Below are the latest public property announcements in the Adirondacks. Please visit the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpages for comprehensive and up-to-date information on seasonal road conditions, vie ferrate closures, special trail conditions and other pertinent information.
High Peaks Wilderness: Snow conditions, 04/27: Snowshoes are still required for most high-altitude trails where the snow stays deeper than 8 inches. Crampons and microspikes are still essential—many trails are still icy, especially above 3,000 feet. The trails are extremely muddy at lower altitudes. The remaining ice on high-altitude lakes is completely unstable and will not support any weight. Expect flooding in drains. Check summit weather forecasts for more accurate forecasts at higher elevations. Recent heavy, wet snowfalls have resulted in significant gusts of wind, making navigation more difficult. Bring a paper map and a compass or GPS and know how to navigate. Please avoid all trails over 2,500 feet while the DEC muddy trail advisories are in effect.
Saranac Lakes Wild Forest: There is a washout on the approach road too Saint Germain and Meadow Ponds. This road will remain closed to public vehicles until repairs later this summer.
Lake George Wild Forest: Dacy Clearing Road was opened for the season.
Watson’s East Triangle Wild Forest: That Bear Pond Road Gate has opened and the gates to the Conservation Easement Tracts Croghan and Oswegatchie are expected to open within the next week.
Visit the main Adirondack Backcountry Information page for additional resources to help you plan your trip, including travel information, weather information, and seasonal Adirondack recreation information.
What you need to know (04/28): Depending on where you plan to visit, conditions can vary greatly. Continue to prepare for wet spring conditions at lower elevations and winter conditions at higher elevations, including snow and ice. DEC’s Muddy Trails Advisory encourages visitors to avoid all trails over 2,500 feet, including all high peaks, to avoid trail damage and erosion. Expect high, fast moving water at crossings – do not attempt to cross high, fast moving water where there is no bridge. Temperatures vary significantly depending on location, time of day, and elevation. Prepare for snow and ice with warm, waterproof layers, extra layers and, depending on the elevation of your trek, the right gear including snowshoes, microspikes and crampons. Cool, wet weather poses a significant risk of hypothermia, so learn how to recognize it and avoid it. Wear sturdy, waterproof boots that are already broken in.
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. Check wind chill temperatures and prepare for colder, windier peaks.
Muddy Paths: Instead, walk straight through the mud rather than around it to avoid widening the path and damaging vegetation. Opt for low-altitude trails until the high elevations have time to dry and cure. Follow the muddy path advice.
Monorails: Monorails are thin strips of packed snow and ice down the middle of the trails, surrounded by minimal or no snow on the sides. Monorails can create difficult walking conditions. Microspikes and trekking poles can help with traction and balance.
Season roads: Most seasonal access roads are closed during spring mud season. Where seasonal access roads are open to public motor vehicles, the use of four-wheel drive vehicles is strongly recommended.
Fire danger: Check the fire rating card.
Water conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region are mostly average for this time of year. Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York for current flow of selected bodies of water. The water temperatures will be very cold. Life jackets (Personal Flotation Devices, PFDs, also known as life jackets) must be worn until May 1st. Where bridges are not available, do not attempt to cross a river during high tide and fast moving water.
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 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.
Adirondack Rock Climbing Closures: DEC is closing certain climbing routes in the Adirondacks to protect nesting peregrine falcons. For a full list of closures, see Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures. Once peregrine falcon nest sites are determined, climbing routes that do not disrupt nesting will be reopened. Routes that remain closed will be reopened after the young have flown out. Thank you for your cooperation. For more information, please contact the Bureau of Wildlife at (518) 623-1240.
Adirondack Mountain Reserve: From May 1st through October 31st, a parking reservation is required to access the day and overnight 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
Spring is in full swing. 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.
Safety in spring water
With longer days, warmer temperatures and open water, canoes, kayaks and SUPs are calling us for summer paddling adventures. However, it is important to remember that spring water conditions can pose serious risks. Lakes and rivers are still extremely cold at this time of year and a fall can quickly lead to cold shock, unconsciousness and hypothermia. Consider wearing a wetsuit or dry suit until water temperatures rise. Personal flotation devices (PDFs) must be worn by May 1st and are strongly recommended to be worn on watercraft year-round. Between snowmelt and spring rains, brace yourself for high, fast-flowing water. This can make paddling more difficult and pose significant risks to non-boaters at water crossings. Check the water levels before heading out, and if the water seems risky when you arrive, plan to return another day.
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!
Minimizing the impact of your mud season
Mud time – the time during and just after snowmelt when the saturated ground is soft and, well, muddy. This is a critical time for roads and paths as they are particularly delicate and prone to damage. Many seasonal roads are closed during this time to allow the roads to dry and harden. Notices about muddy trails encourage visitors not to hike above 2,500 feet, where the ground is thinnest and trails most fragile. While it’s tempting to embrace the warmer temperatures and rush to your favorite outdoor destinations, consider the following ways you can help minimize mud season damage:
- Give the trails a break. Focus on other forms of outdoor recreation until the notices about muddy trails are lifted. This is a great opportunity to try new hobbies.
- stay low When hiking, choose low-elevation trails. Advice on muddy trails recommend staying below 2,500 feet.
- Get soggy. If you encounter mud along the way, walk straight through it instead of around it to avoid trail widening and concentrate impacts.
- Watch where you step. The vegetation along the way is just beginning to take root. Stay on designated paths to avoid trampling on delicate plants.
- If you don’t want to hike, don’t ride a bike. Bike tires can take a beating on loose, wet trails. Make sure the trails are completely dry and cured before getting on your bike.