Hunting Seasons: Hunting seasons for big game, small game and waterfowl are open or will open soon. Northern Zone Regular Big Game Season opens 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.
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.
Clear Pond Gate and Elk Lake Trails: Beginning Saturday, October 25, the Clear Pond Gate on the Elk Lake Road close and will remain closed until the end of the spring mud season. 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 will also close, but will reopen at the end of the Northern Zone Regular Big Game Season on Monday, December 8.
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.