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Adirondack Hiking Conditions, Trails Notices & More to Know

Hiking Conditions for October 15 - 17, 2021

Welcome Colorful, Peak Foliage!

The color change this year has been a tad late in the Adirondacks, which is good news for hikers looking to get out there this weekend. Unfortunately, it might be a bit wet out there.

Here's what to expect with the latest foliage report, weather, and trail notices from the DEC.

fall foliage summit view
View from Baxter Mountain, photo credit: Alan Nudi

The Latest Foliage Report From I Love NY

Check out that foliage:

  • Crown Point/Lake Champlain area: midpoint transition with 50 to 60% change and muted-to-average shades of gold and rust, with an occasional splash of orange or red
  • Lake George/Queensbury area: near-peak color change with 65 to 75% transition and near-peak hues of orange and some vivid red in the northern part of the county
  • Lake Placid: past-peak foliage with some shades of red, orange and yellow remaining
  • Lake Pleasant: peak foliage with near-complete leaf change and average-to-bright shades of yellow and orange
  • Malone/Mountain View area: 95% color change with brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and some deep reds
  • Old Forge: just-past-peak foliage with some bright shades of orange, gold, yellow, and dark red
  • Saranac Lake: near-complete leaf transformation with yellow and orange leaves (leaves are starting to drop; landscape is still brilliant)
  • Schroon Lake/Newcomb area: peak conditions with bright shades of orange, yellow, and some reds
  • Tupper Lake/Mt. Arab area: 95% color change with bronze, ginger, canary, turmeric, and pumpkin, with an occasional scarlet, burgundy, and yellow
  • Wilmington/Whiteface Mountain area: peak foliage expected with over 80% color change and bright shades of red, orange, yellow, and purple

Note: Even past-peak foliage can still offer some vivid colors and scenery!

View the full report: https://www.iloveny.com/things-to-do/fall/foliage-report/

Watch the Weather (10/15/21 - 10/17/21)

Here are the latest forecasts for various regions of the ADK:

  • Crown Point: Fri 72° and cloudy, Sat 69° and scattered thunderstorms, M Sun 61° and partly cloudy
  • Indian Lake: Fri 70° and scattered showers, Sat 64° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 53° and mostly cloudy
  • Keene: Fri 72° and showers, Sat 69° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 56° and scattered showers
  • Lake George: Fri 74° and scattered showers, Sat 71° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 61° and mostly cloudy
  • Lake Placid: Fri 67° and showers, Sat 63° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 50° and scattered showers
  • Long Lake: Fri 67° and showers, Sat 63° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 61° and mostly cloudy
  • North Creek: Fri 72° and scattered showers, Sat 65° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 56° and mostly cloudy
  • Old Forge: Fri 67° and rain, Sat 63° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 51° and showers
  • Saranac Lake: Fri 69° and showers, Sat 66° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 53° and scattered showers
  • Ticonderoga: Fri 70° and scattered showers, Sat 69° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 61° and mostly cloudy
  • Tupper Lake: Fri 69° and scattered showers, Sat 65° and scattered thunderstorms, Sun 53° and scattered showers

Check the weather again before you head out:

View the National Weather Service for the Northern Adirondacks >>

See the National Weather Service for the Southern Adirondacks >>

The AMR Pilot Reservation Systems Runs Through the End of the Month

The no-cost pilot reservation system is now in effect at the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AMR). Reservations are required through October 31 for parking, daily access, and overnight access to trails through the AMR gate and the Noonmark and Round Mountain trailheads that are accessed through the AMR property. Here's the Hiker Parking Reservation Portal: https://www.hikeamr.org/

What's New With Trail Notices From the DEC

As of 10/14/21 

In the Grass River Wild Forest:

The Pleasant Lake Access Road on the Grass River Conservation Easement closed for the season as of October 10.

As of 10/07/21

In the Essex Chain Lakes Complex:

Camp Six Road, a seasonal access road, is now open.

As of 09/30/21

In the High Peaks Wilderness:

The trail from Lake Arnold to Feldspar Brook is experiencing extensive flooding. Crossing flooded areas on floating logs and old pieces of bridging is dangerous and should be avoided when possible. Seek alternative routes. 

