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Adirondack Hiking Conditions, Trails Notices & More to Know

Hiking Conditions for November 19 - 21, 2021

The weather is fluctuating as we transition from fall to winter, and there are some new trail notices to know about. Read the below to prepare for your hike in the Adirondacks, and have a great weekend!

snowy trail in woods

Here's the Weather Report (11/19/21 - 11/21/21)

Here's the current forecast:

  • Crown Point: Fri 43° and partly cloudy, Sat 43° and mostly sunny, Sun 48° and cloudy
  • Indian Lake: Fri 34° and snow showers, Sat 40° and mostly cloudy, Sun 43° and scattered showers
  • Keene: Fri 37° and cloudy, Sat 44° and mostly cloudy, Sun 48° and scattered showers
  • Lake George: Fri 44° and snow showers, Sat 45° and mostly cloudy, Sun 49° and scattered showers
  • Lake Placid: Fri 39° and partly cloudy, Sat 43° and rain and snow, Sun 42° and scattered showers
  • Long Lake: Fri 33° and snow showers, Sat 40° and mostly cloudy, Sun 43° and rain and snow
  • North Creek: Fri 37° and snow showers, Sat 40° and mostly cloudy, Sun 44° and scattered showers
  • Old Forge: Fri 34° and cloudy, Sat 39° and mostly cloudy, Sun 43° and scattered showers
  • Saranac Lake: Fri 33° and cloudy, Sat 40° and mostly cloudy, Sun 45° and scattered showers
  • Ticonderoga: Fri 44° and partly cloudy, Sat 42° and mostly cloudy, Sun 48° and cloudy
  • Tupper Lake: Fri 32° and snow showers, Sat 40° and mostly cloudy, Sun 45° and scattered showers

The DEC reminds us it's that time of year when the weather shifts from sun to rain to snow every few days - what some refer to as, "shoulder season," or transition season.

Prepare accordingly, and check the weather again before you head out:

See the National Weather Service for the Northern Adirondacks >>

View the National Weather Service for the Southern Adirondacks >>

Seek Lower-Elevation Trails

At this time it's advised to seek out trails on lower elevations, where you'll find drier, less severe conditions.

The DEC recommends Clements Pond, Moose Pond Trail, Lampson Falls Trail, Tirrell Pond Trail, Pharaoh Lake Loop Trail, or the Independence River Area Trail Network, although there are certainly many others.

The Sun Sets Earlier Now

With Daylight Saving Time and the associated earlier sunset it's easier than you think to get caught out after dark; forest rangers in the Adirondacks responded to several incidents this past weekend where people found themselves on the trail after dark without adequate light.

Always bring a headlamp, a flashlight, and extra batteries. Adequate light is essential for navigating  the words safely and successfully. Remember that your phone flashlight is not good enough, and will drain your battery quickly. 

Check sunrise and sunset times before your hike to best maximize daylight. This can also help you determine a "turnaround time," a point when you know you'll need to head back to the trailhead, even if you haven't yet reached your destination.

What's New With Trail Notices From the DEC

As of 11/19/21

In the High Peaks Wilderness & Giant Mountain Wilderness:

Expect snow and ice above where the elevation is above 2,500 feet, and very wet and muddy trail conditions below 2,500 feet. Some river crossings may be hazardous or impossible. Microspikes and/or crampons are necessary for travel above 2,500 feet. Expect full winter conditions at higher elevations.

In the Moose River Plains Complex:

The entrance gates to Moose River Plains will be closed after Big Game Hunting Season in the Northern Zone (December 13). The gates will re-open to snowmobile traffic when there is adequate snow.

In the Five Ponds Wilderness:

The footbridge over Glasby Creek located on the High Falls Loop/Cranberry Lake 50 Trail has recently been replaced.

The Darning Needle Pond, Fishpole Pond, and Olmstead Pond Trails recently received trail work including new drainage structures, hardening of wet sections of trail, and new trail markers.

The Olmstead Pond Trail, part of the Cranberry Lake 50 Trail, has several flooded sections near the pond due to beaver activity. Hikers should expect wet conditions that may require short bushwhacks around these flooded sections until the water levels recede.

In the Terry Mountain State Forest:

There is significant washout on Redd Road about a mile up from Patent Road.

As of 11/11/21

In the High Peaks Wilderness:

The Flowed Lands lean-to (on the west side of Flowed Lands) will be unavailable until further notice. The closure is expected to last several months. Lean2Rescue is rehabilitating the lean-to, and it should be reassembled this winter. The Calamity and Griffin lean-tos north and south of this location are available.

Trails are Wet, Winter Conditions re Present

Wear waterproof shoes and walk through mud, not around it. Gaiters help keep feet dry, and trekking poles provide added stability.

Be prepared for winter conditions, including snow and ice on high summits. Come prepared with warm, waterproof layers, extra layers, and proper gear. 

Mountain bikers are encouraged to avoid riding in muddy and wet conditions, because this significantly contributes to erosion and trail widening. As with hiking, ride through the center of the trail to avoid impacting trailside soils and plants.

Water Conditions in the Park

Water levels throughout the Adirondacks range from average to  above average. Personal flotation devices/life jackets are required to be worn on all pleasure vessels less than 21 feet long between November 1 and May 1. Where bridges are 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. 

Annual Arbor Day Poster Contest

The DEC's yearly Arbor Day Poster Contest is now underway! You have 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. 

Bring a Bear Canister if You're Camping 

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. 

Ticks are Still Out Despite Cold Temperatures

Wear light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants. Check clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors.

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.

Save This Number to Your Phone

If you get lost or injured, keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service, call 911 or the DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch at 833.697.7264.

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 11/19/21.

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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