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Entries Tagged as 'wilderness'

Hoffman Notch Wilderness Area Forest Cover Types

February 15th, 2012 · No Comments · Miscellania

From the Final Draft Management Plan.

Hoffman Notch Wilderness Area Forest Cover Type

Download: (PDF 543kb)

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Final Draft Management Plan for Hoffman Notch Wilderness Released

February 15th, 2012 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Plan Identifies Improvements to Public Access and Recreational Opportunities

ALBANY, NY – The release of the Proposed Final Draft of the Hoffman Notch Wilderness Unit Management Plan (UMP) was announced by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) today.

NYSDEC LogoDEC staff will present the Proposed Final UMP to the APA Board at their monthly meeting on February 16. A first reading of the UMP will be presented to the State Land Committee at 1 pm for them to consider the UMP’s compliance with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan (SLMP). A determination of compliance with the SLMP will be made by the APA Board at their monthly meeting in March. APA will accept public comments on SLMP compliance for the proposals contained in the draft UMP. Public comments will be accepted until 12:00 PM on Wednesday, March 7. The final step in the process is approval of the UMP by DEC.

“The release of the final draft unit management plan for the Hoffman Notch Wilderness is another significant milestone in DEC’s efforts to improve public access and ensure the protection of the Adirondacks for future generations,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “Input from the public and local representatives assisted greatly in the development of the plan. If approved, the proposals in the plan will better protect the natural resources of the Hoffman Notch Wilderness, make the wilderness more enjoyable for visitors and become more of an asset to area communities.”

“The Agency eagerly looks forward to hear from all stakeholders regarding Master Plan compliance for this unit management plan,” said APA Chairwoman Leilani Ulrich said. “The Hoffman Notch Wilderness Area is a magnificent place deserving of a well thought out and comprehensive plan. We applaud DEC and APA State Land staff for their efforts in developing this Unit Management Plan. ”

Hoffman Notch Wilderness Area - LocationThe Hoffman Notch Wilderness consists of 38,500 acres of forest preserve lands in the Towns of North Hudson, Minerva and Schroon Lake in southern Essex County. It is situated near the communities of Newcomb, North Hudson, Schroon Lake, Minerva and Olmstedville. The unit is generally bounded on the north by the Boreas Road, on the east by the Adirondack Northway, on the south by Hoffman Road, and on the west by the boundary of Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest.

The Hoffman Notch Wilderness offers many recreational opportunities, including but not limited to hiking, cross country skiing, camping, canoeing, hunting, trapping and fishing. With more than 18 miles of marked trails available, the public can easily reach a variety of natural attractions such as Hoffman Notch and Mt. Severance, as well as popular fishing locations at Bailey Pond or Big Pond. Other scattered water bodies providing additional recreational uses include Big Marsh, North Pond, Sand Pond and Marion Pond.

The UMP proposes to develop an approximately 12.5-mile segment of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST), including 6.6 miles of newly constructed trail, through the southern portion of the Hoffman Notch Wilderness. Associated to the NCNST, the plan also proposes to construct a lean-to near Platt Brook and a primitive campsite on Bailey Pond.

NCNST is a proposed 4,600 mile non-motorized trail system from Lake Sakakawea, ND to Lake Champlain, NY. One of eight federally designated National Scenic Trails, the Adirondack portion of the NCNST will stretch 140 miles and connect with a number of Adirondack communities. More information on the Adirondack portion of the NCNST can be found at:

Additional management actions proposed by DEC in the UMP include:

  • Officially designating the path south of Big Pond as a DEC trail that connects to the Big Pond Trail, creating a hiking and cross country skiing loop trail system between Hoffman Road and Loch Muller Road;
  • Constructing foot bridges over Hoffman Notch Brook near north end of Hoffman Notch Trail and over East Branch on the Big Pond Trail;
  • Rerouting 1/4 mile portion of Hoffman Notch Trail north of Big Marsh to west side of Hoffman Notch Brook;
  • Constructing an approximately 4-mile section of trail on eastern portion of unit connecting Hoffman Road with Route 9 which may also serve as part of the NCNST;
  • Constructing an improved parking area along the Blue Ridge Road to serve as the northern trailhead for the Hoffman Notch Trail;
  • Constructing an improved parking area with signs and trail register along west side of Route 9;
  • Designating two primitive tent sites on Big Pond and one primitive tent site on North Pond; and
  • Improving the accessibility of trails to Bailey Pond and a portion of the Big Pond trail.
  • UMPs are required by the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan for each unit of State land in the Adirondack Park. The plans integrate the goals and objectives of the State Land Master Plan, related legislation, and resource and visitor use information into a single document.

