Once we get past the rain today it looks like a good weekend for a hike in the Adirondacks! Read what’s happening with the foliage and current trail notices below.
The Colors – Past Peak, but Still Brilliant
Much of the Adirondacks is past peak foliage at this point, but that doesn’t mean you can’t see some amazing colors out there. Enjoy while you still can!
Crown Point: Past peak with near color change
Lake George: Peak and near-complete color change
Lake Placid: Past-peak conditions with 100% color change
Lake Pleasant: Past peak with average-to-bright orange and yellow leaves
Malone: Past peak with some areas of bright orange and red leaves
Newcomb: Complete color change and past-peak foliage with some seasonal hues remaining
Old Forge: Complete color change and past-peak conditions with rich golds and yellows, deep oranges, and warm reds
Plattsburgh: 85% color change and past-peak conditions
Saranac Lake: Past-peak conditions with 95% color change
Tupper Lake: 95 – 100% color change and past-peak foliage with bronze, ginger, canary, goldenrod, cinnamon, turmeric, and pumpkin colored leaves
Wilmington/Whiteface Mountain: Past peak with bright shades of orange and yellow
Check the Weather, Then Check Again Before You Head Out
- Crown Point: Fri 55° and rain, Sat 58° and partly cloudy, Sun 59° and partly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 48° and rain, Sat 51° and partly cloudy, Sun 54° and partly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 57° and rain, Sat 61° and partly cloudy, Sun 62° and partly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 47° and rain, Sat 49° and mostly sunny, Sun 53° and partly cloudy
- Long Lake: Fri 48° and showers, Sat 51° and mostly sunny, Sun 54° and mostly cloudy
- Malone: Fri 51° and rain, Sat 54° and mostly sunny, Sun 59° and mostly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 50° and rain, Sat 54° and partly cloudy, Sun 55° and partly cloudy
- Old Forge: Fri 46° and showers, Sat 51° and mostly sunny, Sun 55° and mostly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 48° and rain, Sat 51° and mostly sunny, Sun 55° and mostly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 54° and rain, Sat 58° and mostly sunny, Sun 59° and partly cloudy
- Tupper Lake: Fri 48° and showers, Sat 51° and mostly sunny, Sun 55° and mostly cloudy
Approximate time of sunrise: 7:15am | Approximate time of sunset: 6:05pm
Be mindful of sunrise and sunset times and plan accordingly to ensure you return before dark.
Temperatures can change significantly depending on the time of day and your elevation. Nighttime temperatures will get down to the low- to mid-30s.
Stay safe and warm by wearing and bringing the right clothes: non-cotton, moisture-wicking base layers on your person, and then bring additional warm, waterproof, and windproof layers along with a hat and mittens (or gloves, but mittens are reportedly better). Avoid sweating through your clothes, as that can create ideal conditions for hypothermia as the clothes cool.
Pack a Headlamp or Flashlight for Every Hike
Headlamps are highly recommended on all hikes, especially at this time of year when the sunset can sneak up on you (see sunset time above in the weather section). They come fairly small and are easy to pack with you. If you don’t have a headlamp at least bring a flashlight and never rely on your phone for light as it can drain the battery quickly. Bring extra batteries for the headlamp or flashlight.
Current Trail Conditions: Muddy
With the rain today trails are expected to be wet and muddy throughout the weekend, especially in low lying areas and near water. Wear waterproof shoes and walk through the mud, not around it, to protect trail edges. Trails and summits may be icy at high elevations. Bring and wear traction devices if needed.
The DEC is reminding us of the importance to stick to the designated trails; when it’s muddy it can be tempting to veer off the path to go around it. Please don’t do this – it damages trailside vegetation, widens trails, and has other detrimental effects.
Use caution at water crossings; not all of them have bridges.
Water Conditions: Cold
Water temperatures are very cool. River levels in the northern and northeastern Adirondacks are in the average range. Water levels in other parts of the Adirondacks are below average or low.
