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Trail Conditions

Click for Lake Placid, New York Forecast
Current Conditions in the Adirondack High Peaks Region
Compiled on: MAY 21, 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.

Memorial Day Holiday Weekend: Due to the holiday weekend expect to see more people than usual recreating on the lands and waters of the Adirondacks. Trailheads, campsites, lean-tos and boat launches may fill up at popular locations. Plan accordingly and seek less used locations to recreate.

Muddy Trail Advisory: It is the beginning of a new season of outdoor hiking and recreation on public lands in the Adirondacks and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is urging hikers to avoid trails above 3,000 feet, particularly high elevation trails in the Dix, Giant, and High Peaks Wilderness Areas in the northern Adirondacks, due to muddy conditions and the potential damage hiking can cause to vegetation and soft ground. Hikers are advised to only use trails at lower elevations during the spring mud season to avoid damaging natural resources and to promote safety. Lower trails usually dry soon after snowmelt and are on less erosive soils than the higher peaks.

DEC asks hikers to avoid the following trails:
• High Peaks Wilderness Area - all trails above 3,000 feet; where wet, muddy, snow conditions still prevail, specifically: Algonquin, Colden, Feldspar, Gothics, Indian Pass, Lake Arnold Cross-Over, Marcy, Marcy Dam - Avalanche - Lake Colden which is extremely wet, Phelps Trail above John Brook Lodge, Range Trail, Skylight, Wright and all "trail-less" peaks.
• Dix Mountain Wilderness Area - all trails above Elk Lake and Round Pond
• Giant Mountain Wilderness Area - all trails above Giant's Washbowl, "the Cobbles," and Owls Head.

DEC suggests the following alternative trails for hiking, subject to weather conditions:
• High Peaks Wilderness:
o Ampersand Mountain
o Cascade Mountain
o Porter Mountain from Cascade Mountain (avoid all other approaches)
o Big Slide
o The Brothers
• Giant Mt. Wilderness:
o Giant's Washbowl
o Roaring Brook Falls
• Hurricane Mountain Wilderness
o The Crows
• McKenzie Mt. Wilderness:
o Baker Mountain
o Haystack Mountain
• Saranac Lakes Wild Forest:
o Panther Mountain
o Scarface Mountain

Spring Conditions: One to two inches of fresh wet snow fell above 3,500 feet on Wednesday. Expect and prepare for cool weather. Lows Friday night will be in the 20s. Daytime temperatures will be in the high 40s and nighttime lows will be in the high 30s. Sunday and Memorial will have highs in the 60s. Rain showers are forecast for Memorial Day. Carry water & wind resistant outer layer and extra layers of non-cotton clothing. Add and remove clothing to stay comfortable.

Trail Conditions: Trails may be wet and muddy especially in low areas and along water. Wear waterproof footwear and gaiters, and remember to walk through - not around - mud and water on trails to avoid further eroding trails. Expect ice on trails early Saturday morning.

Biting Insects: Black Flies and Mosquitos are present in the lower elevations. Follow these steps to minimize the nuisance of biting insects: wear light colored clothing, 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 thick; and use an insect repellant with DEET and follow the label directions.

Bear-Resistant Canisters: The use of bear-resistant canisters is required for overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1 and November 30. All food, toiletries and garbage must be stored in bear-resistant canisters. DEC encourages the use of bear-resistant canisters throughout the Adirondacks.

Summits: Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger and packed snow may be present on trails. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits.

Water Levels & Temperatures: Water levels are running below normal spring flows, but water temperatures are cool. A person in the water will quickly lose the ability to keep their head above water without a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). PFDs should be worn by all paddlers and boaters in small boats. See the USGS Current Stream flow for New York Waters to check levels and flows of selected waters.

Rivers, Streams and Drainages: Water levels are running at or below normal spring flows. Currents are swift and water temperatures are cold. A person in the water will quickly lose the ability to keep their head above water without a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). While not required PFDs should be worn by all paddlers and boaters in small boats.

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

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.

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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