Are you ready to head outdoors, stretch your legs, and go on a hike? Summer is one of the best times of the year for hiking, especially in the Adirondack Park. However, if you’re planning a hike this weekend, you’ll want to be extra prepared for the weather, as you can expect very warm temperatures and chances for thunderstorms around the region. Read about the latest hiking and trail conditions below, follow the guidelines, and stay safe out there.
The Weekend Weather Forecast
- Crown Point: Fri 91° and mostly cloudy, Sat 84° and thunderstorms, Sun 83° and scattered thunderstorms
- Indian Lake: Fri 85° and mostly cloudy, Sat 79° and thunderstorms, Sun 75° and scattered thunderstorms
- Lake George: Fri 88° and partly cloudy to PM showers, Sat 84° and thunderstorms, Sun 83° and partly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 87° and partly cloudy, Sat 77° and thunderstorms, Sun 74° and scattered thunderstorms
- Malone: Fri 95° and mostly sunny, Sat 81° and thunderstorms, Sun 76° and scattered thunderstorms
- North Creek: Fri 86° and partly cloudy, Sat 82° and thunderstorms, Sun 79° and scattered thunderstorms
- Old Forge: Fri 87° and partly cloudy, Sat 79° and thunderstorms, Sun 74° and scattered thunderstorms
- Saranac Lake: Fri 87° and partly cloudy, Sat 78° and thunderstorms, Sun 74° and scattered thunderstorms
- Ticonderoga: Fri 91° and mostly cloudy, Sat 84° and thunderstorms, Sun 83° and scattered thunderstorms
The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for much of the Northern, Southern, and Eastern Adirondacks through 7:00pm on Friday, July 10. Take precautions to avoid heat illness, limit strenuous activity to early morning and evening, carry plenty of water, stay in the shade as much as possible, and drink and rest often. The weekend is expected to feature lower, but very warm temperatures.
What’s Happening With COVID-19 Guidelines
As New York State slowly opens back up and eases restrictions we still need to practice responsible, respectful, local recreation. Spend time outdoors close to home with immediate household members, hiking within your abilities. Continue to bring a mask and use when warranted, only have one person sign in at the trailhead with their own pen, etc.
The DEC and other agencies will be enforcing the No Parking Zones along State Route 73. In addition, the Town of Keene’s Garden Shuttle between Marcy Field Parking Lot and The Garden Shuttle is not operating.
Parking is limited and it is crucial to only park in designated parking areas. If a parking lot is full choose a different area to visit or return at another time. Hikers who park illegally have been getting ticketed.
Take note that thunderstorms can pop up even when they are not in the forecast. Watch for darkening skies, strong winds, lightning flashes, and the rumble of thunder. Avoid summits and other open areas during thunderstorms, and move to lower elevations and seek shelter if you’re aware of an approaching storm.
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.
DEC fire towers are open to the public, but only one household group should be in the fire tower cab at a time, and groups should social distance on the summit while waiting for their opportunity to climb to the cab. Please sanitize your hands before and after being on the tower, and wear masks.
Current Fire Danger
Fire danger is moderate this week. Continue to be safe with campfires.
Hiking With Dogs
The DEC warns against hiking with dogs this summer, especially in warm to hot temperatures and on bright sunny days. Dogs hiking in warm temperatures are at risk of experiencing heat exhaustion and death, especially older, larger, and overweight dogs who are not used to strenuous physical activity.
Hiking the High Peaks? Use NY511
If you plan on hiking in the High Peaks, the DEC is asking us to use NY511 to check the status of parking lots along the busy Route 73 corridor. Have backup plans in place and if the parking lot at your desired destination is full move along to your backup plan.
The status of these parking lots is updated throughout the day on weekend days by patrolling DEC Forest Rangers and Forest Ranger Assistants. The DEC is making it easy for us to check these parking conditions ahead of time, so that hikers don’t drive out to their destination only to realize they need to turn back.
Find NY511 at the link below:
Biting Insects Are Present
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.
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.
What to Know About Campgrounds & Camping
The DEC has resumed issuing permits for groups of fewer than 10 people who would like to stay for more than three nights at one location on state lands. They have temporarily stopped issuing permits for backcountry camping for groups of 10 or more. Use of lean-tos should be restricted to members of a single household at a time to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
All DEC Campgrounds and Day Use Areas in the Adirondacks are now open except for the Hinkley Reservoir Day Use Area. There are restrictions and rules to protect visitors and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Walk-in camping is currently not permitted, but the DEC is accepting new reservations for dates on or after July 10, 2020.
Boat Launches Are Open
All DEC boat launches are open. Boaters should continue to social distance on the water and on shore, and avoid crowded sites or wear a face mask.
What to Know About Water Conditions
Water levels in many waters are lower than is typical for this time of year.
For the Rock Climbers
Some rock climbing routes remain closed to allow peregrine falcons to hatch and raise their young, but some are open.
Specific Notices to Be Aware Of
Silver Lake Wilderness
The Town of Wells has opened West River Road which leads back to the Whitehouse area. The road is passable but road crews will be continuing repairs for the next few weeks. Motorists should use caution when approaching and passing by road crews.
Kushaqua Conservation Easement Tract
Due to a logging operation that will begin on July 13 and finish on July 17, a temporary reroute has been created on the Loon Lake Mountain Trail. The reroute is rougher and wetter than the regular trail and passes debris from past logging operations. Hikers may want to wait until the weekend when the trail fully reopens.
The Lost Lake Trail has been flooded by beaver activity a half mile east of Lost Lake.
Lake George Wild Forest
The Prospect Mountain Veteran’s Memorial Highway is now open seven days a week from 10:00am-6:00pm. The DEC is taking a number of precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, including:
- The shuttle will not operate.
- Picnicking will be prohibited, and the picnic pavilions will not be available to rent.
- Restrooms will remain closed.
- View scopes at the pull-offs and on the summit have been dismantled. In addition, the summit area above the parking lot is closed to the public until late August while 500 feet of mortared stone border wall that is crumbling along summit lookout areas is removed and replaced with individual cut stone blocks. Due to the grades, the moving of the stone blocks is difficult and dangerous, especially with heavy equipment. The road and the path from the parking lot are blocked and the trail from the village ends at the parking lot.
Independence River State Forest
The Otter Creek Horse Trail Facility is now open for overnight camping.
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.
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.
High Peaks Wilderness
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 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 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.