Scattered thunderstorms are forecast for a few areas on Saturday and there’s more to know for hiking and recreating in the Adirondack Park this weekend.
Watch the Weather & Stay Safe
Here’s the current weather forecast:
- Crown Point: Fri 82° and fog, Sat 84° and isolated thunderstorms, Sun 88° and partly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 73° and partly cloudy, Sat 76° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 79° and partly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 79° and rain, Sat 85° and partly cloudy, Sun 88° and partly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 75° and partly cloudy, Sat 76° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 78° and partly cloudy
- Malone: Fri 79° and mostly sunny, Sat 79° and partly cloudy, Sun 81° and partly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 74° and scattered showers, Sat 78° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 81° and partly cloudy
- Old Forge: Fri 73° and mostly cloudy, Sat 76° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 79° and partly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 76° and fog, Sat 77° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 79° and partly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 79° and scattered showers, Sat 82° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 85° and partly cloudy
Take precautions to prevent heat 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.
Just a quick reminder that the DEC recommends against hiking with dogs at this time of year. If you do choose to, make sure to bring lots of water for them and take frequent breaks. Monitor them closely and turn around if they start to show signs of distress.
There are some thunderstorms forecasted for the weekend. Keep an eye out for darkening skies and listen for the low rumble of thunder. If you become aware of an approaching storm move to lower elevations and seek shelter. If you can’t get to shelter, find an area of shorter trees and crouch down away from tree trunks, making yourself as small as possible. Avoid summits and other open areas during a thunderstorm.
A Reminder on Rules in the High Peaks
This week the DEC is reminding us that the Adirondacks contain some of the state’s rarest plants, and to protect this ecosystem visitors are asked to adhere to the following rules (this is not an exhaustive list):
- No campfires in the Eastern Zone of the High Peaks Wilderness.
- Maximum number of people for a day trip is 15. Overnight trip is 8.
- No camping on summits, no camping above 3,500 feet (except lean-tos), no camping where there are “No Camping” signs.
- Camp at designated sites whenever possible. Otherwise, camping is permitted when it’s at least 150 feet from any road, trail, waterbody, or waterway. Place your tent on a durable surface like hardened soil; do not place tent on vegetation.
- Bear canisters are required for all overnight campers in the Eastern Zone of the High Peaks Wilderness.
- Carry out what you carry in.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times in the Eastern Zone of the High Peaks Wilderness, at trailheads, at campsites, and above 4,000 feet everywhere else.
- Bikes, ATVs, and drones are prohibited.
- There are no fixed anchors for climbing on the Forest Preserve at this time.
- The Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR) property has its own rules including no camping, no drones, no off-trail travel, and no dogs.
Trash in the Backcountry & Leave No Trace
On a related note, 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.
In addition to disposing of waste properly outdoor recreationists are asked to respect wildlife, leave what you find, and there are four other principles you can read about at the link below.
An Upcoming Road Closure to Be Aware Of
Both lanes of State route 73 will be closed between Route 9N and the southern end of Hulls Falls Road on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (August 11 to 13) while DOT replaces a culvert. Motorists coming up I-87 towards Keene, Lake Placid, and beyond will need to take Route 9 to Elizabethtown and then Route 9N back to Route 73.
Current Trail Conditions
Trails are wet and muddy due to recent rains. Wear waterproof shoes and walk through mud, not around it, to protect trail edges and trailside vegetation. Temperatures will be lower on the high summits, and many exposed summits will be windy. Pack extra layers of clothing.
Check the Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits (scroll up for link in the weather section). If conditions become unfavorable turn around.
Not all water crossings along trails have bridges. Use caution when crossing and on trails along fast-flowing brooks and rivers.
Travel & Parking Info Relating to COVID-19
Pursuant to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 205 visitors coming from travel restricted states will not be issued camping permits, and will not be allowed to stay on state lands until they have completed a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Quarantining on state land is not allowed. Continue to pack a mask, use when needed, and practice social distancing.
Continue to #RecreateLocal and avoid visiting crowded areas. This is directly tied to parking, which is limited – do not park on roadsides or other non-designated parking areas. Have a backup plan or two in case your desired destination has a full parking lot, or choose to return another day. Don’t forget to check 511NY if you’re headed to the High Peaks.
Hike within your ability, bring a mask and wear when warranted, practice social distancing, and stay home if you’re not feeling well.
Fire Danger Has Gone Down
Fire danger has gone down to low from moderate last week. Continue to be safe with campfires.
Water Levels are High
Not surprisingly, with recent rains water levels in most streams and rivers and now above the seasonal average range or high.
Be on the Alert for Nuisance Bears
Due to dry conditions nuisance bear activity is high in the frontcountry and the 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.
Invasive Species Info for Boaters
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.
Specific Hiking Notices, Trail Closures & More
Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tract
Repairs on the Long Level Bridge are complete and public motor vehicles may use it to travel between Long Level Road and Pine Lake road.
Madawaska Pond/Quebec Brook Primitive Area
Only four-wheel drive pickups and SUVs or other high clearance vehicles should use the Madawaska Pond Road due to a significant washout. Pickups and SUVs should use caution when crossing the washout.
McKenzie Mountain Wilderness
A portion of the Jackrabbit Trail on private land between Whiteface Inn Lane and the intersection with the McKenzie Mountain Trail will be closed through August 20. The Placid Lean-to will still be accessible via the McKenzie Mountain Trail.
High Peaks Wilderness
ATIS has completed rebuilding Leach Bridge – the footbridge below the Lower Ausable Lake dam – and it can once again be used by hikers.
The Trap Dike route up Mount Colden is not a trail, it’s a rock climbing route. DEC Forest Rangers have had to rescue numerous people in recent weeks who have become stuck on the climb. Also, fixed ropes, harnesses, and other equipment are often abandoned here. Due to age, weatherizing, and wearing of these materials they are unsafe and shouldn’t be used.
The Town of Keene’s Garden Shuttle between Marcy Field Parking Lot and the Garden Shuttle is not operating at this time. The Town of Keene prohibits parking along Johns Brook, Market, and Adirondack Streets in Keene Valley and violators will be towed.
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.
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.