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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 May 25, 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.

Fire Danger: Low. The Fire Danger Map shows the current fire risk.

Memorial Day Holiday Weekend: Due to the three-day holiday weekend, trailhead parking lots may reach capacity early in the day and interior campsites be filled by Friday evening. Visitors are encouraged to explore less used areas of the Adirondacks. Hikes Outside the Adirondack High Peaks provides a list of alternative day hikes. (NOTE: This list include some hikes that should not be taken while the Muddy Trail Advisory is in effect.)

MUDDY TRAIL ADVISORY: Trails above 2,500 feet mix of mud, ice and snow as the ice melts and frost leaves the ground, making them slippery and vulnerable to erosion by hikers. Hikers can prevent damage to hiking trails and sensitive alpine vegetation by avoiding high elevation trails at this time. Hikers are advised to only use trails at lower elevations as these usually dry soon after snowmelt and are on less erosive soils than the higher peaks. The Muddy Trail Advisory provides additional information and a list of alternate hikes.

Trail Conditions: Trails are wet and muddy, especially in low spots and along waterways. Some trails along waterways may be covered by standing water.

Protect Trailside Vegetation: Stay on trails to protect vegetation and prevent further erosion of trails, especially in the higher elevations. Walk through mud and water, do not walk on the vegetation growing beside trails.

Water Crossings: Water levels are high and water crossings may be difficult.

Bear Resistant Canisters: Overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness must store all food, toiletries, and garbage in a bear resistant canisters. The use of bear resistant canisters is encouraged throughout the Adirondacks.

Biting Insects: Black flies and mosquitoes are out in the lower elevations. Follow these steps to minimize the nuisance of biting insects: Wear light colored 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 head net to wear when insects are abundant; and, Use an insect repellant with DEET, follow label directions.

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.

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

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

Lake Arnold to Feldspar Lean-to: Sections of the trail between Lake Arnold and the Feldspar Lean-to are underwater and impassable. Hikers should seek other routes.

Elk Lake Road: The road is open to public motor vehicle access to the trailhead parking area.

South Meadow Lane: The lane is open to public motor vehicle access.

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

High Peaks Information Center: The High Peaks Information Center (HPIC) at the Adirondak Loj Trailhead is open.

Rock Climbing Route Closures: All rock climbing routes on the Upper Washbowl Cliff, near Chapel Pond, are now open. All rock climbing routes on the Lower Washbowl Cliffs remain closed to allow peregrine falcons to nest and raise young.

Calamity Brook Trail: The high water bridge on the Calamity Trail is unsafe and unusable and should not be crossed. Crossing Calamity Brook, which is completely open at this time, without using the bridge will be difficult – especially with high water levels. On warm and rainy days water levels in the brook will be higher in the afternoon, plan accordingly. 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 in the spring.

Mt. Adams Fire Tower: The top landing on the Mt. Adams Fire Tower has been damaged by ice wind. Fencing and railings were broken off and the tower stairs and landings are slippery. The top landing and the cab are closed to the public at this time. DEC plans to repair the tower this year.

Lake Arnold/Feldspar Brook Trail: The trail is flooded and the bog bridging cannot be crossed. Alternate routes using other trails in the area can be used to avoid the trail. DEC is working to find a permanent solution to this section of trail in the near future.

Blueberry Hiking Trail: The first 1,500 feet of this trail in the Western High Peaks has been closed. The trail now connects with the Blueberry Horse Trail approximately 0.3 mile east of the previous location (0.8 mile from the Seward Trailhead). This reroute eliminates the need to hike through a large wet area and avoids hiking (and maintaining) more than 120 feet of bog bridging.

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 the spring of 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.

Whiteface Landing Trail: The trail has been rerouted to avoid private camps on Connery Pond. The new trail route starts at the small parking area just before the private gate. Please respect the private property and stay on the trail.

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:

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

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