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Trail Conditions

Click for Lake Placid, New York Forecast
Current Conditions in the Adirondack High Peaks Region
Compiled on: Feb 11, 2016
 
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.

Extreme Cold and Wind Chill Forecasted: The National Weather Service forecast predicts the following conditions in the High Peaks region:
• Saturday – High temperature: -7 F (-22 C);Winds 23 to 30 mph; Wind Chill -33 F(-36 C)
• Saturday Night – Low temperature: -24 F (-31); Winds 18 to 23 mph (45 mph gusts); wind Chill -55 F (-48 C) (-65 F in gusts (-54 C))
• Sunday – High temperature: -3 F (-19 C); Winds 17 to 21 mph; Wind Chill -29 F (-34 C)
• Sunday Night – High temperature: -10 F (-23 C); Winds 10 to 16 mph; Wind Chill -32 F (-36 C)
Exposed skin may experience frostbite in 10 minutes on Saturday night and in 30 minutes during the rest this period. Minimize skin exposure: wear appropriate footwear, a waterproof outer layer, a hat, gloves or mittens and layers of non-cotton clothing. Carry extra layers of non-cotton clothing. Put on and take off layers to keep comfortable. Avoid hypothermia by staying warm & dry, and resting, eating and hydrating often.

Summit Information: Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger, bedrock and other exposed areas will be icy, and snow will be deeper.

Ice on Water: The return of below freezing temperatures (and the extreme cold this weekend) has and will be making ice. Ice may be thin in some locations where there had been open water just days ago such as: along shorelines, over running water, near inlets & outlets, and near boathouses & docks - especially those with "bubblers" or other ice prevention devices. Ice with snow on the surface, may not hold a person’s weight.  Always check the thickness of ice before traveling across it.

Snow Information: Snow depths range between 6 and 20 inches in the backcountry. The Lake Colden Interior Caretaker reports 15 inches of snow at the stake (elevation ~2750 feet), with deeper snows higher up. There was 5 inches of new snow in the past two days and an additional 4 to 6 inches of snow is forecast through Friday night. National Weather Service NERFC Snow Information has current snow depths, daily snowfall amounts, snow forecasts and information about the snowpack.

Trail Conditions: Trails are mainly ice under light snow. Summit bedrock and other open areas may also be icy. The use of crampons or spikes is necessary. Cross-country skiing conditions have improved on South Meadow Lane and the Marcy Truck Trail and other lower elevation, flatter trails. Conditions are poor elsewhere. Snowshoes should be carried for hikes in the higher elevations and worn when snow depths on trails are greater than 8 inches to prevent post-holing.

Fire Danger Rating: LOW  Never leave campfires unattended. Be sure campfires are completely out and embers are wet and cool.

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.

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:

All seasonal access roads are closed to public motor vehicles at this time. Use of these roads by motor vehicles can tear up and rut snowmobile trails and even the roads themselves.

South Meadow Lane: The Town of North Elba has closed South Meadow Lane for the winter. Barriers have been placed across the road near the entrance at the Loj Road. Vehicles may park there for access to the Mt. VanHovenberg Trail, the Marcy Truck Trail and the Klondike Trail. 

Corey's Road: The last 3 miles of the road are closed to public motor vehicle traffic for the winter and will remain closed until the end of the spring mud season. The gate at the Raquette Falls Trailhead is closed. The town of Harrietstown plows the road to the bridge over Stoney Creek, it prohibits parking in the area around the bridge and the half mile of road prior to the bridge. Skiers and snowshoers should park at the first pull-off after the end of the pavement and hike the remainder of the plowed road on foot. Skiers and snowshoers will need to travel road three miles to reach the Seward Trailhead. Logging operations will continue through the winter at Ampersand Park. Watch and listen for logging trucks, move to the side to allow trucks to pass safely.

Elk Lake Trails: The trails to Mt. Marcy and Dix Mountain that pass through the Elk Lake Conservation Easement Land are open. However the gate at Clear Pond is closed until after the spring mud season. This will add four miles of travel round trip, plan accordingly.

Table Top Mountain Herd Path: The start of the Tabletop Mountain Herd Path on the Van Hovenberg Trail to Mt. Marcy has been moved 150 feet closer to Indian Falls. Signs have been erected at the new junction and flagging has been placed along the new section until the tread is clearly visible. The old section of trail will be brushed in. 

Ward Brook Truck Trail: The Ward Brook Truck Trail is flooded due to beaver activity just north of the junction with the Northville-Placid Trail.

Lake Arnold Trail: The trail between Lake Arnold and Feldspar Lean-to is very wet and muddy but passable. The trail has dried up enough that the bog bridging is usable. Flooding may occur immediately after heavy rains making the bridging difficult to use. Expect to get your feet wet and muddy when traversing some portions of the trail where bog bridging is not present. Use Avalanche Pass/Lake Colden Trail or Mt. Colden Trail to travel between Lake Arnold and Feldspar Lean-to if you want to avoid this trail.

Calamity Brook Trail: The High Water Bridge over Calamity Brook on the Calamity Brook Trail between the Upper Works and the Flowed Lands has been repaired by the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Program and can be used by hikers.

Opalescent Suspension Bridge: The suspension bridge over the Opalescent River on the trail from Lake Colden to Mt. Marcy has been repaired by the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Program and can be used by hikers.

Whiteface Mountain: Hikers climbing Whiteface Mountain should not depend on obtaining water at the summit. Be sure to carry enough water to reach the summit and return to the trailhead to stya comfortable and not suffer from dehydration.

Raquette River Trail (Western High Peaks): The section of the trail between Hemlock Hill and Palmer Brook that had been washed has been repaired and is usable by hikers and horses.

Avalanche Lake Outlet Bridge: The bridge over the Avalanche Lake Outlet has been replaced.

Lake Colden to Marcy Trail: A 10-foot section of trail near Uphill Lean-to along the Opalescent River above Lake Colden was washed out during heavy rains. Hikers can get around it by going through the trees but should use caution when doing so.

Marcy Field Overflow Parking: The overflow parking area at Marcy Field is open, but the shuttle is not operating this weekend.

South Meadow Road: The road is open to public motor vehicle traffic

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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