday.
Temperatures are below freezing with stronger winds, deeper snow, and ice present at the mountain summits.
More to Know Before You Go
The sun sets at approximately 4:20pm. Snow and ice are present throughout the Adirondacks, with snow depths ranging from 4 to 12 inches. Deeper snow can be found in the southern and southwestern Adirondacks.
Ice has begun to form on most water bodies. No ice is currently safe to travel on. Avoid ice over water which is covered by snow.
Wear insulated, water-resistant/waterproof winter hiking boots; layers of non-cotton, wicking fabric; pack extra clothing; and wear a hat and mittens or gloves.
What to Bring & Wear
Pack or carry the following on all hikes: water, working headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries, extra layers of clothes, a map of the area, a food or snack, trail crampons, and snowshoes.
Wear waterproof boots with warm, wool socks to keep feet dry. Trail crampons should be carried on all hikes and worn when warranted. Snowshoes are recommended for all hikes in the southern Adirondacks, high elevation hikes, and anywhere else where the snow depths exceed 8 inches.
Seasonal Access Roads
Open seasonal access roads may have minor washouts. Use caution when using these roads. Most seasonal access roads will close to motor vehicle traffic next week. Seasonal access roads that are designated snowmobile trails will be open to snowmobile use when snow depths allow for safe use.
The Northern Zone (which includes the Adirondacks) regular big game, small game, and waterfowl hunting seasons are open. Hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters bearing firearms or archery equipment while hiking on trails.
Please recognize these are fellow outdoor recreationists with the legal right to participate in these activities on the Forest Preserve and Conservation Easement lands. Shooting incidents involving hunters and hikers are extremely rare. You can wear bright colors if it makes you feel safer.
A Word on Drones
Drones are motorized equipment and operating drones on lands classified as wilderness, primitive, or canoe is prohibited.
Current Trail Conditions
Trailheads and trails are covered in ice and snow. Many bridges were washed out or damaged in the October 31st storm leaving some streams impassable. Use caution and be prepared to turn around.
The DEC continues to assess back country infrastructure. Hikers should be aware that not all areas have been assessed – more remote and less traveled areas are likely to have unreported damage.
Expect to encounter heavy blow down. Be cautious of hanging branches and unstable fallen trees. Blow down may take considerably more time to hike around.
Remember that trekking poles provide added support and balance when traveling in deep snow or on icy trails and summits. Trekking poles are especially useful when descending elevation on slippery trails.
Use caution at crossings and on trails along fast-flowing brooks and rivers. Rocks and other surfaces may be covered with ice from splashing water. Wear crampons and use steel or carbide pointed hiking sticks. Some crossings may be difficult or impossible due to high water levels.
Stream crossings will be icy and can be snow covered. Use caution when nearing a stream and use bridges to cross. If a bridge has been washed out, attempting to cross a cold, fast-flowing stream can be dangerous. If you become submerged in water, change into warm, dry layers immediately and turn around. The risk of hypothermia is significantly increased when wet.
Boreas Ponds Tract
Gulf Brook Road is closed due to culvert damage and washout from the October 31st storm.
The inner universally accessible parking lot will not open until 2020. Boreas Dam is one mile from the Four Corners Parking Lot.
High Peaks Wilderness
Three bridges were washed out on the Elk Lake-Marcy Trail. Repair of the bridges won’t occur until spring 2020. The trail is currently closed to the public through the end of the big game hunting season. When the trail reopens the three crossings will be hazardous except when water levels are low.
The Opalescent Bridge on the East River Trail to Allen Mountain and Hanging Spear Falls is washed out. The river is impassable at this time.
Calamity Trail has several bridges out.
Trails through the Elk Lake Conservation Easement to the Dix Mountain Range and Panther Gorge are closed to public use. The trails will reopen on December 9th, after the closure of the Northern Zone Regular Big Game Season.
Hikers seeking 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 1-mile detour bypassing the construction zone roads, ski trails, and a temporary trail to reach the Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail.
It’s a 3.8-mile round-trip hike from the parking area to the summit and back. Hikers may also reach the summit using the traditional 2.2-mile (4.4-mile round-trip) Mt. Van Hoevenberg West Trail which begins at the the trailhead on Meadows Lane.
The roof of the Bradley Pond Lean-to was repaired by volunteers from the Adirondack 46ers.
Once again the private landowners have agreed to allow hiking on Owls Head Trail during the week. Parking at the trailhead and hiking the trail are prohibited on weekends.
