Are The Adirondacks Open Right Now? And Other COVID-19-Related FAQs
Are you wondering whether visitors are welcome in the Adirondacks? We have the answer to that and many other frequently asked questions we've been receiving in recent days and weeks. Since things have been changing at a rapid pace, we'll be constantly updating this page to keep it as accurate as possible.
Will the quarantine on out-of-state guests to New York impact my visit?
A travel advisory was recently implemented in New York State. Travelers from any state currently hard hit by COVID-19, as determined by an infection rate formula, must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. This currently applies to travelers from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.
Are Adirondack communities welcoming out-of-state guests?
When the time is right for you to travel, the Adirondacks are ready to welcome you back. Please be aware of the travel advisory (detailed above) that is currently in place and be prepared to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in New York State if you're traveling from one of the restricted states. It's also extremely important that travelers thoroughly research their options for lodging, dining, and activities before arriving.
Although certain industries have been cleared to open, it doesn't mean that all businesses within that industry are currently open. If there are certain places you're hoping to visit, you'll want to call them directly to learn more about their status.
Those who do decide to come to the Adirondacks are asked to keep visits short, maintain social distance from others, follow the hiker responsibility code, and be polite and respectful. Prospective visitors should also note that public restrooms are not generally available, as they may have been on previous visits, so be prepared for that reality.
Where do I have to wear a mask?
If you are in a public indoor space, requested to do so by a business, or are unable to keep at least six feet away from people who aren't members of your household whether indoors or outdoors, you must wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Your mask should be on hand at all times, so you can put it on if you aren't able to keep an adequate distance from others. Many businesses are required to enforce facial covering and social distancing policies, including restaurants and pubs, where masks must be worn when you are not at your table or designated seating area. Pay attention to any signs they may have posted regarding masks and be respectful if a business owner asks you to put your mask on.
Why do I have to wear a mask? I am healthy and am not worried about contracting COVID-19.
As part of New York State's effort to prevent a second wave of COVID-19, everyone must wear a mask. It is possible to unknowingly spread the virus to more vulnerable populations even if you aren't showing any symptoms yourself. When you wear your mask, you're helping to keep the Adirondacks healthy and safe, and are contributing to the Adirondacks' return to a "new normal."
Lodging & Accommodations
Are hotels open? What about other lodging properties?
Some hotels are currently open and others are accepting reservations now for future stays. Cabins, cottages, bed & breakfasts, and inns are also able to be open, as long as they have new safety and sanitization measures in place. If there's a specific hotel or lodging property you're wondering about, you should contact them directly.
Are campgrounds open?
Governor Cuomo announced that campgrounds were allowed to open on May 25. Some private campgrounds are now open and accepting visitors, while others are still making plans to open soon. Please keep in mind that some amenities - including community restrooms and showers, swimming pools, playgrounds, and beaches - may not be available.
The DEC is scheduling opening dates for its campgrounds, and they range from June 19 - July 1. Visit the DEC's website to see the full schedule.
Contact campgrounds directly to inquire about their status and any restrictions they may currently have in place before arriving.
Are Adirondack Mountain Club's lodging facilities open?
The Heart Lake Cabins, Johns Brook Camps, and Johns Brook lean-tos are all open, but guests are required to wear masks at check-in and whenever they're within six feet of others.
The Wilderness Campground at Heart Lake is open at full capacity. Mask requirements apply.
Adirondak Loj is open at 25% capacity and is only booking private rooms.
If you have questions for Adirondack Mountain Club, you can contact them directly at 518-523-3441.
Restaurants & Dining
Are restaurants open for outdoor dining?
Restaurants in the Adirondacks are able to open for outdoor dining. Restaurants must follow certain requirements that include: tables must be spaced at least six feet apart; all staff must wear face coverings; and all customers must wear face coverings when not seated. Some restaurants are requiring reservations, so your best bet is to call ahead before arriving.
Are restaurants open for indoor dining?
Restaurants and bars in the Adirondacks are able to open their indoor spaces at 50% capacity. Restaurants have mask requirements and other protocols in place, so it's safest to call ahead or check specific restaurants' websites or Facebook pages to learn more about their policies and whether or not they're taking reservations.
What Adirondack restaurants are offering takeout and/or delivery?
You can find out which restaurants in the various regions of the Adirondacks are open for takeout and/or delivery on our list here »
Outdoor Activities & Events
What trails are open in the Adirondacks?
For the most part, nearly all public trails in the Adirondacks are open. For trail conditions and other notices, you can visit the DEC's website here. Be sure to read up on the extra safety precautions hikers should take (in the FAQ below).
