There’s a Muddy Trail Advisory in effect, which is unusual for this time of year, and the DEC is asking us to stay off certain trails. Check out more information you need to know for this weekend, including which trails have blowdown, what to know about camping and boating, and the latest on recreating outdoors during the public health crisis.
Check Out the Weather
- Crown Point: Fri 84° and scattered thunderstorms, Sat 76° and partly cloudy, Sun 61° and partly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 78° and thunderstorm, Sat 69° and partly cloudy, Sun 54° and partly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 80° and partly cloudy, Sat 80° and partly cloudy, Sun 66° and mostly sunny
- Lake Placid: Fri 80° and scattered thunderstorms, Sat 67° and scattered showers, Sun 53° and partly cloudy
- Malone: Fri 86° and scattered thunderstorms, Sat 71° and partly cloudy, Sun 56° and partly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 79° and thunderstorm, Sat 72° and partly cloudy, Sun 57° and partly cloudy
- Old Forge: Fri 77° and scattered thunderstorms, Sat 68° and scattered showers, Sun 53° and partly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 80° and scattered thunderstorms, Sat 67° and scattered showers, Sun 53° and partly cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 75° and thunderstorm, Sat 70° and partly cloudy, Sun 55° and partly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 83° and scattered thunderstorms, Sat 76° and partly cloudy, Sun 61° and partly cloudy
Bring a Mask
New Yorkers are required to wear masks in public when appropriate social distancing cannot be maintained, including on trails and in the backcountry. No matter how or where you plan to recreate, pack a mask and wear it in parking lots, on crowded summits, and anywhere else you meet people along the trail or in the outdoors.
More Info for Recreating During the COVID-19 Crisis
At this time the DEC is asking us to recreate close to home, avoid high-traffic destinations, and keep visits short. Hike within the limits of your physical abilities and experience. Only recreate with members of your own household. If it’s crowded where you’re going choose a different park, trail, or time to visit.
Parking is limited. If the parking lot is full have a backup plan in place (or more than one). Park only in designated areas and parking lots, and not along roadsides.
Continue to sign in and out at trail registers. Only one person per group should do this. Bring your own pencil or pen and minimize touching surfaces. Use hand sanitizer immediately before and after using the register. Don’t cough or sneeze at the register, or move away if you need to do so, sanitizing before returning.
A Muddy Trails Advisory is in Effect & More Info on the Trail Conditions
A Muddy Trails Advisory is now in effect for the Adirondacks. The DEC urges hikers to be cautious and postpone hikes on trails above 2,500 feet until high elevation trails have dried and hardened.
Please Avoid These High Elevation Trails
The DEC is asking us to stay off the following trails:
High Peaks Wilderness: All trails above 2,500 feet where wet, muddy, and snowy conditions still prevail, specifically Algonquin, Colden, Feldspar, Gothics, Indian Pass, Lake Arnold Cross-Over, Marcy, Marcy Dam/Avalanche Pass/Lake Colden (this area is extremely wet), Phelps Trail above Johns Brook Lodge, Range Trail, Skylight, Wright, all “trail-less” peaks, and all trails above Elk Lake and Round Pond in the former Dix Mountain Area.
Giant Mountain Wilderness: All trails above Giant’s Washbowl, “the Cobbles,” and Owl Head Lookout.
McKenzie Mountain Wilderness: All trails above 2,500 feet where wet, muddy, and snowy conditions still prevail, specifically Whiteface, Esther, Moose, and McKenzie Mountains.
Sentinel Range Wilderness: All trails above 2,500 feet where wet, muddy, and snowy conditions still prevail, specifically Pitchoff Mountain.
Hikers are encouraged to explore lower elevation trails close to home, and to enjoy other forms of recreation like paddling and fishing.
What to Know About Campgrounds & Camping
DEC campgrounds and pavilions are closed to overnight visitation through June 7. The DEC has suspended all new camping reservations for the 2020 season until further notice. They’re assessing campground status on a daily basis.
Water-access campsites at DEC campgrounds remain closed to overnight visitation until the DEC’s campgrounds reopen.
The use of lean-tos should be restricted to members of a single household at a time. Primitive camping is permitted for groups of nine or fewer from a single household camping for three nights or less. Campsites along seasonal access roads that remain closed will not be accessible by motor vehicle.
Some Boat Launches are Open
DEC boat launches not located within the DEC campgrounds are open for recreational use by individuals and households that adhere to the guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Maintain six feet or more of distance between you and others, avoid close contact, wash hands often or use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available, avoid surfaces touched often, and wear a mask when social distancing can’t be maintained.
The Adirondack Watershed Institute Stewardship Program is underway. Stewards will be present at public boat launches throughout the Adirondacks to check for invasive species on water vessels and educate users about proper clean, drain, and dry techniques and other methods of preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Water Conditions Right Now
Water levels are lower than is typical for this time of year. Additionally, waters are still extremely cold. Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs/lifejackets) are strongly recommended to be worn by all anglers, boaters, and paddlers.
