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Fire Danger is High, There Will Be Thunderstorms on Sunday & More to Know for ADK Hiking This Weekend

Hiking Conditions for May 13 - 15, 2022

Happy Friday the 13th and good luck hiking out there this weekend! The weather in the Adirondacks looks great today and tomorrow, but thunderstorms are coming on Sunday. Here's what else to know.

path through bog
Photo credit: Brittany DePasquale

This page was updated on 05/13/22

Here's the Weather Report (05/13/22 - 05/15/22)

Here are forecasts in the ADK at a glance:

  • Crown Point: Fri 89° and partly cloudy, Sat 89° and partly cloudy, Sun 83° and thunderstorm
  • Indian Lake: Fri 83° and mostly cloudy, Sat 81° and partly cloudy, Sun 74° and thunderstorm
  • Keene: Fri 89° and partly cloudy, Sat 85° and showers, Sun 79° and thunderstorm
  • Lake George: Fri 89° and mostly sunny, Sat 89° and partly cloudy, Sun 84° and thunderstorm
  • Lake Placid: Fri 84° and partly cloudy, Sat 80° and showers, Sun 72° and thunderstorm
  • Long Lake: Fri 84° and partly cloudy, Sat 82° and scattered showers, Sun 74° and thunderstorm
  • North Creek: Fri 84° and partly cloudy, Sat 83° and partly cloudy, Sun 77° and thunderstorm
  • Old Forge: Fri 82° and mostly sunny, Sat 82° and partly cloudy, Sun 74° and thunderstorm
  • Saranac Lake: Fri 85° and partly cloudy, Sat 82° and scattered showers, Sun 74° and thunderstorm
  • Ticonderoga: Fri 87° and partly cloudy, Sat 86° and partly cloudy, Sun 81° and thunderstorm
  • Tupper Lake: Fri 85° and partly cloudy, Sat 83° and scattered showers, Sun 75° and thunderstorm

The DEC recommends checking daytime and nighttime temperatures, and to keep in mind that temperatures will drop as you gain elevation. Check wind chill temperatures for cold, windy summits.

Check the Weather Again Before You Head Out

Find the forecast for your specific destination - you can see select summit forecasts at the links below. Check for both daytime and nighttime temperatures.

See the National Weather Service for the Northern Adirondacks >>

View the National Weather Service for the Southern Adirondacks >>

Snow Report & Conditions for the High Peaks Wilderness as of 05/12/22

There is persistent packed snow on trails above 4,000 feet, especially on north aspects. Trails are very muddy above 3,000 feet. There is high fire danger at the moment. Temperatures may reach hazardous heights this weekend, and thunderstorms are in the forecast. Please avoid all trails above 2,500 feet while the DEC's muddy trails advisory is in effect.

Find more data on snowfall and snow depth >>

New Trail Notices to Know This Week

The gate on Corey's Road is now open in the High Peaks Wilderness.

The gate at Clear Pond, on the Elk Lake Conservation Easement, is now open for the season. The public is allowed to drive to the Elk Lake parking lot and trailhead to park for access to the Slide Brook Trail and the Elk Lake Marcy Trail. Parking is limited to the capacity of the parking lot. No parking is permitted along the Elk Lake Road or in any other pull-offs. If the parking lot is full, hikers must 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. Please respect the parking rules to help ensure this access is maintained and there are no impacts to fire and rescue access.

Roads are currently closed for mud season in the Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easements. The bridge at Old Route 8 by Christine Falls will be closed for repairs starting on May 16. Roads that will consequently close because of this are Fly Creek Road and Robbs Creek Road.

Jabe Pond Road is open in Lake George Wild Forest. The Shelving Rock Brook trail bridges (all 3) are not safe for equestrian use. Please use Shelving Rock Mountain Trail to access the trail system. Shortway Trail bridges (3) are now open to equestrian use.

From Last Week

The DEC staff recently cleared blowdown on 16 miles of the Northville Placid Trail from Godfrey Road to the Whitehouse trailhead on West River Road. The trail is clear and conditions are good.

The Cedar River Road, which accesses the Cedar River Flow/Wakley Dam area in the Moose River Plains Complex, is now open. The 10 roadside tent sites located at the Cedar River Headquarters are now open for public use. The entrance gates to the Moose River Plains Camping Area remain closed for mud season.

Seasonal mud gates on all Forest Preserve Roads in Black River Wild Forest are now open to motor vehicles. Forest Rangers have removed fallen trees and limbs from the spring storm. However, visitors should use caution, as there may be new blowdown. Blowdown can be expected on hiking trails within the Forest; they'll be cleared as manpower allows.

