Compiled on Thursday October 20, 2016
Please be advised of the following conditions and prepare for them to ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor recreational experience.
Weather forecasts and conditions can and do change quickly. Check current weather conditions and short-term forecast before entering the backcountry at: NWS Forecast Office BTV.
Electronic Technology: Do not depend on electronic technology in the backcountry. Cell phone coverage is spotty at best and often non-existent. GPS signal can be poor under heavy tree cover. Batteries can expire. Plan and prepare before entering the backcountry and carry a map & compass for navigation or at least as backup.
Fire Danger: Low.
Rain and Snow: Significant amounts of rain, sleet, and snow are forecast through the weekend. Snow will accumulate in the higher elevations. Check the current National Weather Service Forecast and the National Weather Service NERFC Snow Page for the latest snow conditions.
Summits: Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger, and snow will be present on summits. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits. Check the National Weather Service Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits.
Trail Conditions: Trails will be wet and muddy in the lower elevations and be covered in snow and ice in the higher elevations – with mixed conditions in between. Wet leaves, snow and ice provide a slippery surface on trails – wear proper footwear and traction devices. Snowshoes may be warranted in the higher elevations. Remain on trails; walk through mud & water and on snow & ice to prevent further eroding trails and damaging trailside vegetation.
Avoid Hypothermia: Wet and cold are ideal conditions for hypothermia.
- Wear waterproof outer layers.
- Wear layers of fleece, wool, and other non-cotton clothing.
- Pack extra clothing including a fleece, wool or other non-cotton jacket or sweater.
- Add or remove layers to maintain a comfortable body temperature.
- Wear cold weather hat and gloves (or mittens).
- Eat, drink and rest often.
Shorter Days: Autumn has arrived the sun sets earlier each day. Sunset is around 6:00 pm, earlier in deep valleys and on northern and eastern facing slopes. It will become darker sooner when cloudy. Plan to return to the trailhead by sunset but always carry a flashlight or headlamp just in case.
Water Levels: Water levels are low but will rise with the forecasted precipitation. Use caution when traversing low water crossings and drainages.
Autumn Foliage: Track the changing colors of the leaves in the Adirondacks
Hunting Seasons: The regular Northern Zone Big Game hunting season opens this weekend. Small game and waterfowl hunting seasons are also open. Hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters bearing firearms or archery equipment while hiking on trails. Please recognize that these are fellow outdoor recreationists with the legal right to participate in these activities on the Forest Preserve. Hunting accidents involving non-hunters are extremely rare. Hikers can wear bright colors as an extra precaution if it makes them more comfortable.
NOTE: Fires are prohibited in Eastern High Peaks Wilderness Zone
NOTE: Group size regulations are in effect throughout the High Peaks Wilderness. Group size for overnight campers is 8 or less and for day use it is 15 or less.
Be Prepared Before Entering the Back Country:
Check (before entering the backcountry)
- Local Forest Ranger for current information.
- Current weather conditions and short-term forecast
- Appropriate outer wear and foot wear
- Layers of non-cotton clothes
- Map and compass and know how to use them and use them!
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Plenty of food and water
- Extra clothes and socks
- Rain gear
- Ensolite pad to rest on and insulate your body from cold surfaces
- Bivy sack or space blankets for extra warmth
Always inform someone of your itinerary and when you expect to return
Please be aware that accessing the Forest Preserve through the rest areas is prohibited. In accordance with New York State Regulation §156.3(d), vehicles may not be left unattended in the rest area, unless the operator or passenger is within the rest area. Also parking of vehicles for longer than three hours during the hours of darkness is not permitted in accordance with §156.3(c).
Lake Arnold/Feldspar Brook Trail: The trail is flooded and the bog bridging cannot be crossed. Alternate routes using other trails in the area can be used to avoid the trail. DEC is working to find a permanent solution to this section of trail in the near future.
Garden Trailhead Parking Area: The town of Keene operates the Garden Parking Area and charges a $7/day fee for parking. Hikers should use an envelope and the collection slot to pay all other times.
Blueberry Hiking Trail: The first 1,500 feet of this trail in the Western High Peaks has been closed. The trail now connects with the Blueberry Horse Trail approximately 0.3 mile east of the previous location (0.8 mile from the Seward Trailhead). This reroute eliminates the need to hike through a large wet area and avoids hiking (and maintaining) more than 120 feet of bog bridging.
Blueberry Horse Trail: The trail between the Calkins Creek Horse Trail and Ward Brook Horse Trail in the Western High Peaks contains extensive blowdown, is grown in with vegetation and is poorly marked. The trail is impassable to horses making it impossible to complete the Cold River Horse Trail Loop. DEC intends to work on the trail this fall.
Phelps Trail: The high water bridge over Slide Mountain Brook between the Garden Trailhead Parking Area and Johns Brook Lodge is broken and unusable.
Whiteface Landing Trail: The trail has been rerouted to avoid private camps on Connery Pond. The new trail route starts at the small parking area just before the private gate. Please respect the private property and stay on the trail.
State Route 73 Bridgework: The Department of Transportation is working on several bridges on State Route 73 between St. Hubert’s and Alstead Hill Road west of Keene. There is single lane with traffic lights and/or flaggers on most bridges – expect and plan for delays.
Connery Pond/Whiteface Landing/West Branch Ausable River: Construction is occurring through November 1 on the State Route 86 Bridge over the West Branch Ausable River about three miles northeast of Lake Placid. Parking near the bridge is restricted and hikers accessing Whiteface Landing should use alternate parking areas. Paddlers are advised to find an alternate takeout and are discouraged from paddling under the bridge. Entering the construction site or staging area is prohibited. Pedestrians crossing the road should use the marked crosswalk.
Corey’s Road: Logging trucks are using the road. Listen and watch for trucks while on the road or when entering the road from trailhead parking areas.
Bradley Pond Trail: The first and second foot bridges on the Bradley Pond Trail are damaged and unusable. The stream can be forded /rock hopped on the downstream side of the bridge sites.
Courtesy of DEC Region 5