While mud season is a sign that warm weather is here to stay, it can cause major inconveniences to those looking forward to hiking in the spring and summer. Anyone who will be kicking off summer by hiking in the Adirondacks should be aware of the safety hazards and environmental concerns regarding mud season and avoid trails over 3,000 feet in the Dix, Giant and High peaks Wilderness areas until mid-June.
Photo Credit: Mike Tracy
Just because the higher elevation hikes should be avoided doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy a great Adirondack hike! The DEC has recommended that hikers walk along trails at lower elevations such as Cascade Mountain, Porter Mountain (approach only from Cascade), Ampersand Mountain, Big Slide and The Brothers.
Which trails and areas should be avoided? Any peaks that don’t have trails should definitely not be hiked on. Also, try to stay off Algonquin, Feldspar, Gothics, Indian Pass, Lake Arnold cross-over, Marcy, Marcy Dam-Avalanche-Lake Colden, Phelps above John Brook Lodge, Range trail and Skylight.
In the Giant Mountain Wilderness area, stay away from trails above Giant’s Washbowl, “the Cobbles” and Owl’s head. Hikers should also avoid trails above Elk Lake and Round Pond in the Dix Mountain region.
In addition to the mud posing a threat to people, it can also damage the environment due to people hiking off-trail to avoid slippery or wet spots. If you were planning on hiking higher elevation trails, you should postpone your plans until later in the summer or hike along a lower elevation pathway until the mud dries.
If you have questions, you can call the forest rangers at 518-897-1300.
Spread the word to other hikers who may be heading for the mountains this weekend and happy hiking, everyone!