Compiled on Thursday April 28, 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.
Early Spring Conditions: Daytime temperatures are forecast to be in the 40s & 50s, nighttime temperatures will be below freezing. Snow and rain showers are forecasted for Sunday. SNOW AND ICE ARE STILL PRESENT IN THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS.
Mud & Water on Trails: Middle elevation trails will be muddy & wet. All hikers should wear waterproof footwear and gaiters. Remain on trails; walk through mud & water to protect trails. Walking around erodes trails and damages trailside vegetation.
Ice on Trails: Trails are icy in the high elevations where snow was compacted through the winter. All hikers should carry micro-spikes or other traction devices and wear when warranted. Remain on trails; walk on ice to protect trails. Walking around erodes trails and damages trailside vegetation.
Snow on Trails: A foot or more of snow is present above 3,500 feet and at lower elevations on north facing slopes and wooded areas. Snow pack off trail is soft and in some locations on the trails. Carry snowshoes as a precaution when hiking above 3,500 feet.
Water Crossings: Water levels in rivers and streams are high and temperatures cold. Melt water is flowing in drainages. Crossings that are passable in the morning may not be in the afternoon.
Ice on Water: Ice is out on all waters.
Water Levels and Temps: Waters levels are high but well below average for this time of year. Water temperatures are cold. A person falling into the water could quickly lose the ability to keep their head above water. People boating or paddling should wear a personal flotation device (PFD) at all times. PFDs are required to be worn by all people in watercraft less than 21 feet in length until May 1st.
Summits: Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger, and ice and snow will be present. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits.
Blowdown: Blowdown (fallen or hanging trees, limbs, and branches) may be found on trails, especially on trails in the higher elevations and less used trails.
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).
Whiteface Landing Trail: Construction is occurring on the State Route 86 Bridge over the West Branch Ausable River about three miles northeast of Lake Placid. Construction is expected to continue unit November 1st. Parking near the bridge will be restricted. Hikers accessing Whiteface Landing are discouraged from using the parking areas near the bridge. Paddlers using that section of the river are advised to find an alternant takeout. Paddlers are discouraged from paddling under the bridge during the construction period. Entering the construction site or staging area are not allowed. Anyone parking near the bridge should use caution when pulling out of the parking area. Pedestrians crossing the road should use the marked crosswalk.
Corey’s Road: The last 3 miles of the road remain closed to public motor vehicle traffic until the end of the spring mud season. The gate at the Raquette Falls Trailhead remains closed.
Elk Lake Road: The Clear Pond Gate on the Elk Lake road remains closed until the end of spring mud season. This will add four miles of travel round trip, plan accordingly.
South Meadow Lane: The barriers near the entrance at the Loj Road remain and South Lane remains closed until the end of the spring mud season. Vehicles may park at the barriers to access to the Mt. VanHovenberg Trail, the Marcy Truck Trail and the Klondike Trail. Do not block the gap in the barrier, it is used by emergency vehicles.
Table Top Mountain Herd Path: The start of the Tabletop Mountain Herd Path on the VanHovenberg Trail to Mt. Marcy has been moved 150 feet closer to Indian Falls.
Ward Brook Truck Trail: The Ward Brook Truck Trail is flooded due to beaver activity just north of the junction with the Northville-Placid Trail.
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.
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.
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.
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