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Trail Conditions

Click for Lake Placid, New York Forecast
Current Conditions in the Adirondack High Peaks Region
Compiled on: APR 23, 2015
 
Backcountry Conditions: Wilderness conditions can change suddenly. Weather conditions  and forecasts can and do change, check current weather conditions and short-term forecast before entering the backcountry. All users should plan accordingly, including bringing flashlight, first aid equipment, extra food, plenty of water and clothing. Weather conditions may alter your plans; 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 expire quickly in cold temperatures. Plan and prepare before entering the backcountry and carry a map & compass for navigation or at least as backup.

Road & Traffic Information: The Route 86 bridge in Wilmington is closed for repairs. It is scheduled to reopen June 1. A detour route has been established using Springfield Road and Fox Farm Road. Businesses along Route 86 remain open while the bridge is being repaired. Use the link in the right column to visit NYS Department of Transportation 511 New York for information on transportation services, traffic, and road conditions throughout New York State.

The Town of Keene will begin charging for parking at The Garden Trailhead beginning Friday, April 24. The Town has reopened the road.

Early Spring Conditions: Daytime high temperatures are forecast to be mainly in the 40s. Nighttime temperatures will drop below freezing. Snow and rain showers are forecast through the weekend. The middle and higher elevations will continue to receive new snow through the weekend - up to 3-6 inches. Dress and pack properly to avoid being cold & wet. Carry extra layers of non-cotton clothing. Put on and remove layers to keep comfortable. Wear a water & wind resistant outer layer.

Snow: Snow remains present in the higher elevations - more than a foot at 2,700 feet and 2 feet or more at higher elevations!

Trail Conditions: Trails are muddy and wet in the lower elevations, but may be hard and icy in the morning. Middle elevations are a transition zone of water, mud, snow and ice. Snow on trails will be hard in the morning and soft when it warms. Watch for ice and snow falling from exposed, ledge areas.

Snowshoes & Traction Devices: Carry both snowshoes and traction devices. Snowshoes are required in the High Peaks - and should be worn elsewhere - when snow depths exceed 8 inches and the snowpack is soft! Traction devices may be necessary in the early morning and in the higher elevations. The use of snowshoes avoids "post-holing", eases travel, and prevents injuries. Skiing conditions are poor to fair.

Summits: Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger and snow is present and deep! Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits or in heavy falling and blowing snow. Use the link near the bottom of the right column to view the National Weather Service "NWS Mountain Forecasts" for selected summits in this area.

Rivers, Streams and Drainages: Water levels are running a normal high spring flows, currents are swift and water temps are cold. A person in the water will quickly lose the ability to keep their head above water without a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). PFDs must be worn by all paddlers and boaters in boats less than 21 feet in length until May 1st. Use the link near the bottom of the right column to check levels and flows of selected waters at the USGS Current Streamflow for New York Waters.

Ice on Water: Ice is thinning and opening up around shorelines, inlets and outlets. Slush and water are present on top of the ice on most waters. No ice should be considered safe at this time.

Snow Information:

•Snowpack is softening and provides little support off packed trails
•Snowpack depths are decreasing steadily but not quickly
•If you are plan to travel in avalanche terrain be sure to:

◦Carry essential equipment - Avalanche transceiver/beacon, Shovel, & Collapsible or ski-pole probe;
◦Dig test pits;
◦Remember the red flags;
◦Travel safely; and
◦Have a self-rescue plan and the tools to accomplish it.
◦Just because you see a ski or boot track on an avalanche slope doesn't mean one cannot occur. Make your own decisions.

•Be sure you are Prepared for Avalanches before entering avalanche terrain.

Blowdown: Blowdown may be present on trails, especially lesser used secondary trails.

Avoid Hypothermia: Stay dry and warm. Drink plenty of water, eat food and rest often.

Fire Danger:  Campfires and wood burning stoves are prohibited in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness.

Trap Dike: Water is running down the Trap Dike under and through the snow and ice.

Avalanche Pass Slide: The Avalanche Pass Slide is closed to public recreation of any type through the winter.

Jay Mountain: Crampons should be carried and worn when warranted on the ridgeline trail of Jay Mountain

Lake Colden & Avalanche Lake: Avoid the area immediately around inlets and outlets. Tracks indicate that many people on snowshoes continue to break through the ice at Avalanche Lake outlet.

Adk Loj to Lake Colden Trail Conditions: Snowshoes or skis are required on all trails.

Hunting Seasons: Hunting seasons for big game, small game and waterfowl are open or will open soon. Northern Zone Regular Big Game Season opened Saturday, October 25.  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. There is no record of a hunting related shooting incident in New York State involving a hiker.