Review Rules & Regulations (Research Your Hike)
Take a moment to review the rules and regulations for the area you’ll be visiting (and your backup plans). Each state land management unit has rules in place to help protect users and natural resources.
If you get lost or injured keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service call 518.891.0235.
Continue to Follow COVID Guidelines
COVID-19 guidelines are still in effect. Pack a mask, practice social distancing, only have one person sign in at the trailhead, and move quickly through shared areas like parking lots. It is especially important right now to hike within your means – within your physical abilities and experience.
Leave the Drones at Home
Drones are popular for capturing fall foliage photography but they are not allowed in all areas of the Adirondacks. Drones are prohibited on lands classified as Wilderness, Primitive, and Canoe Area.
Current Fire Danger & Campfire Safety Reminder
Fire danger continues to be low. Continue to be safe with campfires, never leaving them unattended, fully extinguishing before leaving your campsite, etc.
Hunting Seasons are Open
Most small game and some waterfowl and big game hunting seasons are open. Hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters bearing firearms or archery equipment while hiking on trails. These are fellow outdoor recreationists with legal right to participate in these activities on the Forest Preserve. Hunting accidents involving non-hunters are extremely rare.
What to Know About Seasonal Access Roads
Seasonal access roads are dirt and gravel which can be tough, and it’s recommended to use four-wheel drive SUVs, pickup trucks, or other high clearance vehicles on these roads. Roads may be narrow – use caution, drive slowly, and watch for oncoming vehicles.
Seasonal access roads typically remain open to public motor vehicles traffic through the end of the regular Northern Zone big game hunting season unless weather conditions dictate an earlier closing. In the winter, many of these roads are used as snowmobile trails.
Ticks are Still Out
While black flies, mosquitoes, deer flies, and biting gnats aren’t as much of a problem, the ticks are still out, and are expected to be until temperatures stay consistently below 35 degrees F.
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.
Recent Notices to Be Aware Of
Tooley Pond Conservation Easement Tract
The landowner is conducting a timber harvest and logging equipment is crossing Spruce Mountain Road, which is used to access the South Branch of the Grass River. Drivers must use caution and stay alert.
Big Moose Tract Conservation Easement
The annual closure of the Stillwater Fire Tower went into effect on October 13. The tower will remain closed to public access through December 20. The access across private land is closed to visitors each year according to a Recreation Management Plan agreed upon with the landowner. The lands on the Big Moose Tract are posted and patrolled during this time. Persons entering the property during this period could face prosecution for trespass.
High Peaks Wilderness
The high-water crossing footbridge over Phelps Brook on the Van Ho Trail to Mt. Marcy just above Marcy Dam came to the end of its service life and was removed by the DEC. When Phelps Brook is running high and the low water crossing is unsafe, hikers can use the newly developed Phelps Brook Lean-to Trail between the South Meadow (aka Marcy Dam Truck) Trail (0.5 miles north of Marcy Dam) and the Van Ho Trail (above the crossing). The trail is marked with red Foot Trail markers.
The two trails on the Elk Lake Conservation Easement Tract which provide access to Dix Mountain, Marcy Mountain, and the Colvin Range will close to public use on October 16 and will remain closed through Northern Zone Big Game Hunting Season.
Boreas Ponds Tract
Boreas Road – which the DEC opens during hunting season – cannot be accessed during this year’s hunting season due to the damage and closure of the Gulf Brook Road.
Essex Chain Lakes Complex
Camp Six Road is open to public motor vehicle use but is in rough shape and has not been brushed out. Use caution when driving on the road. The road will remain open until the end of the Northern Zone big game hunting season but may close sooner if conditions warrant.
Chain Lakes Road South between the Outer Gooley Parking Area and the Cedar River remains closed due to damage from the 2019 Halloween storm. The DEC is working to repair the road and hopes to have it open by the end of the month.
Sable Highlands Conservation Easement
Barnes Pond Road is open to public motor vehicle use. The road will remain open until the end of the Northern Zone big game hunting season but may close sooner if conditions warrant.