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Current Adirondack Trail Conditions: What Hikers Can Expect This Season

When preparing for a hike, it's crucial to research the area you're visiting and know what to expect. Check out the current Adirondack trail conditions and other important information that will help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience this season.

view of a lake from a mountain summit

Learn About Spring Hiking Trail Conditions

Spring is one of the hardest seasons when it comes to planning a hike in the Adirondacks, especially in March and April. The weather can be unpredictable and create a number of challenges, including:

  • Wet, muddy, slushy, or icy trails
  • Weak snow and ice bridges over streams
  • Thin ice on ponds and other bodies of water
  • High water crossings

In addition, conditions at trailheads can vary from what you'll find near the summit. Be aware of potential deep snow or ice, and wear or carry snowshoes, crampons, or other traction devices if you expect them to be needed.

Stay Off High Elevation Trails

spring hike lake george

As the winter snow melts, it creates a mess of our favorite wilderness area in New York State. Each year, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) asks outdoor enthusiasts to stay off trails that are above 2,500 feet in elevation from early-to-mid-spring, or until they have dried.

This period, known as mud season, is when vegetation is highly susceptible to damage. When the trails are muddy, hikers should walk through the mud instead of around it.

However, sticking to lower elevations isn't such a bad thing as you can plan out your high peak climbing for the warmer months. There are also some great trails to consider for mud season as you wait out the winter melt off.

Weather Predictions for Spring

rush pond trail

During spring, the Adirondacks fluctuate in temperatures and weather. It can be volatile as you will find chances of sleet and rain, or beautiful days spent in the sun.

As a result of the spring rain, the Adirondack trail conditions will begin to deteriorate as described above. With thinning snowpack and slippery terrain, it is important to have the right equipment in the backcountry.

If you are planning a hike in the High Peaks Region after mud season, check the Mountain Point Forecast for accurate details on your intended route.

Even with sunny skies, inclement weather is always a possibility, and the weather can change very quickly. Stay prepared with extra dry layers and keep an eye on the weather.

See the National Weather Service for the Northern Adirondacks >>

View the National Weather Service for the Southern Adirondacks >>

Sunrise/Sunset Times

lake george sunset

After clocks spring forward, we are left with longer days and warmer temperatures. Although the sun is out longer, it does not mean that it won't be cold.

Some spring days have temperatures in the 40s or perhaps lower. Other spring days exceed 65 degrees!

It is crucial during any time of year to make a timeline and stick to it. Pack at least one headlamp (two headlamps is recommended) even if you expect to finish your hike or activity before sunset.

Water Levels & Water Crossings

Water levels are often above average for spring in the Adirondacks. It is expected that these water levels will rise as new rainfall occurs.

View current water data >>

Paddling Enthusiasts 

kayaking in adirondacks
Photo Credit: Mikhala Underwood

It is strongly suggested to have Personal Flotation Devices (PFD's), otherwise known as lifejackets, if you're planning a paddling trip. Here in the Adirondack region, a PDF is required by law between November 1 and May 1.

With colder water temperatures, be cautious when entering and exiting your kayak or canoe.

Be mindful of high water warnings and always choose a safer alternative, if possible. During your paddle, keep an eye out for any rocks, branches, or downed trees.

Watch for Bears

Motorists should be aware that bears are rutting at this time of year. Bears will be wandering around looking for food and walking into roads without paying attention to vehicles. Take precautions to avoid colliding with a bear.

No Overnight Camping at Trailheads

Just a reminder, there is no overnight camping at trailheads or at other roadside locations where a camping disc is not present. This includes car/van/RV camping.

Campers should seek out designated roadside campsites marked with a "camp here" disc, or a campground.

When camping, always carry out what you carry in and dispose of trash properly. Use designated bathroom facilities, or pack out human and pet waste, or dig a cat hole.

Trailhead Parking

an empty trailhead parking area

Be aware that there are many Adirondack trailhead parking areas that start to fill up quick in spring. With warmer days approaching, it is likely that more people will be spending their time on the trail. Be cognizant of this and always have a backup hike in mind.

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.

Follow This DEC Account

Hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts can follow @NYSDECAlerts on Twitter (X) 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.

For weekly trail updates, visit the DEC website >>

Make sure you Leave No Trace on the trails >>

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