Gates on Basket Factory and Smith Roads have opened in Independence River Wild Forest. McCarthy Road will be reopened when it's dry and firm enough to support motor vehicle traffic. A significant amount of blowdown remains on most foot and horse trails in the Forest, and the DEC will be working to clear trails throughout May.

All roads on the Croghan and Oswegatchie Conservation Easement Tracts in Watson's East Triangle Wild Forest are now open.

Muddy Trails Advisory Is in Effect

The DEC has issued a Muddy Trail Advisory for Adirondack trails, especially those over 2,500 feet in elevation. Please avoid the following high elevation trails until conditions have dried and hardened:

  • High Peaks Wilderness: all trails above 2,500 feet, specifically Algonquin, Colden, Feldspar, Gothics, Indian Pass, Lake Arnold Cross-Over, Marcy, Marcy Dam - Avalanche - Lake Colden (which is extremely wet), Phelps Trail above Johns Brook Lodge, Range Trail, Skylight, Wright, all "trail-less" peaks, and all trails above Elk Lake and Round Pond in the former Dix Mountain Area
  • Giant Mountain Wilderness: all trails above Giant's Washbowl, "the Cobbles," and Owl Head Lookout
  • McKenzie Mountain Wilderness: all trails above 2,500 feet, specifically Whiteface, Esther, Moose, and McKenzie Mountains
  • Sentinel Range Wilderness: all trails above 2,500 feet, specifically Pitchoff Mountain
  • Jay Mountain Wilderness: specifically Jay Mountain

Remember to walk straight through that mud instead of around it, to protect trailside vegetation and avoid trail widening. Please opt for low elevation trails until the high elevation trails have time to dry and harden.

Conditions Will Vary, There's Still Snow at High Elevations

Conditions in the Park range from hot and dry at low elevations, to muddy trails around mid-range elevations, and then compact snow at high elevations. Temperatures may vary significantly depending on your location, time of day, and elevation. 

There are thunderstorms in the forecast - please avoid hiking during thunderstorms. At the first sign of thunders, seek shelter at low elevations. 

Walk straight through mud and not around it to protect trailside vegetation and to avoid the widening of trails. Stick to low elevations until higher elevations have time to dry and harden.

Waters Are Still Cold & Levels Are Below Average

Despite warm air temperatures water temperatures may still be extremely cold. Water levels throughout the Adirondacks are mostly below average for this time of year. PDFs are still strongly recommended to be worn.

Where bridges aren't available, do not attempt to cross streams during periods of high, fast-moving water.

Check current water data >>

Fire Danger Is High & Could Get Higher

Fire danger is currently moderate in the Park. According to a North Country Public Radio article, this could be elevated to very high by the end of the weekend.

Wildfires are common at this time of year, and it's recommended to use extreme caution with campfires this weekend.

View the Fire Danger Map >>

A Note on Hiking With Dogs

Every season the DEC receives calls about distressed dogs, particularly on hot days. It's easier than we think for pet owners to overestimate how physically fit their dog is, how much water they will need, or how it feels to walk on scalding hot rocks.

The DEC actually recommends not hiking with dogs in the summer (and we are looking at some summer-like temperatures this weekend). The animals are at too high of a risk for heat exhaustion and even death. 

If you are out with your canine friend and they collapse, quickly move to create shade for the dog and cool their feet and stomach.

Parking Reservation System Now in Place at AMR

The AMR's parking reservation system is back in place as of May 1. Parking reservations are required for all visitors to access trails. 

See more info on AMR parking >>

Make reservations through the AMR website >>

Ticks Are Out & About

Ticks have been active. Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily. Wear enclosed shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants. Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors. Consider using insect repellent. Stay on clear, well-traveled trails. Avoid dense woods and busy areas.

Bring Bear Canisters When Camping

The DEC requires the use of bear-resistant canisters by overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1 and November 30; they're highly encouraged elsewhere.

Bear canisters should be used to store all food, food garbage, toiletries, and items with a scent. They should be stored at least 100 feet away from tents, lean-tos, and cooking sites, and kept closed when they're not being accessed.

For the Rock Climbers: Closures to Know About

The DEC closes certain rock climbing routes in the Adirondacks to protect nesting peregrine falcons. Once the nest sites are determined, climbing routes that won't disturb them will be reopened. The others will stay closed until the young have fledged. The DEC appreciates the climbing community's cooperation.

See the list of rock climbing route closures >>

Report Backcountry Emergencies to This Number

Report emergencies like lost or injured hikers and wildland fires to the DEC Ray Brook Dispatch at 518.891.0235.

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 05/13/22.

View more current notices from the DEC >>

Make sure you Leave No Trace >>

See this week's news and events in the latest roundup >>

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