The weather is warming up and many of us are gearing up for a great Adirondack hiking season. While trails are drying up in the lower elevations, the DEC is asking hikers to stay clear of certain high peaks and higher elevation trails for the time being.
Photo credit: Carl Heilman
Why? Higher elevations are still covered in slowly melting ice. These steep trails typically become a combination of ice and mud, making them slippery and dangerous to hikers.
Additionally, the mix of mud and melting ice can leave the trails and vegetation delicate and vulnerable to damage by hikers.
The DEC is specifically asking hikers to avoid trails above 2,500 feet, especially high elevation trails in the High Peaks Wilderness Area, Dix Mountain Wilderness Area, and the Giant Mountain Wilderness Area in the northern Adirondacks.
Please avoid the following trails above 2,500 feet in the High Peaks Wilderness Area:
- Indian Pass
- Lake Arnold Cross-Over
- Marcy Dam (Avalanche and Lake Colden)
- Phelps Trail above John Brook Lodge
- Range Trail
- All trail-less peaks
Hiking around Marcy Dam, Lake Avalanche, and Lake Colden is especially wet and dangerous.
Please avoid the following in the Dix Mountain Wilderness Area:
- All trails above Elk Lake
- All trails above Round Pond
Please avoid the following in the Giant Mountain Wilderness Area:
- All trails above Giant’s Washbowl
- All trails above “The Cobbles”
- All trails above Owl’s Head
Hikers are advised to use only trails at lower elevations, as they usually dry sooner after the snowmelt and have less erosive soils.
The DEC is suggesting alternative hiking trails for the time being (still subject to weather conditions).
Recommended in the High Peaks Wilderness:
- Ampersand Mountain
- Mount Jo
- Mount Van Hoevenberg
- Owl’s Head
Recommended in the Giant Mountain Wilderness:
- Giant’s Washbow
- Ow’s Head Lookout
- Roaring Brook Falls
Recommended in the Hurricane Mountain Wilderness:
- The Crows
- Hurricane Mountain from Route 9N
Recommended in the Jay Mountain Wilderness:
- Jay Mountain
Recommended in the McKenzie Mountain Wilderness:
- Baker Mountain
- Haystack Mountain
- McKenzie Mountain
Recommended in the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest
- Floodwood Mountain
- Panther Mountain
- Scarface Mountain
Enjoy a great hiking season, respect the trails and be safe out there!