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 is closed at Ray Brook in the town of North Elba, Essex County, just west of the intersection of McKenzie Pond Road (County Route 33) through Friday, September 23 with relief of 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.
Please note – no overnight camping at the trailheads: Please note that overnight stays are not permitted at trailheads or other roadside locations that do not have a camping disc. This includes people sleeping in cars, vans, and RVs. Campers should use designated roadside campsites marked with a camp here disc or campsites.
Grass River Complex:
- The St. Lawrence County Multi-Use Trail, which crosses the Grass River, Long Pond and Tooley Pond Conservation Easements, closed for the season on September 15.
- The Cranberry Forest Conservation Easement has an exclusivity period until December 16th. The only public use permitted during this period is year-round use of Windfall Road and Buckhorn Road for the sole purpose of accessing the River Corridor and year-round use of the Dillon Pond Public Use Area.
Saranac Lake Wild Forest: sections of the Adirondack Rail Trail between Saranac Lake and Lake Clear will be closed starting the week after Labor Day to allow the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) to remove leftover railroad ties from the corridor. Work begins on Tuesday September 6th. DOT will then gradually close down sections of the trail to allow for the safe movement of equipment and materials. The work is expected to last until September.
Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest: On August 30, the towns of Westport and Essex experienced a microburst that caused extensive storm damage, including significant blowdowns in the Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest. Many trails are completely impassable at this time. DEC employees and forest rangers are working to clean up traces of Blowdown.
Visit the main Adirondack Backcountry Information page for additional trip planning resources.
What you need to know (09/22):
- temperatures: Forecasts are calling for cool temperatures moving to the High Peaks region this weekend. Daily highs are expected to be in the 50s to low 60s while overnight lows will be in the mid 30s to high 40s. Showers are expected to move to the region towards the end of Sunday. The weather changes quickly in the mountains, especially as we approach the fall season. Wear extra layers and rain gear and be prepared to adapt to changing conditions.
- water transitions: Never attempt to cross high, fast-moving water, especially after a rain or storm.
- Sunrise sunset: sunrise = 6:42 am; Sunset = 6:53 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 TraceTM. Please visit us this weekend at the following locations:
- Every Friday, Saturday & Sunday:
- High Peaks Rest Area, heading north on Route 87, from 7am
- Other stops this weekend:
- Marcy Field, Keene Valley, from 7 a.m
- The Garden Trailhead, Keene Valley, 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: Runs from 7am to 7pm on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays through Columbus Day from Marcy Field in the town of Keene to the Rooster Comb, Giant Mountain Ridge Trail and Roaring Brook Falls trailheads. The shuttle is free and subject to availability. Masks are compulsory. Only certified service animals are allowed. Check the map (PDF) and schedule (PDF).
- October Foliage Shuttle: Operates at Giant Mountain, Roaring Brook Falls and Rooster Comb Trailheads on October 1 & 2 from 7am-7pm and weekends of October 8, 9 & 10 during Indigenous Peoples’/Columbus Day weekend 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 September 22, 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 below average to extremely high for this time of year, depending on the body of water. 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.
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 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
The autumn 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.
Mountain Point & River Predictions
Before embarking on a hike, always check the weather forecast for your destination. If you’re hiking in the mountains, the go-to base elevation forecast may not give you all the information you need to prepare for what you might encounter. That’s where Mountain Point Predictions come in!
Even on good days, temperatures can drop an average of 3.3°F for every 1,000 feet of elevation you gain. When you factor in other variables like wind and rain, the difference gets even bigger. You may be able to find mountain point forecasts for select peaks in your area through the National Weather Service. If no peak predictions are available for your destination, try to find a mountain near your destination with a similar elevation.
Precipitation and its impact on creek crossings is also an important aspect of weather to consider. Consult the National Weather Service river forecasts for helpful data. Gauges located in counties in upstate New York provide readings and subsequent forecasts of water level activity through the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service. Use the models provided to determine if your anticipated river crossing is safe, or if you should plan a detour or choose an alternative route.
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!
We keep our trees and plants healthy
Trees are more than a source of fall beauty. Trees and plants clean our soil and water; They produce the oxygen we breathe and filter the air. Healthy forests support thriving communities and local wildlife. Help keep our forests healthy with these Leave No Trace tips:
- When hiking and camping, stay on the trail and camp in designated locations.
- Dispose of waste properly, both in the forest and at home, and recycle what you can.
- Leave trees and plants as you find them – do not pick wildflowers or carve tree bark;
- Minimize the effects of campfires by building small fires in designated fire rings and extinguishing them completely.
- Trees and plants need clean water, as does native wildlife, so avoid swimming in waterways while wearing sunscreen, bug spray or other products;
- Aquatic plants are important too, so clean, drain and dry your boats and water gear between each use; and
- Help prevent the spread of invasive species by using local firewood, planting native species, and cleaning boots and bike tires before leaving the trailhead.