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Current Interior Conditions in the Adirondack High Peaks Region

Compiled on Thursday September 14, 2017

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.

INTERIOR CONDITIONS

Backcountry Conditions

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.

Practice Leave No Trace: Please abide by the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace when recreating in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks.

Late Summer: Temperatures are cooling, days are shortening, and the sun sets earlier each day. Plan accordingly, wear or carry extra layers of non-cotton clothing and carry a headlamp or flashlight on all hikes. Be sure to have fresh batteries and carry extras.

Fall Foliage: Leaves are changing colors in the Adirondacks. Expect to encounter many people on trails and waters every weekend through the Columbus Day Holiday Weekend. Boat launches, trailhead parking lots, and interior campsites will fill early, especially if the weather is nice. There are many beautiful places to view the fall foliage in the Adirondacks; seek out backcountry recreation opportunities in some of the lesser used areas. Hikes Outside the High Peaks describes alternative day hikes.

Stevens Search: DEC Forest Rangers and others are searching for Alex Stevens in Indian Pass. The search efforts include ground and helicopter activities. Hikers are asked to avoid all search operation activity.

Hunting Season: Early Bear Hunting Season opens Saturday. 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.

Trail Conditions: Trails remain wet and muddy, especially along waterways, in low areas, and above 3,000 feet. Walk through mud and water – not around – to protect trailside vegetation and prevent further erosion of trails. It’s not hiking (or fun) if your hiking shoes don’t get muddy!!!

Summits: Temperatures will be cooler and winds will be stronger. Check the National Weather Service Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits.

Thunderstorm Safety: Avoid summits, water surfaces and other open areas during thunderstorms. As soon as you are first aware of an approaching thunderstorm move to lower elevations, head to shore or otherwise seek shelter. If caught outside in a thunderstorm find a low spot away from tall trees, seek an area of shorter trees and crouch down away from tree trunks.

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

Volunteer to Work on Panther Peak: DEC is seeking 13 volunteers to work with the High Peaks Land Manager on the summit of Panther Peak from 10 am to 2:30 pm on Saturday, September 23. Work will include carrying and placing rocks on the summit as well as carrying some tools, signs and small materials to the summit of the mountain and off the mountain at the end of the day. If you are interested, contact us by email .

Cold Brook Trail: The Cold Brook Trail between Indian Pass and Lake Colden is no longer a designated trail and is not maintained. It has not been a designated trail since Tropical Storm Irene.

Owls Head: The trail across private lands to the summit is closed to public access and use on weekends, but is still available for public use on weekdays. Please stay on the trail and avoid trespassing on private lands.

Marcy Dam: A crew of Student Conservation Backcountry Stewards and the DEC High Peaks Trail Crew are working on dismantling Marcy Dam into mid-September. This is the third year of a five-year project to dismantle the dam in a manner that minimizes the movement of sediments into Marcy Brook. The public is asked to stay out of the designated work areas and to not disturb equipment whether crews are there working or not.

Avalanche Lake Trail: DEC and Student Conservation Association Adirondack Programs have replaced the “Hitch-up Matildas” – the bridging on the cliff face along the lake – and Avalanche Lake Trail is open.

Lake Arnold/Feldspar Brook Trail: The trail is wet and muddy but passable.

Calamity Brook Trail: The high water bridge on the Calamity Trail is unsafe and unusable, and should not be crossed. Crossing Calamity Brook without using the bridge will be difficult – especially with high water levels. After rain, water levels in the brook will be higher. The East River Trail (aka the Opalescent River/Hanging Spear Falls Trail) can be used to access the Flowed Lands and Lake Colden. It is an additional 3.7 miles one-way to reach the Flowed Lands using this route. DEC will work to stabilize and repair the high water bridge later this season.

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 worked in the fall of 2016 to open up about 75% of the trail. During 2017, work will continue to open the trail back up.

Phelps Trail: The high water bridge over Slide Mountain Brook between the Garden Trailhead Parking Area and Johns Brook Lodge broke in spring of 2016 and the remains were removed. Materials were flown to the site so a new bridge can be built in 2017.

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

MORE INFO:

High Peaks Wilderness Hiking and Camping Rules

Leave No Trace in the Adirondack Forest Preserve

Adirondack Snow Conditions and Resources

NYSDEC Hiking, Camping and Paddling Resources

Garden Parking and Hiker Shuttle Schedule

ADKHighPeaks and Adirondack Forum

Aspiring Adirondack 46ers Hiking Discussion

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