Compiled on Thursday August 27, 2015
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.
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.
AVOID DEHYDRATION: DEC Forest Rangers and other field staff have had to assist numerous people suffering from varying degrees of dehydration this summer. Dizziness, confusion, weakness, cramping, and nausea are signs of dehydration. Be sure to carry plenty of water. It is better to drink moderate amounts of water often than large amounts of water occasionally. Rest, snack, and drink water often – especially in warm weather – to avoid dehydration.
Fire Danger Rating: Low. Never leave campfires unattended. Be sure campfires are completely out and embers are wet and cool.
Trail Conditions: Trails are wet and muddy due to rains the past few days, especially in low areas and along water. Wear waterproof footwear & gaiters, walk through – not around – mud and water on trails to avoid further eroding trails.
Water Levels: Water levels in streams rose with the recent rains but are dropping back to the average range for this time of year. Low water crossings are passable, but may not be during or immediately after thunderstorms or heavy rain.
Paddlers: PFDs should be worn by all paddlers and boaters in small boats. A PFD is required for each person in a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard (SUP). See the USGS Current Streamflow for New York Waters to check levels and flows of selected waters.
Biting Insects: Mosquitos, Deer Flies and No-see-ums (biting gnats) are decreasing in numbers but are still present throughout the Adirondacks. 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 at this time. 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 cooler and winds will be stronger. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits.
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).
Calamity Brook Trail: The High Water Bridge over Calamity Brook on the Calamity Brook Trail between the Upper Works and the Flowed Lands has been repaired by the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Program and can be used by hikers.
Opalescent Suspension Bridge: The suspension bridge over the Opalescent River on the trail from Lake Colden to Mt. Marcy has been repaired by the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Program and can be used by hikers.
Whiteface Mountain: Hikers climbing Whiteface Mountain should not depend on obtaining water at the summit. Be sure to carry enough water to reach the summit and return to the trailhead to stya comfortable and not suffer from dehydration.
Raquette River Trail (Western High Peaks): The trail between Hemlock Hill and Palmer Brook that had been washed out has been repaired and is usable by hikers and horses.
Lake Arnold Trail: The trail between Lake Arnold and Feldspar Lean-to is very wet and muddy but passable. The trail has dried up enough that the bog bridging is usable. Flooding may occur immediately after heavy rains making the bridging difficult to use. Expect to get your feet wet and muddy when traversing some portions of the trail where bog bridging is not present. Use Avalanche Pass/Lake Colden Trail or Mt. Colden Trail to travel between Lake Arnold and Feldspar Lean-to if you want to avoid this trail.
Avalanche Lake Outlet Bridge: The bridge over the Avalanche Lake Outlet has been replaced.
Lake Colden to Marcy Trail: A 10-foot section of trail near Uphill Lean-to along the Opalescent River above Lake Colden was washed out during heavy rains. Hikers can get around it by going through the trees but should use caution when doing so.
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
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