Hikers, paddlers, and outdoor recreation enthusiasts are coming out of their homes and enjoying the weather. Continue to stay safe when hiking or recreating in the Adirondacks, and read up on what you need to know for this weekend below.
The Weather Forecast: Warm & Thunderstorms
- Crown Point: Fri 88° and mostly sunny, Sat 77° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 69° and partly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 81° and mostly sunny, Sat 69° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 64° and partly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 88° and mostly sunny, Sat 81° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 74° and partly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 79° and mostly sunny, Sat 65° and thunderstorm, Sun 62° and partly cloudy
- Malone: Fri 83° and mostly sunny, Sat 68° and thunderstorm, Sun 67° and partly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 88° and mostly sunny, Sat 72° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 67° and partly cloudy
- Old Forge: Fri 79° and partly cloudy, Sat 68° and thunderstorm, Sun 64° and partly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 81° and mostly sunny, Sat 66° and thunderstorm, Sun 64° and partly cloudy
- Speculator: Fri 81° and mostly sunny, Sat 70° and scattered showers, Sun 65° and partly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 86° and mostly sunny, Sat 77° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 69° and partly cloudy
Stay safe if you’re recreating on Saturday when thunderstorms are forecast.
A Word on Backcountry Trails, Weather & Safety
Backcountry conditions can change suddenly. All users should plan accordingly and bring flashlights, first aid equipment, and extra food and clothing. Weather conditions can alter your plans. You should always be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods before entering backcountry.
Backcountry hiking trails can be rugged and rough. They’re not maintained like park walkways, so bring proper footwear.
Only hike within the limits of your physical abilities and experience. Forest Rangers and Environmental Conservation Police Officers and related staff are busy assisting local agencies and frontline first emergency responders during the public health crisis. Help free them up to take care of these duties by staying safe.
Pack a Mask, Practice Social Distancing & Use Common Sense
New Yorkers are required to wear masks in public when appropriate social distancing cannot be maintained and this includes on trails and when in the backcountry. Pack a mask and wear it in parking lots, on crowded summits, and anywhere else you need to.
Continue to follow CDC and DEC guidelines for recreating outdoors during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Practice physical distancing, avoid commonly touched surfaces, and #recreatelocal. Now is the best time to explore any lesser-used, easy trails that are close to your home.
Continue to sign in at trail registers, one person at a time, using your own pen. Carry hand sanitizer and use it right before and right after signing in.
Only Park Legally
Be ready to move along if your desired hiking spot is too crowded and/or there is not adequate parking. Parking is limited. Do not park on roadsides or any other non-designated parking areas. If parking lots or areas are full choose a different place to visit or return at another time.
The Adirondack Mountain Reserve (Ausable Club) has reduced the parking capacity on its lot near the intersection of Ausable Road and State Route 73 to a maximum of 28 vehicles in response to COVID-19. Parking is not permitted along Ausable Road, on Ausable Club lands, or along the nearby stretches of State 73.
High Elevations Trails are Still Unseasonably Muddy & Icy
The Muddy Trail Advisory is still in effect for trails above 2,500 in the Adirondacks. Trails are a mixture of mud and ice as late season ice and snowmelt and frost leaves the ground. Trails are particularly dangerous to hikers and susceptible to damage at this time.
Help protect these high elevation trails by choosing hikes under 2,500 feet until conditions improve.
Many Seasonal Access Roads are Open
Seasonal access roads are beginning to open. Seasonal access roads are dirt and gravel which can be rough. It’s recommended to only use four-wheel drive SUVs, pickup trucks, and other high clearance vehicles on these roads. The roads may also be narrow, so use caution, drive slowly, and watch out for oncoming vehicles.
South Meadow Road and Corey’s Road are both open to public motor vehicle use for the season. The Jay Mountain Road in the Town of Lewis is closed to public motor vehicle use.
What to Know About Campgrounds & Camping
DEC campgrounds and pavilions are closed to overnight visitation through June 18. 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.
Current Fire Danger
Fire danger is low in the western Adirondacks and moderate in the Eastern portion. Continue to be safe with campfires.
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
High Peaks Wilderness
The main span bridge in Marcy Swamp on the Elk Lake-Marcy Trail has failed. Hikers need to wade across the river to get across (rock hopping is not possible). Be aware that during rain events the water level can fluctuate significantly. The DEC doesn’t expect to replace the bridge this year.
Nippletop via Elk Pass Trail has a few mid-sized trees downed across the trail between Elk Pass and the summit of Nippletop.
The new Van Hoevenberg East Trail cannot be accessed due to construction happening at the Olympic Sports Center.
There is significant blowdown on the Phelps Trail before you reach Slant Rock. It’s difficult to get through this area. The DEC is working on a plan to clear the blowdown.
There are four or five mid-sized trees down at various locations on the Big Slide via the Brothers Trail. It’s easy to get around, over, or under them.
Three bridges were washed out on the Elk Lake-Marcy Trail during the Halloween storm. 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.
The roadway on the Bradley Pond Trail has been washed out by the Harkness Lake Outlet approximately a half mile from the parking lot. Hikers will be unable to cross the outlet when water levels are high.
Cold Brook Trail is not a designated DEC trail and is not maintained.
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.
Many of the heard 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 shouldn’t be used.
Camping is prohibited at the former location of the Boquet Lean-to north of Dix Mountain and the open area adjacent to the trail.
The 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. Crossing the brook is possible during low water conditions.
The Calkins Creek Horse Trail has two bridges out, making it impassable for horse-drawn wagons and difficult for horses.
Once again the private landowners have agreed to allow hiking on Owls Head Trail during the week. Parking at the trailhead and hiking at the trial are prohibited on weekends.
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.
Hurricane Mountain Wilderness
Hurricane Mountain East Trail has a few small to mid-size trees downed across the trail.
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 your party can’t safely cross.
Beaver activity has flooded some parts of the Jack Rabbit Trail.