Fall hiking continues in the Adirondacks this weekend! Find out where the foliage is hanging on, which restrooms have recently shut down, what to expect on the trails, and more below.
Fall Foliage is Hanging on by a Leaf
We are now at past peak for the majority of the Adirondacks. You can still see some vibrant shades of orange and yellow around Lake George; splashes of red, yellow, and purple mixed with evergreens in Ticonderoga; and some orange and yellow in the Lake Pleasant area.
The Weather: Nice Today, Rain Tomorrow, Cold Sunday
- Crown Point: Fri 71° and partly cloudy, Sat 62° and scattered showers, Sun 46° and partly cloudy
- Indian Lake: Fri 68° and partly cloudy, Sat 57° and scattered showers, Sun 46° and partly cloudy
- Lake George: Fri 75° and partly cloudy, Sat 65° and partly cloudy, Sun 53° and partly cloudy
- Lake Placid: Fri 69° and partly cloudy, Sat 57° and scattered showers, Sun 42° and partly cloudy
- Long Lake: Fri 68° and partly cloudy, Sat 56° and scattered showers, Sun 46° and partly cloudy
- Malone: Fri 76° and mostly sunny, Sat 54° and scattered showers, Sun 44° and partly cloudy
- North Creek: Fri 69° and partly cloudy, Sat 57° and scattered showers, Sun 46° and partly cloudy
- Old Forge: Fri 69° and partly cloudy, Sat 54° and mostly sunny, Sun 45° and partly cloudy
- Saranac Lake: Fri 70° and partly cloudy, Sat 56° and scattered showers, Sun 43° and partly cloudy
- Ticonderoga: Fri 71° and partly cloudy, Sat 62° and scattered showers, Sun 46° and partly cloudy
- Tupper Lake: Fri 71° and partly cloudy, Sat 56° and scattered showers, Sun 43° and partly cloudy
High Peaks Region daytime highs: Mid-40s to Mid-50s | High Peaks Region Nighttime Lows: High 20s to Low 30s
Approximate time of sunrise: 7:25am | Approximate time of sunset: 5:55pm
Be mindful of sunrise and sunset times and plan accordingly to ensure you return before dark.
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
Regardless of how long the trail is or what time of day it is pack a light of some kind and back up batteries. You are more likely to get lost or injured hiking in the dark. Never rely on your cell phone’s flashlight, which can drain batteries quickly.
Keep the Environment Clean
Please help us preserve the pristine Adirondacks so hikers and other outdoor recreationists can enjoy the Park for many years to come. Taking care to do simple things like not leaving trash, gear, or food scraps behind can make a big difference. Use designated toilets when available and visit LNT.org to learn how to “leave no trace” when you need to go in the woods.
Plan Ahead, Review Regulations
It’s more important than ever to research your hike ahead of time – and your backup hikes you’ll have in your back pocket in case the parking lot at your desired destination is full. Each state land management unit has rules in place to protect users and natural resources.
Trail Conditions: Muddy
Trails are expected to be muddy again this weekend, especially in low lying areas and near water. Wear waterproof shoes and walk through mud, not around it, to protect trail edges. In other words, stick to the designated trails.
Remember that many Adirondack trails encounter water crossings and not all of them have bridges. Use caution at crossings and on trails along fast-flowing brooks and rivers.
Trails and summits may be icy at high elevations. Bring and wear traction devices as needed.
Water Conditions: Cold
Water temperatures are very cool. Levels are at average throughout most of the Adirondacks, with some waterways reaching above average to high levels in the Northern Adirondacks. There are pockets of below average water levels.
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
Ticks 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
Independence River Wild Forest
Water and restrooms and Otter Creek Horse Trails have been shut down for the season. Camping is still permitted in the assembly area.
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.
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.