Summer hiking is in full swing in the Adirondacks! Read up on the latest weather forecast and trail conditions, and see what you can do to help keep trails clean and encourage responsible recreation.
The Weather: Sunny, Cloudy & Warm Temperatures
Here’s the current forecast:
- Crown Point: Fri 85° and sunny, Sat 89° and partly cloudy, Sun 91° and partly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 81° and mostly sunny, Sat 83° and partly cloudy, Sun 84° and partly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 86° and sunny, Sat 88° and partly cloudy, Sun 91° and partly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 80° and mostly sunny Sat 82° and partly cloudy, Sun 83° and partly cloudy
- Malone: Fri 82° and sunny, Sat 85° and partly cloudy, Sun 86° and mostly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 82° and mostly sunny, Sat 85° and partly cloudy, Sun 86° and partly cloudy
- Old Forge: Fri 82° and mostly sunny, Sat 82° and partly cloudy, Sun 83° and partly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 81° and partly cloudy, Sat 82° and partly cloudy, Sun 84° and partly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 84° and partly cloudy, Sat 88° and partly cloudy, Sun 91° and partly cloudy
Although temperatures won’t reach quite as high as last week, the DEC reminds us to take precautions to avoid distress and dehydration. Carry plenty of water, stay in the shade as much as you can, and drink and rest often. Eat high protein, high nutrient foods, and make sure you are replacing salt output from sweat.
Remember that thunderstorms can pop up at anytime in this kind of weather, even if they’re not forecast. Keep an eye out for darkening skies, increased winds, lightning flashes, and the low rumble of thunder. Move to lower elevations and seek shelter if a storm is approaching.
Trash in the Backcountry & Leave No Trace
The DEC has received increased reports of visitors leaving trash behind after visiting State lands, waters, and facilities in the Adirondacks. Please read up on the Leave No Trace principles and help us keep New York’s environment and the Adirondack Park clean.
How much of a big deal is a piece of a trash? On average, it takes a plastic bag 10 to 20 years to decompose, an aluminum can 80 to 100 years, and a glass bottle can take up to 1,000,000 years. Even something like an orange or banana peel can take up to 2 years to decompose.
Be Thoughtful With Social Media Posts
Many of us document our hikes with Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter posts. One way you can help promote responsible recreation is through social media. Be mindful of what your images portray, and only post pictures that demonstrate Leave No Trace practices.
What’s Happening With the COVID-19 Situation
Speaking of social media, you can take it a step further to support smart hiking and recreating practices by using the following hashtags: #RecreateLocal, #RecreateResponsibly, and #PlaySmartPlaySafePlayLocal.
We are still being asked to recreate close to home, only hike within our abilities, and stay safe by adhering to CDC guidelines. Bring your mask, your own pen for the trail register, and practice social distancing. Fire towers are open once again but only one household group should be in the fire tower at a time. If you’re camping, lean-tos should be restricted to members of a single household at a time.
Adhere to Parking Rules, Have a Backup Plan & Use 511NY
Please avoid visiting crowded areas. Do not park on roadsides; only park in designated parking areas. (Finding a parking ticket on your car is a terrible way to end a great hike!) If a parking lot is full choose a different area to visit or return at another time.
This has been in effect for the past few weeks: If you plan on hiking the High Peaks please use 511NY to check the status of the parking lots along the busy Route 73 corridor. The status of these parking lots is updated throughout the day on weekends by patrolling DEC forest rangers and forest ranger assistants. This is a huge help for hikers to avoid filled parking lots.
Save The DEC Emergency Number to Your Phone
If you get lost or injured keep calm and stay where you are. If you have cell service call 911 or the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch at 518.891.0235.
A Note on Hiking With Dogs
The DEC advises against bringing your furry friend hiking with you in the summer, particularly in warm temperatures on bright, sunny days. If you do bring your dog remember to stop frequently for breaks and to re-hydrate and monitor them closely for signs of distress. Be prepared to turn around if need be.
Fishing in the Summer Months
Fish also get heat stressed and it’s important for anglers to take extra care during the warm weather. Avoid catch and release for heat-stressed trout – they’re likely to die no matter how carefully they are handled. Don’t disturb trout that have gathered together in an unusually high number, as it’s likely they are recovering from heat stress in a pocket of cold water.
Head out for your fishing trip early, as stream temperatures are at their coldest then, and be prepared with a backup plan in the event the water temperatures are too high at your desired location.
Rock Climbing Routes are Open
The peregrine falcons have successfully fledged their young and all the rock climbing routes are open once again. The DEC appreciates the climbing community’s support for staying off the routes that were closed for awhile.
Current Fire Danger
Fire Danger has gone from moderate to low. Continue to be safe with campfires.
Water Levels are Low
While waters did rise some last week they are back to below the seasonal average range or low.
Prevent the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species
Bringing the boat out this weekend? Prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species by having your boat and trailer inspected and cleaned at one of the many boat inspection and wash stations across the Adirondacks. There is one at the Adirondack Welcome Center between Exits 17 and 18 on Northway, which is right on your way if you’re coming up from the Capital Region.
Be on the Alert for Nuisance Bears
As a result of the dry conditions, nuisance bear activity is high in the front country and backcountry. Please take steps to prevent attracting bears in the backcountry. The use of bear resistant canisters by overnight campers is required in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness and recommended throughout the Adirondack Park.
Prepare for Biting Insects
Black flies, mosquitoes, deer flies, biting gnats, and ticks are out. 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 with DEET.
Only Use Certain Vehicles on Seasonal Access Roads
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.
Specific Hiking Notices, Trail Closures & More
Lake George Wild Forest
Prospect Mountain Trail is closed due to construction at the summit and hikers going where signage informs them they cannot. The DEC expects to reopen the trail in late August, although a specific date has not been set.
High Peaks Wilderness
This is where there has been an increase in nuisance black bear activity. There have been several reported incidents of campers losing food to bears. Store all food, toiletries, and anything with scent in bear resistant canisters, cook and eat at least two hours before dark in an open area, carry bear spray on your person, and know what to do in the event of a black bear encounter.
Clear Pond Gate on the Elk Lake Road is closed. This adds two miles each way to hikes from the Elk Lake Trailhead. Be prepared.
The main span bridge in Marcy Swamp on the Elk Lake-Marcy Trail has failed. Hikers need to wade across the river (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 down 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 trail are prohibited on weekends.
Adirondack Mountain Reserve Conservation Easement Tract (AMR/Ausable Club)
Indian Head via Gill Brook Trail contains a few smaller trees blocking the trail.
The easement agreement provides for public hiking only on designated trails and roads. Don’t trespass on AMR lands or waters or participate in any unauthorized activities. Dogs are prohibited.
Boreas Ponds Tract
Gulf Brook Road is closed to public motor vehicle use due to one large washout and many smaller ones. A large washout is present about a half mile from Blue Ridge Road. The washout can be problematic to traverse but is passable by hikers, bicyclists, and horse riders. There’s also some blowdown on the road, but again it’s passable.
Giant Mountain Wilderness
There is a large tree across 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-sized trees down across the trail.
The Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower is open for visitors. Please adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines: only one household group in the fire tower cab at a time, groups socially distance on the summit while waiting to climb to the cab, sanitize hands before and after being on the tower, and wear masks.
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 cross safely.
Beaver activity has flooded some parts of the Jack Rabbit Trail.