Outside Circumstances (1/20): Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden have poor ice protection –


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


High Peaks Wilderness: Snow Report (01/19): The following report describes the conditions as of Thursday 19.01. Changing weather can affect conditions. There are 13.8 inches. Snow at Colden Caretaker Cabin and several feet of snow at higher elevations. Conditions now require wearing snowshoes in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness. Microspikes and crampons are also needed for traction on ice. Avalanche Lake and Lake Colden have low quality ice coverage with soft stretches and areas of flowing water. Ski slope conditions range from moderate to poor.

Independence River Wild Forest (Stillwater Reservoir, Big Moose & Three Lakes Conservation Easement Tracts): the Three Lakes Trail (Pollack Swamp Road) temporarily rerouted near Big Moose Road to avoid logging. Please follow the diversion signs.

Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tracts: The village ski trail, which begins at the ballpark, has experienced some flooding due to unusually high levels of water and beaver activity. Much of the trail is accessible, but recommended parking is now on Elm Lake Road, near the gate to the Speculator Tree Farm Tract.


Kushaqua Conservation Easements: Logging work is underway near Mountain Pond Road. The road is used as a haul road and is closed to all motorized use for the duration of the operation. Non-motorized users of the road should exercise extreme caution and expect logging trucks.

Lake George Wild Forest: Tails in the Bolton region, including Cat Mountain and Tongue Mountain, have been knocked down by recent storms. The bridge over the Northwest Bay Swamp on the Tongue Mountain Blue Trail is damaged but can be used with care. The trails continue to have mixed conditions.

City of Newcomb: The Goodnow Mountain Trail will be closed from January 10, 2023 to March 15, 2023 (subject to change) due to an ongoing logging operation nearby. During this time, public access to the Goodnow Mountain Trailhead, Trail, or Fire Tower is not permitted.

General information

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

What you need to know (01/19):

  • Temperatures & Conditions: A winter weather advisory begins Thursday for upstate New York and will last through Friday, calling for snowfall accumulations of 4 to 8 inches at lower elevations and additional accumulations at higher elevations. Clearer conditions on Saturday should give way to snow showers again on Sunday. Baseline temperatures in the High Peaks region are forecast to fluctuate throughout the weekend from lows in the mid-teens to highs in the low 30s. Keep in mind that conditions will be tougher at peaks and higher altitudes. Carry extra layers, cold-weather gear and be prepared to adapt to changing conditions. Bring microspikes or crampons and snowshoes. If you are unprepared for the conditions or if the weather worsens, return to the starting point.
  • water transitions: Never attempt to cross high, fast-moving water, especially after rain or heavy snowmelt. With precipitation forecast for the day, keep in mind how water crossings can swell between your first crossing and your return. Follow ice safety guidelines.
  • Sunrise sunset: sunrise = 7:24 am; Sunset = 4:47 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. Some seasonal roads may be closed for the winter season and not all parking lots are plowed. Check the latest notices for road closure announcements.
    • the FISU World University Games we are on the way. The competition will take place over 11 days at multiple locations in the North. Various road and facility closures will affect the area for the duration of the Games. This includes closing Lake Placid’s main street to motor vehicles.

Check 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.

Be safe in avalanche terrain: Downhill skiers, snowboarders, and any outdoor adventurers capable of traversing chutes or steep, open terrain should be aware of and prepared for avalanche conditions. If planning a trip to an avalanche prone area, research the route in advance and contact a local DEC Forest Ranger for specific safety and conditions information, or consult a local guide. Before venturing into the backcountry, arm yourself with avalanche safety tools and knowledge, such as B. Participation in an avalanche safety course. Find out more about avalanche danger, prevention and safety precautions.

Season roads: Many seasonal access roads are closed in winter. Check the latest communications for specific closure announcements and be prepared to turn back and take an alternate route.

Snowmobiles: Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and check local club, county and state websites and resources, including the NYSSA Snowmobile Web Map, for up-to-date snowmobile trail information.

Water conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region are higher than 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.

Security & Education

Winter Hike Smart NY Poster

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.

ice safety tips

Much of New York is experiencing a milder winter than usual, resulting in unsafe ice conditions on many bodies of water. Whether you’re ice fishing, skating on an Adirondack pond, or crossing a body of water while skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling, it’s important to exercise extreme caution when venturing out on ice. Follow these ice safety tips:

  • Four inches of solid, clear ice is generally considered a safe thickness when setting out on foot. Five inches is considered safe for snowmobiles. Check the thickness periodically as you move further outward.
  • Avoid ice near open water or near docks. Private dock owners can use bubblers to prevent thick ice from forming and damaging docks.
  • Changes in the color and texture of the ice can indicate weaknesses. Be extra careful on snowy ice.
  • Carry ice safety ax. They can help you pull yourself out of the water should you break through the ice. You can buy them at a store or make them yourself.
  • Always travel with a buddy and let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Bring a change of clothes so you can quickly change into dry clothes if you fall in. This helps prevent hypothermia.

For more ice safety tips and information, watch the DEC video How To Stay Safe on Ice.

Leave no trace

Leave No Trace 2021 partner logo

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!

Tips for winter camping without leaving a trace

Principle 2 reminds us to camp on durable surfaces. Luckily for winter campers, snow is considered permanent surface once it’s at least 6 to 8 inches deep. But low-impact camping is about more than the surface we pitch our tent on, so follow these additional tips for zero-mark winter camping:

Stick to designated campsites – It’s not just about the impact of your tent’s footprint. Activities around your campground can affect vegetation, nearby water sources, and animal behavior. The smaller our footprint, the smaller our impact on the ecosystems in which we reside.

Destroy all snow structures – Digging snow caves and building snowmen is fun, but for some people, references to previous campers can distract from their wilderness experience. Demolishing snow structures that you have built will leave your website as you found it for the next visitors to enjoy.

Minimize your impact on cooking and campfires – Just like in the warmer months, using stoves and packaging our food waste helps minimize our campfire and our impact on cooking. Also unpack your leftovers. Leftovers of food added to an animal’s stores could end up spoiling its store and making it scramble for food in harsh winter conditions