Hikers should also note that the DEC is still encouraging people to recreate locally near their homes for the time being.
What are the trail conditions like?
It is currently mud season in the Adirondacks, so trail conditions are generally poor. Depending on their elevation, trails could be a mixture of snow, ice, and/or mud, making for a treacherous hiking experience.
The DEC has issued a muddy trails advisory and urges hikers to avoid trails above 2,500 feet - particularly those in the Giant and High Peaks Wilderness areas - until they have dried and hardened.
If you do encounter a muddy trail on a hike, you should walk through the mud, not around it. When you walk around it, you widen the trail and damage sensitive trailside vegetation.
Are there any extra safety precautions I need to take while hiking?
The first thing you should do when planning for a hike is pack your face mask. If you find yourself in a crowded area - like a trailhead or summit - where you are unable to keep six feet of space between yourself and non-household members, you should put on a face mask that fully covers your nose and mouth.
Hikers are also encouraged to bring hand sanitizer or soap that can be used when needed.
Signing in and out at trail registers is extremely important for safety purposes, but extra precautions should be taken during this time. Bring your own pen or pencil so you don't have to share one with strangers. Touch surfaces at the register station as minimally as possible. Wear your mask while you're signing in or out and use hand sanitizer as soon as you're done.
If you arrive at a trailhead and find the parking area to be overly crowded, return on a different day or choose another trail that may be less crowded.
Can I climb to the top of fire towers?
All DEC-controlled fire towers in the Adirondacks are now open to visitors.
Additionally, the Adirondack Mountain Club has resumed its Fire Tower Challenge.
Is the High Peaks Information Center open?
The trail information and parking booth at the High Peaks Information Center is currently open. Rentals and essential items are available for curbside pickup, but they must be ordered at least one hour in advance.
The Hungry Hiker, which is located adjacent to the High Peaks Information Center, is currently open for takeout and outdoor dining. Hours are Fridays from 12PM - 8PM and Saturdays/Sundays from 7AM - 8PM.
I've never been hiking in the Adirondacks before. What should I know before I go?
Although it is fun to explore the great outdoors in the Adirondacks, the wilderness can also be extremely dangerous for those who are not adequately prepared. If you're looking to try hiking in the Adirondacks for the first time, you should be realistic about their abilities and do adequate research before traveling here. The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism has a website called "Love Your Adirondacks" that can help teach some of the basics of recreating in the Adirondacks.
Additionally, it's important to note that some forest rangers who would normally aid in search-and-rescue efforts in the Adirondacks are currently contributing to coronavirus control efforts in other parts of the state. The limited number of rangers stationed locally makes it even more dangerous for unprepared hikers.
Are boat launches open?
Boat launches are open, but in some cases parking lot capacities may be restricted to prevent overcrowding. Also, please note that while a launch may be open, the on-site public bathrooms may not be.
Will major events be taking place as planned?
Since large public gatherings are not currently allowed in the Adirondacks, most events that were originally scheduled for the late spring through the mid-summer have been canceled or postponed. We're keeping our Adirondack events calendar as up-to-date as possible with postponements, cancellations, and new virtual events. Large events are part of Phase 4 - the final phase of the reopening plan - so it could be awhile before these types of gatherings are able to take place again. If you're wondering about a specific event, we recommend that you contact that event's organizers to confirm the event's status before coming to the Adirondacks.
What is open that is fun to do in the Adirondacks right now?
The following activities/attractions are available:
- Hiking and walking
- Parks (with social distancing guidelines)
- Golf courses (check with the specific course before you visit - they may have new rules and capacity restrictions)
- Fishing and hunting (where permitted and in-season)
- Non-motorized (including kayaks, canoes, and rowboats) and motorized boat rentals
Timeline for Reopening
What will be open when?
The Adirondacks are included in the "North Country" region for the purposes of Governor Cuomo's four-part reopening plan. The North Country entered Phase 4 of reopening on June 26. To learn more about the four phases and which industries are included in each, visit the official website here.
For a region to progress into the next phase of reopening, it must meet a number of virus-related criteria. Because of this, it's impossible to know what the true timeline for reopening is or to predict what will be open in time for someone's previously scheduled visit to the Adirondacks later this summer. Experts are requiring a minimum of two weeks between each phase so they can properly monitor how the virus has spread over the course of a given phase.
What opened when the Adirondacks entered Phase 1?
What opened when the Adirondacks entered Phase 2?
What opened when the Adirondacks entered Phase 3?
What is open now that the Adirondacks have entered Phase 4?