The Gate at Clear Pond will be closed to public motor vehicles as of October 12, and will not open until after mud season in May of 2022. Hikers will need to park at the Upper Elk Lake road Parking Lot on the west side of the Elk Lake Road, approximately 2.3 miles south of the Elk Lake Parking Lot and trailhead. From the evening of October 22 until the morning of December 6, no hikers may enter the Elk Lake Conservation Easement.

In the Black River Wild Forest:

The boat launch, parking area, and adjacent boat launch campsites on South Lake Reservoir are temporarily closed through November 30 to allow the New York State Canal Corporation to perform maintenance work on South Lake Dam. 

Canoers and kayakers may still launch their boats off the shore alongside South Lake Road, but should not block travel lanes, shoulders, or park within the vicinity of the construction area. You can also find alternative paddling opportunities at nearby North Lake, two miles before reaching South Lake.

In the Boreas Ponds Tract:

Gulf Brook Road is now closed to pedestrians while culvert repair work is underway. The road is expected to reopen to pedestrians by the end of November 2021. The road has been closed to motor vehicles since the 2019 Halloween storm. 

Trails are Wet & Muddy

Trails are likely to be wet and muddy following rain and storms. Wear waterproof shoes and walk through mud, not around it, to protect trailside vegetation and to avoid widening trails. Gaiters and trekking poles are also recommended.

Mountain bikers should avoid riding in muddy or wet conditions. As with hiking, if you do ride, please do so in the center of the trail.

Water Conditions in the Park: Very High

Water levels throughout the Adirondacks range from average to  significantly above average. There is an exception of the Oswegatchie River in Oswegatchie, and the Saranac River in Plattsburgh.

Personal flotation devices/life jackets are still highly recommended to be worn by all anglers, paddlers, and boaters. If a bridge is not available, do not attempt stream crossings during periods of high, fast-moving water.

Please Share the Woods

Many hunting and trapping seasons are open or are opening soon. Hikers, hunters, and other outdoor recreationists have a responsibility to share the woods and keep each other safe during hunting seasons. Consider dressing in bright colors such as hunter orange, and put bright colors on pets as well. 

Hunter accidents involving hikers are extremely rare. Interfering with hunters and trappers isn't just disrespectful, it's illegal. 

Check the Current Fire Danger

Fire danger is currently low in the Adirondack Park. Continue to be safe with campfires.

View the Fire Danger Map >>

Annual Arbor Day Poster Contest

The DEC's yearly Arbor Day Poster Contest is now underway, so get out there and capture those fall foliage photos for a chance to have your work featured on the 2022 Arbor Day Poster. Drawings and paintings are also accepted.

Entries must feature trees within New York State, and participants are limited to three submissions. Model consent forms are required for any people in submitted photos.

Submit original artwork or photographs by December 31, 2021 to arborday@dec.ny.gov, and include your name, address, and if it's a photo, where the photo was taken. 

Be Prepared for Ticks (And Bears)

Ticks are still out. Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily. Wear enclosed shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeve shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants. Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors. Bring insect repellent. Staying on clear, well-traveled trails also helps; avoid bushy, dense areas.

If you're camping, bear canisters are required in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness through November 30, and are highly recommended elsewhere in the Park. Please don't camp at trailheads.

Take Care With Trap Dike on Mount Colden

The Trap Dike route up Mount Colden in the High Peaks Region is not an official hiking trail; it’s classified as a rock-climbing route. Please avoid if you do not have proper rock climbing experience and equipment, as hiker rescues in this area (which have increased recently), are complicated and dangerous.

Do Not Camp at Trailheads

Please know that overnight camping is not permitted at trailheads or other roadside locations where a camping disc is not present. This includes car/van/trailer camping.

On Twitter? Follow This DEC Account

Hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts can follow @NYSDECAlerts on Twitter for real-time updates to help you better prepare for your outing. This account provides updates for DEC-managed lands throughout the state, including the Adirondacks.

This page was updated on 10/15/21.

View more current notices from the DEC >>

Make sure you Leave No Trace >>

Find upcoming ADK happenings in the latest What's New/Events roundup >>