Bear Resistant Canisters: The use of bear-resistant canisters is required for all overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness and highly recommended in all other locations. Nuisance bear activity has been reported in the Lake Colden area. All food, toiletries and garbage must be stored in a bear-resistant canister.

Group Size: DEC regulation restricts group size in the High Peaks Wilderness to no more than 15 hikers (day users) or 8 campers (overnight users) and encourages this practice to be followed in other wildernesses. Large groups have significantly more impact on the trails, natural resources and other users.

Dogs on Leash: Dog owners are reminded that dogs must be leashed in the Eastern Zone of the High Peaks when on trails, at primitive tent sites, at lean-to sites, everywhere above 4,000 feet, or at other areas where the public congregates. It is recommended dogs be kept leashed in most areas for the safety of your dog, the protection of wildlife and as a courtesy to fellow hikers.

BE PREPARED BEFORE ENTERING THE BACK COUNTRY:
Know: Your own physical capabilities, knowledge of backcountry recreation and skill level.  

           The distance you plan to travel and the terrain and conditions you will encounter.
Check: For current information before entering the backcountry (518-897-1300).
            Current weather conditions and short-term forecast.
Wear:   Appropriate outer wear and foot wear.
            Layers of non-cotton clothes.
Carry:  Map and compass - know how to use them and use them!
            Flashlight and extra batteries .
            Plenty of food and water.
Pack:   Extra clothes and socks.
            Hat and gloves or mittens.
            Ensolite pad to rest on and insulate your body from cold surfaces.
            Bivy sack or space blankets for extra warmth.
            Fire starter supplies - waterproof matches, butane lighter, candles, starter material, etc.
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

Trail Advisories:

Corey’s Road: The gate on Corey’s Road is closed and the road will remain closed until the end of the spring mud season. Those seeking to access the Calkins Brook and Ward Brook Trails must park at the Raquette Falls Trailhead and traverse the 3 miles to the summer parking lot.

Clear Pond Gate: The Clear Pond Gate on the Elk Lake Road is closed and will remain closed until the end of the spring mud season. This will add 4 miles roundtrip for any excursions from the trailhead, plan accordingly.

South Meadow Road: The Town of North Elba has closed and barricaded South Meadow Road off the Adirondak Loj Road. The road will remain closed through the spring mud season.

Trap Dike: The Trap Dike is full of snow, considerably slowing people climbing the dike.
 
Avalanche Pass Slide:
The Avalanche Pass Slide is closed to public recreation of any type through the winter.

Lake Colden & Avalanche Lake: Avoid the area immediately around inlets and outlets.

Avalanche Lake Outlet: The bridge on Avalanche Lake Outlet is washed away. During low water rock hopping will be necessary to cross, during high waters crossing will require getting wet.

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.

Elk Lake Trails and Clear Pond Gate: The two trails that pass through the Elk Lake property to Panther Gorge in the High Peaks Wilderness and the southern approaches to Dix Mountain in the Dix Mountain Wilderness are open for public use. The Clear Pond Gate on the Elk Lake Road is closed and will remain closed until the end of the spring mud season. This will add 4 miles to roundtrip, plan accordingly.

Avalanche Lake Outlet: The bridge on Avalanche Lake Outlet is washed away. During low water rock hopping will be necessary to cross, during high waters crossing will require getting wet.

South Meadow Road: The Town of North Elba has closed and barricaded South Meadow Road off the Adirondak Loj Road. The road will remain closed through the spring mud season.

Hurricane Mountain Trail: The trail from the Route 9N trailhead has been rerouted to bypass areas flooded by beavers. The trail now extends 3.4 miles from the trailhead to the summit. The reroute and new footbridges were completed by the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Program.

Marshall and Other Trail-less Peaks: Many of the herd paths found on Marshall and some of the other trail-less peaks meander around the slopes of the mountain without reaching the peak. Those climbing these peaks should navigate with a map and compass rather than follow the paths created by others.

Trap Dike: Fixed ropes, harnesses and other equipment are often abandoned in the Trap Dike. Due to the age, weatherizing and wearing of these materials they are unsafe and should never be used.

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.

Hurricane Mountain Trails: Some areas on the trail from Route 9N are flooded due to beaver activity, reroutes have been developed to get around those areas.

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.

Deer Brook Trail: The low water route through Deer Brook Flume on this trail to Snow Mountain remains impassible due to severe erosion.

Southside Trail: DEC has closed the Southside Trail from the Garden Trailhead to John's Brook Outpost and is not maintaining it at this time.

Cold Brook Trail: DEC has closed the Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass and is not maintaining it at this time.

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