Fire Towers are Still Closed
Trails and summits to fire towers are open, but the towers themselves remain closed.
Current Fire Danger
The fire danger is currently moderate. DEC forest rangers have dealt with multiple wildfires within the past week, many of them started by unattended or unextinguished campfires.
Biting Insects are Out
Black flies, mosquitoes, and ticks are present. Wear light-colored long sleeve shirts 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 plentiful, and use an insect repellent.
For the Rock Climbers
Some rock climbing routes remain closed to allow peregrine falcons to hatch and raise their young.
Specific Notices to Be Aware Of
Speculator Tree Farm/Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement Tract
The full length of Jessup River Road is open to public motor vehicle use.
Old Military Road beyond Sled Harbor (access to Pillsbury Mountain and West Canada Wilderness) remains closed.
Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Tract
The wheelchair ramp at the Fishpole Pond Accessible Fishing Site was damaged by a recent wildfire and is unusable.
Adirondack Mountain Reserve
An Adirondack Trail Improvement Society trail crew will close and begin rebuilding the piers on the Leach Bridge, located below the dam at Lower Ausable Lake, starting on June 1. The project is expected to take two weeks. Hikers will need to access the Weld Trail to Gothics and the two trails to Sawteeth by crossing the river on the Beaver Meadow Bridge and using the West River Trail.
Lake George Wild Forest
Million Dollar Beach (Lake George Beach) will remain open on weekends only for now. The beach will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm. A maximum of 500 people will be allowed on the beach at a time (half the normal capacity).
A fence has been erected on a nearby strip of state land on the south shore of the beach known as “Dog Beach.” This is to ensure social distancing and prevent people congregating.
Prospect Mountain Veteran’s Memorial Highway remains closed.
Saranac Lake Wild Forest
Water-access campsites in the Saranac Lake Islands Campground and other DEC campgrounds remain closed to overnight visitation until DEC’s campgrounds reopen.
The Saranac River Locks are open and working. The Lower Lock is staffed, but the Upper Lock remains self-operational.
Terry Mountain State Forest
Terry Mountain Road is now open to public motor vehicle use.
The Mud Pond Trail has blowdown – the trail is passable, but some additional effort is required to navigate around the blowdown.
Moose River Plains Complex
The Limekiln Lake Gate at the western end of the Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road (aka Moose River Plains Road) is open and the road is open to public motor vehicle use to Campsite #39.
The Cedar River Gate at the eastern end of the Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road (aka Moose River Plains Road) is closed due to a large washout that cannot be repaired because the road is still too soft to support road equipment.
Due to seasonal road conditions, the Moose River Plains Recreation Area will be partially opened until further notice. In addition to the information above regarding the Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road (aka Moose River Plains Road), here is the status of roads within the Complex: Otter Brook Road to Otter Brook Bridge is open, Rock Dam Road and Indian Lake Road are closed, roads will be opened as conditions improve and repairs are completed.
High Peaks Wilderness
There are a few mid-sized trees downed across Nippletop via Elk Pass. They’re all past Elk Pass and before the Nippletop summit.
South Meadow Road is now open to public motor vehicle use.
The main span bridge in Marcy Swamp on the Elk Lake-Marcy Trail has failed. Hikers will have to wade the river to get across – rock hopping is not possible because it’s a swamp. Know that the water level can fluctuate significantly and the DEC does not anticipate fixing the bridge this year.
Hurricane Mountain Wilderness
The Hurricane Mountain East Trail has a few small to mid-sized trees downed across the trail.
Independence River Wild Forest
Big Otter Lake Road is temporarily blocked before Tommy Roaring Brook due to a large washout.
Trails in the Otter Creek Horse Trail System have not been cleared – some trails still have significant amounts of blowdown.
Hammond Pond Wild Forest
The bridge near the beginning of the Hammond Pond Trail washed out during the 2019 Halloween storm and has not been replaced.
Chazy Highlands Wild Forest
Lyon Mountain Trail has blowdown – the trail is passable, but some additional effort is required to navigate around the blowdown.
Taylor Pond Wild Forest
Mud Pond Trail off State Route 3 has blowdown – the trail is passable, but some additional effort is required to navigate around the blowdown.
Essex Chain Lakes Complex
Four-wheel drive and other high clearance vehicles should be used on Chain Lakes Road South due to the rutting and washouts present.
Ferris Lake Wild Forest
Powley Road is open to public motor vehicle use from the north entrance on State Route 10 to 10 miles south at the Brayhouse Brook crossing. The southern portion of the road is closed for the foreseeable future due to severe damage caused by the 2019 Halloween storm.
Silver Lake Wilderness
West River Road is closed to public motor vehicle use for at least the next few weeks until the Town of Wells replaces a large culvert at the Dugway Creek.