It’s going to be a popular weekend for hiking with the holiday and favorable forecast. Head out early, always have a backup destination in mind, and of course read up on the trail conditions below. Happy hiking!
A Look at the Weather
The weather looks good! Here’s the current forecast:
- Crown Point: Fri 76° and partly cloudy, Sat 74° and mostly sunny, Sun 76° and mostly cloudy, Mon 82° and partly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 67° and mostly sunny, Sat 66° and mostly sunny, Sun 69° and mostly sunny, Mon 75° and mostly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 79° and sunny, Sat 76° and mostly sunny, Sun 78° and mostly sunny, Mon 84° and partly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 67° and mostly sunny, Sat 65° and mostly sunny, Sun 67° and mostly sunny, Mon 75° and mostly cloudy
- Long Lake: Fri 67° and partly cloudy, Sat 66° and mostly sunny, Sun 68° and mostly sunny, Mon 75° and mostly cloudy
- Malone: Fri 70° and mostly sunny, Sat 68° and mostly sunny, Sun 70° and mostly sunny, Mon 78° and cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 70° and mostly sunny, Sat 68° and mostly sunny, Sun 71° and mostly sunny, Mon 77° and partly sunny
- Old Forge: Fri 65° and scattered showers, Sat 66° and partly cloudy, Sun 68° and mostly sunny, Mon 75° and mostly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 67° and partly cloudy, Sat 65° and mostly sunny, Sun 68° mostly sunny, Mon 76° and mostly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 76° and partly cloudy, Sat 74° and mostly sunny, Sun 76° and mostly sunny, Mon 81° and partly cloudy
- Tupper Lake: Fri 67° and mostly sunny, Sat 66° and mostly sunny, Sun 68° and mostly sunny, Mon 76° and mostly cloudy
We are at that time of year when the temperature can vary greatly from the trailhead to the summit, so make sure to dress in layers and pack extra.
Also, daylight hours are shortening. Be mindful of the sunrise and sunset times and plan accordingly. Give yourself enough time on long hikes to ensure you will have enough sunlight to finish before dark, and always bring a headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries in case your hike takes longer than anticipating.
Current Trail Conditions
Trails are wet and muddy. Wear waterproof shoes and walk through the mud, not around it, to protect trailside vegetation.
Continue to use caution at water crossings, some of which do not have bridges.
The Water Conditions
Water levels throughout most of the Adirondacks are at or above average, except in the Southern Adirondacks they remain low.
Hiker Information Stations
Visitors to the Adirondacks are encouraged to stop by these stations to check out info on parking, alternative hiking locations, and more:
- Mid’s Park, Lake Placid: Friday, 1pm to 7pm (this station will move inside the lake Placid Visitors Bureau during inclement weather)
- High Peaks Rest Area, Northbound Route 87: Saturday and Sunday, 6am to 11:30am
- Marcy Field, Keene: Friday to Monday, 7am to 1pm
Be Prepared, Hike Smart, Follow COVID Guidelines
Wear the proper gear and attire when hiking, including sturdy, comfortable boots; moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics; and layered, light-colored clothing.
COVID-19 guidelines are still in effect. Pack mask, practice social distancing, only have one person sign in at the trailhead, and move quickly through shared areas like parking lots.
If you get lost or injured keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service call 911 or the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch at 518.891.0235.
High Peaks Wilderness Rules & Regulations
Remember to adhere to the following in the High Peaks:
- Day trip group maximum 15 people
- Overnight trip group maximum 8 people
- No camping on summits, above 3,500 feet except at lean-tos, and anywhere you see a “no camping” sign
- Carry out what you carry in
- Dogs must be leashed at trailheads, campsites, and above 4,000 feet
- No bikes, drones, ATVs, or fixed anchors for climbing
And for the Eastern High Peaks:
- No campfires
- Bear canisters are required for overnight campers
- Dogs must be leashed at all times
And for the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR):
- No dogs, camping, drones, or off-trail travel
Be Smart With Parking
Don’t end your incredible hike with a parking ticket! Check 511NY if you’re headed to the High Peaks, don’t park illegally, and if you can’t find parking, move along to your backup destination.
Current Fire Danger
Fire danger remains low.
Bears & Insects are Still Present
Nuisance bear activity is still high in the front and backcountry. The use of bear resistant canisters by overnight campers is required in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness and recommended throughout the Adirondack Park.
Black flies, mosquitoes, deer flies, biting gnats, and ticks are still 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
Lake George Wild Forest
Although the Prospect Mountain trail and summit were expected to reopen last weekend they have not yet. The new estimated timeframe is next weekend.
Saranac Lake Wild Forest
The Lake Flower Boat Launch is once again open to trailered boats. Construction of the bathroom is complete, but the bathroom is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Fulton Chain Wild Forest
The Safford Pond Trail is passable all the way through as a bridge that washed out during the 2019 Halloween storm was reconstructed last December.
Black River Wild Forest
A bridge has been installed on Loop Road (North Lake) at the location where a culvert had previously washed out. The full length of the road is once again open to public motor vehicle use. After Labor Day, be aware of logging trucks on the road.
The bridge across Little Woodhull Creek on the Stone Dam Trail has been reset and repaired.
Split Rock Wild Forest
The DEC Westport Boat Launch on Lake Champlain will be temporarily closed starting September 8 to remove sediments accumulated in front of the ramp. The contractor will begin staging equipment and materials the week before Labor Day and occupy two parking sites at the boat launch. The removal of sediments, which should be completed by the end of October, will improve access for boaters who launch and retrieve boats during low-water periods.
Essex Chain Lakes Complex
There is an active logging operation on Cornell Road. This road and the land adjacent to it is privately owned working forest conservation easement land. It also provides public access to the Essex Chain Lakes Complex Forest Preserve – specifically in the Deer Pond Parking Lot. Please be on the lookout for log trucks using this road, and safely pull to the side to allow them to pass as needed.
West Canada Lake Wilderness
A 400-foot section of the Northville-Placid Trail about .5 miles north of the Carry Lean-to is flooded due to recent bear activity. DEC staff were able to lower the water level to 7 to 8 inches, and are continuing efforts to remove dams farther downstream. This trail is passable, but hikers should anticipate wet feet while passing through this area.
Boreas Ponds Tract
Gulf Brook Road, which provides access to the Boreas Ponds, remains 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.
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.
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.
High Peaks Wilderness
The Trap Dike route up Mount Colden is a rock climbing route, not a trail. DEC Forest Rangers have had to rescue numerous people recently.
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.