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Current Interior Conditions in the Adirondack High Peaks Region

Compiled on Thursday May 28, 2015

Please be advised of the following conditions and prepare for them to ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor recreational experience.

This information focuses on the High Peaks Region, for more information or for information on other areas, visit the DEC Adirondack Trail Information web pages.

WEATHER FORECAST

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.

NWS Current Weekend Forecast: Friday Night – clear, temperatures in the high 50s; Saturday – Thunderstorms are likely, temperatures in the low 70s; Saturday Night – Thunderstorms, temperatures in the low 40s; Sunday – Chance of showers, temperatures in the mid 50s. Prepare, dress and pack properly for these conditions.

Thunderstorm Safety: Avoid summits and other open areas during thunderstorms. Find a low spot away from tall trees, seek an area of shorter trees and crouch down away from tree trunks.

INTERIOR CONDITIONS

Backcountry Conditions

Plan ahead – bring flashlight, first aid equipment, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Always be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods.

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.

Muddy Trail Advisory: Hikers are advised to avoid trail above 3,000 feet due to wet, muddy & snowy conditions to avoid further eroding trails and destroying sensitive vegetation. Please use trails at lower elevations during the spring mud season. The Muddy Trail Advisory press release has additional information and a list of alternate trails.

Trail Conditions: Trails may be wet and muddy especially in low areas and along water. Wear waterproof footwear and gaiters, and remember to walk through – not around – mud and water on trails to avoid further eroding trails.

Biting Insects: Black Flies and Mosquitos are present at all elevations. Follow these steps to minimize the nuisance of biting insects: wear light colored clothing, long sleeve shirts, and long pants; tuck shirts into pants, button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist, and tuck the bottom of pant legs into your socks; pack a headnet to wear when insects are thick; and use an insect repellant with DEET and follow the label directions.

Bear-Resistant Canisters: The use of bear-resistant canisters is required for overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1 and November 30. All food, toiletries and garbage must be stored in bear-resistant canisters. DEC encourages the use of bear-resistant canisters throughout the Adirondacks.

Summits: Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger and packed snow may be present on trails. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits.

Water Levels & Temperatures: Water levels are running below normal spring flows, but water temperatures are cool. A person in the water will quickly lose the ability to keep their head above water without a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). PFDs should be worn by all paddlers and boaters in small boats. See the USGS Current Streamflow for New York Waters to check levels and flows of selected waters.

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

Wear

  • Appropriate outer wear and foot wear
  • Layers of non-cotton clothes

Carry

  • Map and compass and know how to use them and use them!
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Plenty of food and water

Pack

  • 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).

NOTICES

The Garden Trailhead: The road to the trailhead is open and the Town of Keene is collecting parking fees.

More here: Garden Parking and Hiker Shuttle Schedule

Corey’s Road: The road is now open to public motor vehicle traffic.

Clear Pond Gate: The Clear Pond Gate is open and the Elk Lake Road is open to public motor vehicle traffic to the Elk Lake Trailhead.

South Meadow Road: The road is open to public motor vehicle traffic.

Avalanche Lake Outlet: The bridge on Avalanche Lake Outlet is washed away. During low water rock hopping will be necessary to cross, during high waters crossing will require getting wet.

Marshall Herd Paths: The herd paths on Marshall do not lead to the summit. Those climbing these peaks should navigate with a map and compass rather than follow the paths created by others.

Closed Campsite: The designated campsite on Big Slide Mountain Brook in Johns Brook Valley near the intersection with the Phelps Trail has been permanently closed due to site degradation. Other designated campsites are located across from the Howard Lean-to and just past Johns Brook Lodge. Signs on the hiking trail direct hikers to these sites.

Bradley Pond Trail: The first foot bridge on the Bradley Pond Trail has been dropped and is unusable. The stream can be forded /rock hopped most of time on the downstream side of the bridge site.

Northville-Placid Trail: The trail contains a large area of blowdown near the Seward Lean-to. A detour around the blowdown has been marked with pink flagging.

Courtesy of DEC Region 5

MORE INFO:

Adirondack High Peaks Wilderness Hiking and Camping Rules

Adirondack Snow Conditions and Resources

Adirondack Trail Information – NYSDEC

Adirondack Trails High Peaks Region – The Essential Trail Guide

Bear Resistant Canister Regulation – NYSDEC

Garden Parking and Hiker Shuttle Schedule

Detailed Weather Forecast – Plattsburgh, Lake Placid, Tupper Lake, Old Forge, Lake George