The UMP is available for viewing or downloading from the Adirondack Park Agency website at:

Please address all written comments pertaining to State Land Master Plan compliance to:

Jim Connolly
Deputy Director of Planning
NYS Adirondack Park Agency
P.O. Box 99
Ray Brook, NY 12977

Comments must be received by 12:00 PM on Wednesday, March 7.

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DEC Warns Hikers About Hazardous Conditions

August 31st, 2011 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Many Backcountry Trails in Adirondacks and Catskills Closed Due to Hurricane Irene Impacts

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today issued a warning that unsafe conditions will remain in much of the backcountry of the Adirondacks and Catskills through Labor Day Weekend. Several trail areas are closed or inaccessible due to Hurricane Irene storm damage include flooding, bridge wash outs, trail wash outs and blow down of trees and other debris.

“We are asking the public’s cooperation in coping with the devastating effects from Hurricane Irene,” said Commissioner Martens. “In the interest of public safety, we have closed several backcountry trail areas in the Catskills and Eastern Adirondacks due to extensive damage and hazardous conditions. We encourage the public to check the DEC website for current trail conditions and campground closures before planning their travels this coming holiday weekend.”


Due to the extent of the damage and to ensure public safety, DEC has closed the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, Giant Mountain Wilderness and Dix Mountain Wilderness through Labor Day Weekend and beyond. Over the next several weeks DEC will be evaluating the conditions of all trails in the closed areas, prioritize work to rehabilitate trails and determine what trails may be reopened for public use.

Many mountain areas have been impacted by landslides. Mt. Colden, Trap Dike, Wright Peak, Skylight, Basin, Armstrong, Upper and Lower Wolf Jaws, Dix, Macomb, Giant and Cascade Mountains and many existing slides widened and/or lengthened. The threat of additional slides exists on these and other mountains remains in effect.

Although a full assessment of the recreational infrastructure in all areas of the Adirondacks has not been completed, the following hazards are confirmed:

  • The footbridge over Marcy Dam has washed away and the flush boards have been damaged;
  • Marcy Dam Truck Trail has 4 major washouts;
  • The first bridge on the western end of the Klondike Notch Trail washed downstream to South Meadows Trail;
  • Washouts on the Van Hoevenberg (Mt. Marcy) trail are 1 to 3 ft deep;
  • Along the Avalanche Pass Trail from Marcy Dam, Marcy Brook jumped its banks and caused widespread damage to the trail;
  • One side of the Duck Hole Dam has washed away and the pond has dewatered;
  • Calamity Trail from Lake Colden is impassible south of McMartin Lean-to.

Lesser amounts of damage can be found on Adirondack Forest Preserve lands south and north of these areas. However, hikers and campers should expect to encounter flooding, bridge wash outs, trail wash outs and blow down when entering the backcountry. Plan accordingly and be prepared to turn back when conditions warrant. Updated information on trail closures and trail conditions in the Eastern Adirondacks can be found at: Adirondack Trail Information

Areas in the Western Adirondacks are reported in fairly good condition though some flooding and blowdown can be expected. Most DEC campgrounds in the Adirondacks are expected to be open for Labor Day Weekend with many available sites.


Trails in the Catskill backcountry have also been impacted and the public is advised to avoid the backcountry at this time. Due to damage to roads, many trailheads and other access points to the backcountry are inaccessible.


Many DEC Campgrounds in the Adirondacks and the Catskills experienced significant damage from the storm including flooded areas, road destruction, and loss of electric and water service. Despite progress in restoring services, a number of campgrounds may be closed or have limited availability of campsites over Labor Day Weekend.

The following temporary campground closures are in effect:

Catskill Preserve: Mongaup Pond, Kenneth Wilson, Woodland Valley, Bear Spring Mountain, Devils Tombstone (closed until 9/14/2011), and Beaverkill (Closed for remainder of the season).

Adirondack Preserve: Little Sand Point, Poplar Point, Point Comfort, Lake Durant, Ausable Point, Paradox Lake, and Putnam Pond. All other campgrounds are open and operating.

A complete, updated list of closed campgrounds can be found on the DEC website at: Hurricane Irene Safety and Cleanup Information.

The public should be aware that many state and local roads may be inaccessible to travel and access to campground areas could be limited. Those planning to visit the Adirondack or Catskill regions this weekend call ahead or check for road closure information at the Department of Transportation’s webpage:

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