Hiking, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling in the Adirondacks this weekend? Check out the current weather report and trail conditions below.
The Weather Forecast & Snow Report
- Crown Point: Fri 40° and partly cloudy, Sat 39° and rain, Sun 40° and rain and snow
- Indian Lake: Fri 39° and partly cloudy, Sat 34° and snow with brief sleet, Sun 33° and snow showers
- Lake George: Fri 43° and partly cloudy, Sat 42° and showers, Sun 42° and cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 39° and partly cloudy, Sat 36° and rain and snow, Sun 33° and snow showers
- Malone: Fri 38° and partly cloudy, Sat 39° and scattered showers, Sun 26° and snow showers
- North Creek: Fri 37° and partly cloudy, Sat 35° and snow with brief sleet, Sun 35° and cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 40° and partly cloudy, Sat 37° and scattered showers, Sun 33° and snow showers
- Ticonderoga: Fri 38° and partly cloudy, Sat 40° and showers, Sun 40° and cloudy
Nighttime low temperatures will be in the low to mid 20s with daytime temperatures in the high 20s to low mid 30s throughout the weekend. Snow and snow showers are forecast to begin Saturday and last though Sunday, however no significant accumulations are forecast. The sun sets at approximately 4:55pm.
Winter conditions are present throughout the Adirondacks. Snow depths range from 6 to 12 inches across most of the Adirondacks. You’ll find snow depths of 4 to 6 inches in the lower elevations along the eastern edge of the Adirondacks. Snow depths are deeper in high elevations. The snow pack is consolidating, and snow depths are decreasing, due to above freezing daytime temperatures.
Temperatures are below freezing, winds are stronger, snow is deeper, and ice is present at the mountain summits.
Wear Proper Footwear
Wear insulated, waterproof boots with warm, wool socks to keep feet dry. Trail crampons (foot traction devices) should be carried on all hikes and used when warranted.
The use of snowshoes is required in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness and recommend whenever snow depths exceed 8 inches. Using snowshoes eases travel on snow, prevents post holing which can ruin trails, and reduces injuries from trips and falls.
Avoid Hypothermia & Leave Yourself Plenty of Time
Carry plenty of food and water. Eat and drink often. Being tired or hungry makes you more vulnerable to hypothermia.
Breaking trail exhausts more energy, so plan extra time for your trip. Know your route well as trails signs and junctions may be difficult to find under snow cover. Bring a map with you. Gaiters can protect your lower legs from the wet, cold elements of deep snow.
Remember that traveling in snow takes more time and energy than traveling the same trail on bare ground. Take breaks as you need to. Know the warning signs of hypothermia and call for help/turn around if these symptoms start occurring: uncontrollable shivering, exhaustion, slurred speech, confusion, or decreased heart rate.
Always carry a fire starter kit in your emergency kit in case hypothermia symptoms become severe.
What to Expect on the Trails
Damage from recent significant rain and snow melt has resulted in blowdown, washouts, and hidden hazards under the snow. Foot bridges and other infrastructure might be damaged or washed away. Be cautious, especially in remote, lesser traveled locations. Trailheads and trails will be covered in snow.
If you’re on a designated snowmobile trail watch and listen for snowmobiles and move to the side of the trail as necessary to allow them to safely pass.
Practice Leave No Trace
Follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace, which includes respecting wildlife, disposing of waste properly, and more.
Ice on Waterbodies
Always check the thickness of ice before traveling across it. Avoid ice over running water, near inlets and outlets, and near boathouses and docks, especially those with bubblers or other ice prevention devices.
Remember that ice that holds snow may not hold the weight of a person. Be safe on the ice, especially when ice fishing.
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.
For the Snowmobilers
Trail conditions are fair to good throughout most of the Adirondacks.
Franklin Snowmobilers Report:
- C7 (NY Central railbed) is open between Lake Clear Junction and Owl’s Head
- C7B (D&H railbed) is open between State Route 86 and the S83 Trail
- C8A is open between the C7 and Dannemora
- S83 is open from the C7 to the Goldsmith Road Parking Area
- A section of the S83 is closed north of the Goldsmith Road this winter due to logging activity
DOT contractors are completing maintenance work on the rail bed between Lake Clear and Lake Placid including Lake Colby Causeway and other problem areas.
Watch for skiers and snowshoers using snowmobile trails and slow down to safely pass.
Leave the Drones at Home
Drones are motorized equipment and operating drones on lands classified as wilderness, primitive, or canoe is prohibited.
Trail Crew & Other Positions for Hire
The DEC is hiring for High Peaks trail crew (10 positions), Ray Brook trail crew (one position) and Marcy Dam interior caretaker (one position). Email Info.R5@DEC.NY.gov if you’re interested.
High Peaks Wilderness
Lake Colden Caretaker Report: 25 inches of snow is present at the stake at the cabin and there’s 5 feet in the higher elevations. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden are frozen; use caution around outlets and inlets.
Meadows Lane, South Meadows Truck Trail, and the Van Hoevenberg Trail all have good skiing conditions. Avalanche Pass Ski Trail and other designated ski trails have good to excellent conditions.
The new Van Hoevenberg East Trail cannot be accessed due to construction activity at the Olympic Sports Center.
There are 4 to 5 mid-size trees down at various locations on the Big Slide via the Brothers Trail. It’s easy to get around, over, or under them.
Elk Lake Road is open to the Clear Pond Gate. This will add four miles round trip to hikes. Plan accordingly.
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.
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.
Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest
Gulf Brook Road: A large washout is present about half a mile from Blue Ridge Road – the washout can be problematic to traverse but is passable. There are several smaller washouts along the road that are easily traversed. There is some blowdown on the road but all of it is easy to pass around.
Blowdown is present on the Wolf Pond Trail.
Wilmington Wild Forest
The Whiteface Mountain Trail on the Wilmington side of the mountain is flooded about waist deep a short distance past the intersection of the Esther and Lookout Mountains Trail.
Saranac Lake Wild Forest/Paul Smiths College Conservation Easement Tract
Expect blowdown on the Jack Rabbit Ski Trail between Route 86 and Lake Clear.
Giant Mountain Wilderness
There is a large tree across the Rocky Peak Ridge Trail. It’s easy to step or slide over the tree trunk.
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.