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Current Interior Conditions in the Adirondack High Peaks Region

January 23rd, 2014 · Comments Off on Current Interior Conditions in the Adirondack High Peaks Region ·

Compiled on Thursday October 19, 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 forecasts and conditions can and do change quickly.

  • Check the current National Weather Service Forecast and be prepared for the forecasted conditions.
  • Carry extra clothing, equipment, and supplies in case of an unanticipated overnight stay.


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.

Autumn Conditions: Daytime temperatures are cool, nighttime temperatures may be below freezing – especially in the high elevations.

  • Plan accordingly, wear or carry extra layers of non-cotton clothing
  • Carry a headlamp or flashlight on all hikes.
  • Be sure to have fresh batteries and carry extras.
  • Do not depend on your cell phone as a flashlight, the batteries will drain quickly and you will be unable to call for help.

Fall Foliage: Leaves are past peak in most of the High Peaks Region especially in the higher elevations.

  • There are many other 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.

Hunting Season: The regular big game hunting season opens Saturday, many small game, and waterfowl hunting seasons are or will soon 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.

Trail Conditions: Trails are drying with the good weather and loss of leaves on trees.

  • Expect to still encounter wet and muddy conditions 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!!!
  • Many trails are covered with fallen leaves.
  • Wet or icy leaves can be very slippery, use caution when walking on leaves, particularly on steep sections of trail.

Summits: Temperatures will be cooler and winds will be stronger.

  • Be prepared, carry a non-cotton jacket, sweater or pullover.
  • Check the National Weather Service Mountain Point Forecasts for selected 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.

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).


Elk Lake Trails: The two trails through the Elk Lake Easement lands connecting to the High Peaks Wilderness and the Dix Mountain Wilderness, will be closed to the public on Saturday, October 21. The trails will remain closed throughout the regular big game hunting season and reopen on Monday, December 4.

Phelps Trail: The high water bridge over Slide Mountain Brook between the Garden Trailhead Parking Area and Johns Brook Lodge has been replaced by the Adirondack Mountain Club Trail Crew under contract with DEC.

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 remains available for public use on weekdays. Please stay on the trail and avoid trespassing on private lands.

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.

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


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

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