Out of doors Circumstances (11/18): Longway Path in Shelving Rock impassable resulting from blowdown, Pharaoh Lake Path bridge is out –

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The following are just the most recent notices regarding public lands in the Adirondacks. Visit the Adirondack Backcountry websites for a complete listing of the notices, including seasonal road conditions, vie ferrate closures, specific trail conditions and other pertinent information

NEW THIS WEEK

Boreas Pond Wing: Gulf Brook Road is closed to motor vehicle traffic from the Blue Ridge parking lot during the winter season. The Blue Ridge parking lot remains open – plowing of the property is subject to the city’s plowing schedule.

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness: A bridge on the Pharaoh Lake Trail is out. Crossing may not be possible during high tide – users should be prepared to turn back if conditions are unsafe. The bridge is on a curve in the road, with steep approaches from both directions. Winter users should be prepared to stop fully at this point to assess conditions before crossing.

Lake George Wild Forest:

  • The first bridge on the Shelving Rock Brook Trail (closest to the road) is unsafe for horseback riding. Riders should wade through the creek at this point.
  • The Longway Trail at Shelving Rock is impassable due to heavy blasting.

LAST WEEK

Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway: The Parkway closed at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, November 11 for the 2022 season. Visit the DEC website for more information on visiting the Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway Day Use Area.

General information

For more trip planning resources, visit the Adirondack Backcountry main page.

What you need to know (11/17):

  • Temperatures: Cold weather has arrived in the Adirondacks. Temperatures in the region call for highs in the high 20s to low 30s. Nighttime lows are estimated to be in the teens. These temperatures are estimates for base elevations. Always expect more extreme conditions at high altitudes. A few snow showers are expected over the weekend. The weather changes quickly in the mountains. Carry extra layers, cold-weather gear and be prepared to adapt to changing conditions. Microspikes or crampons are recommended for anyone planning to hike this weekend and are required at high altitudes. As snow continues to fall, snowshoes may be required on some high-altitude trails.
  • water transitions: Never attempt to cross high, fast-moving water, especially after a rain or storm. If rain is forecast during the day, keep in mind how water crossings can swell between your first crossing and your return.
  • Sunrise sunset: sunrise = 6:56 am; Sunset = 4:24 PM Make a timeline and stick to it. Pack a headlamp, even if you expect to finish your activity before sunset.
  • Travel: Plan to arrive at your destination early and have several backup plans in case the parking lot fills up at your desired location.

Check out the weather: Check the weather forecast for your destination and pack and plan accordingly. Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks and Southern Adirondacks Mountain Point Forecasts for select peak forecasts. Check both day and night temperatures, and remember that temperatures drop as altitude increases.

Season roads: Due to recent snow, some seasonal access roads are beginning to close. Check the latest notices for any closure announcements and be prepared to turn back and take an alternate route.

Fire danger: As of November 17, the risk of fire in the Adirondacks is low. Please use caution, follow local guidelines and avoid open flames whenever possible. Check the fire rating card.

Water conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region range from average to slightly above average for this time of year. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for current flow of selected bodies of water. Personal flotation devices (PFDs, also known as life jackets) are highly recommended.

Required Bear Canisters: NYSDEC requires overnight guests in the Eastern High Peaks wilderness between April 1st and November 30th to use bear-resistant canisters. NYSDEC encourages campers to use bear-resistant canisters throughout the Adirondack backcountry. Bear canisters should be used to store all food, food waste, toiletries and other scented items. Canisters should be stored at least 100 feet away from tents, shelters and cooking areas and kept closed when not being accessed. Learn more about bear canisters and how to avoid human-bear conflict.

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Security & Education

Whether you’re hiking, skiing or fishing, Hike Smart NY can help you prepare with a list of 10 essentials, clothing guides and tips for planning your trip with safety and sustainability in mind.

What to wear when the seasons change

At this time of year it can be difficult to dress for this time of year. Snow is falling and temperatures have dropped, but you might find yourself warming up if you expend some energy. Maintaining a constant body temperature is important to avoid hypothermia. Follow these tips to control your temperature in cold weather.

Stay dry – Staying dry is the top priority for staying warm in cold weather. Wool or synthetic base layers are good at wicking moisture and sweat away from your skin, keeping you warmer and drier. Avoid cotton as it retains moisture.

wear layers – Dressing in layers allows you to increase or decrease the insulation as needed. Try the three-layer approach: one to wick moisture, one to insulate, and one to keep out the wind, snow, and weather.

Package Extras – Take more with you than you think you need. Extra gloves, socks, hats and an insulated jacket can come in handy should yours get wet, the weather deteriorates or an emergency arises.

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Leave no trace

Follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace to minimize your impact on the Adirondacks’ environment and natural resources. Use proper trail etiquette to ensure an enjoyable experience for yourself and others, and tread lightly!

If in doubt, unpack it

Properly disposing of our rubbish and human waste is always important, but things can get tricky during the winter months. If you are unsure how to handle waste, remember: when in doubt, unpack it.

Garbage, food scraps, and human waste take longer to decompose in cold conditions, increasing the likelihood that they will impact wildlife, other users, and the environment around us.

Keep the following in mind as you head into the backcountry this winter:

  • Be a good steward of the country. Collect all the leftover food, wax shavings and bits of trash and help pick up those of others.
  • Unpack solid human waste. It can be difficult to get through the snow onto the frozen ground and dig a cathole. If you must bury your rubbish, go as deep as you can and make sure you’re at least 200 feet (70 major steps) from any waterways.
  • Use toilet paper or towels sparingly and unwrap them.