Out of doors Circumstances (eight/26): Hikers are reminded to hydrate, put together for busy trails/heat temps –

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

New this week

Upcoming Road Closure: When planning upcoming travel, please note that State Route 86 will close at Ray Brook in the town of North Elba, Essex County, west of the intersection of McKenzie Pond Road (County Route 33) effective Sunday, September 2 at 6:00 p.m. 12:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Friday 16 September to facilitate the replacement of a large culvert over Little Ray Brook. During the closure, a diversion will be posted for motorists to use the McKenzie Pond Route (County Route 33), which becomes Pine Street and River Road in the village of Saranac Lake, and Route 86.

General information

Visit the main Adirondack Backcountry Information page for additional trip planning resources.

What you need to know (08/25):

  • Temperatures: Temperatures are forecast to reach the high 70s to low 80s during the day and drop into the mid to high 50s at night in the High Peaks region. With warm, sunny days forecast for the entire weekend, be sure to bring plenty of water and a means of filtering more if needed.
  • water transitions: Never attempt to cross high, fast-moving water, especially after a rain or storm.
  • Stinging insects: While the worst of the bug season is behind us, mosquitoes, gnats and flies are still rife. Pack bug spray, bug nets, and other methods to protect yourself from bites.
  • Heat safety: Bring plenty of water, take breaks in the shade, and eat salty foods to help with water retention and electrolyte balance. Begin hydration before your activity begins. Wear sunscreen and other sun protection. Know the signs of heat illness and take immediate action if you notice it or see it in a member of your party. Learn more at DEC’s Hike Smart NY website. Bring plenty of water for pets and consider leaving pets at home on hot days.
  • Sunrise sunset: sunrise = 6:13 am; Sunset = 7:39 PM Make a timeline and stick to it. Pack a headlamp, even if you expect to finish your activity before sunset.
  • Travel: Expect the trails to be busy. Plan to arrive at your destination early and have several backup plans in case the parking lot fills up at your desired location. Follow @NYSDECAlerts on Twitter for real-time updates on parking status. Consider taking a shuttle (more info below).

Hiking information stations: Visit a hiking information station for information on parking, alternative hiking areas, local land use rules and regulations, safety and preparedness, and Leave No Trace™. Please visit us this weekend at the following locations:

  • Every Friday, Saturday & Sunday:
    • High Peaks Rest Area, heading north on Route 87, from 7am
    • High Peaks Rest Area, heading south on Route 87, from 7am
  • Additional stops this weekend:
    • Friday – Sunday, Frontier Town Gateway, North Hudson, from 7am

High Peaks Hiking Shuttles: The following shuttles provide safe, complimentary transportation to popular departure points in the Adirondack High Peaks region.

  • Route 73 Hiking Shuttle: Operates from Marcy Field in the town of Keene to the Rooster Comb, Giant Mountain Ridge Trail and Roaring Brook Falls trailheads on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays through Columbus Day from 7am to 7pm. The shuttle is free and subject to availability. Masks are compulsory. Only certified service animals are allowed. Check the map and schedule.
  • October Foliage Shuttle: Operates on October 1st and 2nd from 7am to 7pm and on the weekend of October 8th, 9th and 10th during Indigenous Peoples’/Columbus Day weekend. The shuttle departs from Frontier Town Gateway and takes you to Giant Mountain, Roaring Brook Falls, Rooster Comb Trailheads and the Marcy Field parking lot. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis. Dogs are not allowed and masks are compulsory.
  • Garden Shuttle: The Town of Keene Shuttle from Marcy Field to Garden Trailhead operates Saturday and Sunday from 7am to 7pm

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.

Fire danger: As of August 25, fire danger in the Adirondacks is MODERATE. Please exercise extreme 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 below to 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.

Hiking with a dog: Dogs that hike in warm temperatures risk heat exhaustion and death. If your dog collapses, move quickly to create shade for the dog and cool his feet and stomach – this is the most effective way to help an overheated dog. The best way to protect your pet is to leave them at home.

Ticks: Wear light-colored, tight-knit clothing for easy spotting of ticks. Wear closed-toe shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt. Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants. Frequently check clothing and exposed skin for ticks outdoors. Consider using insect repellent. Stay on cleared, well-travelled trails and walk in the middle of trails. Avoid dense forests and bushy areas. More tick prevention tips.

Required Bear Canisters: NYSDEC requires the use of bear-resistant canisters by overnight guests in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1st and November 30th. NYSDEC encourages campers to use bear-resistant canisters throughout upstate Adirondack. 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.

Adirondack Mountain Reserve: From May 1st through October 31st, parking reservations are required for day and nightly access to the parking lot, trailheads and hiking trails on the privately owned 7,000 acre AMR property in the town of Keene in the High Peaks region. A list of frequently asked questions and how to register can be found on the AMR website.

Security & Education

Hike Smart NY Poster SummerSummer is here! Whether you’re hiking, biking, paddling 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.

equipment maintenance

Dealing with all the gear needed for hiking, backpacking, paddling, and other activities can feel daunting and expensive. However, making an effort to maintain your gear can save you money and stay safer in the long run.

Well-maintained equipment often lasts longer and produces less waste than if you were to replace items frequently. Taking care of your gear also means it’s less likely to break and more likely to be there and ready for use when you need it most.

Proper maintenance is critical to keeping your equipment operational:

  • Don’t stress your equipment unnecessarily. For example: Using trekking poles to remove blowdown in the trail can easily bend or damage them.
  • Store your gear properly. Pack, sort and store your gear quickly upon your return. Store everything in a cool, dry place as often as possible.
  • Learn to repair your equipment. Not only does this reduce the need to buy replacements, but it also helps when essential gear breaks on the trail.
  • Know how to use your equipment. Proper use of your equipment not only optimizes its efficiency but also reduces the likelihood of injury or breakage.

Leave no trace

Leave No Trace 2021 partner logoFollow 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!

Buy it where you burn it

A crucial step in reducing the impact of your campfire is buying your firewood where you will burn it. This is a simple but important step we can take to protect our wild lands as transporting firewood can also carry invasive pests and diseases to new places. The introduction of new species can have catastrophic effects on the local ecosystem, and the effects can quickly spread to new areas. A recent example of this is the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect that can be transported via firewood and is responsible for a major loss of ash trees across the state.

Help protect our forests by:

  • purchasing firewood cut within 50 miles of where you wish to have your fire;
  • Leave your firewood at home. This saves the trees and some packing space; and
  • Do not transport aged or seasoned wood as they can still harbor harmful pests.

Learn more about how to safely and responsibly enjoy a campfire at your next gathering outside Trip.