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.
Cold Brook Trail is not designated DEC trail and is not maintained. The trail has not been maintained since Tropical Storm Irene.
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 those 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 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 int he Slide Brook Area south of Dix Mountain by volunteers from 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.
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 trail tread of this route in the 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 the 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 lands of the Dix Mountain Area are now part of the Eastern Zone of the High Peaks Wilderness. The DEC will be changing signs, webpages, and regulations to transition to the High Peaks Wilderness.
All regulations applicable to the Eastern Zone are now in effect including by not limited to the following:
Group size: Groups should consist of no more than 15 hikers and no more than 8 campers.
Bear-resistant canisters: The use of bear-resistant canisters is 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.
Siamese Ponds Wilderness
Elm Lake Road is rough but passable to the Cisco Brook Trailhead. The use of four-wheel drive vehicles is recommended.
Barton Mines Road is now passable by most passenger vehicles.
DOT work continues on Route 8 but there are fewer stoppages of traffic.
Thirteenth Lake Road has been washed out. The public can still access Thirteen Lake Trailhead by detouring on Harvey Road and meeting back up with Thirteenth Lake road beyond the washout. The Thirteenth Lake Trailhead and accessible trails have sustained damage. The public should use caution.
The seasonal road to Old Farm Trailhead Parking Lot has washed out at a culvert. Temporary parking is being determined.
Silver Lake Wilderness (Town of Wells)
West River Road has been reopened. Road conditions are rough, but passable. The use of four wheel drive vehicles is highly recommended.
West Canada Lake Wilderness
Old Military Road that accesses Pillsbury Mountain Parking Area remains closed due to washouts.
The Northville Placid Trail trailhead on Haskell Road in Piseco is open. However, a large washout has impacted the motor vehicle bridge at the end of the road. The trailhead can be accessed by foot.
The foot bridge over the Mad Tom Brook on the South Branch Trail has washed out. The stream may be impassable in high water.
G Lake Road is closed due to washouts.
Mountain Home Road is in rough condition but is passable with 4WD and high clearance vehicles.
Wilcox Lake Wild Forest
Tower Hill Road is now open from both directions.
Black Creek State Forest (Town of Norway)
Stanley Road, which bisects the State Forest from east to west, has an impassable washout midway through the State Forest, buy the small wildlife pond. The public is advised to not drive onto the dike that retains the pond.
Black River Wild Forest
The Loop Road at North Lake is passable with high clearance 4WD vehicles. Most of the damage occurred at the section of the Loop Road that passes through private lands. Loop Road continues to be closed past campsite #18 due to a washout at Golden Stair Creek.
The Wolf Lake Landing Road in McKeever is passable with high clearance 4WD vehicles. Access past the gate just before Woodhull Lake is limited to persons with disabilities who possess a valid Motorized Access Program for People With Disabilities (MAPPWD) permit.
Ferris Lake Wild Forest (Towns of Stratford and Arietta)
Powley Piseco Road has severe washouts on either end and is closed for the foreseeable future.
Edick Road is closed.
Fulton Chain Wild Forest (Town of Webb)
The Safford Pond Snowmobile Trail has experienced a large beaver dam failure approximately one quarter mile north of Safford Pond Road, as the Safford Pond inlet. The trail is impassable at this point.
Moose River Plains Wild Forest (Town of Inlet)
Otter Brook Road is closed at the gate at Otter Brook. There’s severe washout beyond the gate.
Shaker Mountain Wild Forest (Town of Mayfield)
Tolmantown Road which provides access to the Benson Tract is closed from the Mayfield end. The Bleecker end is open to the Big T.
Speculator Tree Farm and Perkins Clearing Conservation Easements
Roads have been repaired and the easements lands are open to the public. Use caution as roadwork may still be occurring.
Crotched Pond (Indian Lake)
There’s extensive damage to the roads and infrastructure.
West Canada Lakes Wilderness
Due to the closure of the Indian River Road at the Otter Brook Bridge the unit remains inaccessible from the northern trailhead within Moose River Plains Wild Forest’s Brook Trout Lake Parking Area.
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.
Adirondack Mountain Reserve Conservation Easement Tract (AMR/Ausable Club)
The easement agreement provides for public hiking only on designated trails and roads. Do not trespass on AMR lands and waters, or participate in unauthorized activities. Dogs are prohibited.