Outside Situations (1/13): Goodnow Mountain Path closed by way of March 15 as a consequence of on-going timber harvest –

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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

High Peaks Wilderness: Snow Report (01/12): The following report describes the conditions as of Thursday, December 1st. Changing weather can affect conditions. There is 33 cm of snow at the Colden Caretaker Cabin. Snow depths vary at higher elevations. Conditions now call for the wearing of snowshoes in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness where snow depth exceeds 8 inches. Microspikes and crampons are required.

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: Hiking trails in the Bolton area, including Cat Mountain and Tongue Mountain, have been destroyed by the 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.

LAST WEEK

Sable Highlands Conservation Easement: the Barnes Pond Road Gate was closed for the season.

Grass River Wild Forest: There are active crops on the Seveys Conservation Easement. While there are still trails that will be closed as soon as conditions allow Moorstrasse (C7A) will open.

General information

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

What you need to know (01/12):

  • Temperatures & Conditions: Baseline temperatures in the High Peaks region are forecast to fluctuate between single digit lows and highs in the low to mid 20s throughout the weekend. A winter weather warning is in effect on Friday. Mixed snow and ice precipitation is expected, giving way to light snow showers on Saturday. Cool or cold, wet conditions carry a high risk of hypothermia. Snow and ice conditions have been badly affected by recent rain and warm temperatures, but winter conditions remain at higher elevations. 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. Don’t trust ice to hold your weight, especially over running water.
  • Sunrise sunset: sunrise = 7:29 am; Sunset = 4:33 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 started today. 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.

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.

Avoid frostbite

Frostbite is the freezing of living tissue that causes their cellular structure to collapse. It can affect the extremities after prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures. Injuries from frostbite can range from superficial reddening of the skin, mild numbness, or blistering to discoloration of the skin, obstruction of blood flow, or blood clots.

Prevent frostbite by limiting exposed skin and staying warm and dry. Wear a hat that covers your ears, a buff or face mask that covers your cheeks, nose, and chin, gloves or mittens that keep hands warm and dry, and wool or blended socks. Safety glasses that cover and protect your eyes and the skin around them are also recommended. Rubbing frozen skin, once a popular “cure,” can cause further damage; do not do it.

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!

Food and water storage in winter

Proper nutrition and hydration are key to a safe and successful hike, but the winter cold can present challenges. Extremely cold temperatures can freeze food and water in your backpack. This makes it difficult or even impossible to consume what you need to stay hydrated and energized.

To avoid freezing food and water, try the following:

  • Insulate water bottles, hydration packs and inner tubes, and snacks to prevent freezing. You can use canisters specifically designed for this purpose, or even wrap bottles and bladders in layers of extra clothing.
  • Break foods into small pieces to make them easier to eat, even if they freeze. Bite-sized pieces can thaw in your mouth until they’re edible, but breaking a bite off a larger, frozen item may not be possible.
  • Keep groceries and water in the center of your pack to protect it from the elements. Organize your backpack so that items in the middle are still easily accessible.
  • Bring a small backpack stove to melt water if needed. You’ll also need a small pot or metal cup that can walk over the flames.
  • Bring warm food or a hot drink in a thermos. Not only are items that start out hot less likely to freeze, but you can warm your body from the inside out with hot foods and drinks.
  • Whatever the season, choose foods that are high in calories and nutrients that are easy to convert to energy on the trail. Always bring more food than you think you need in case your trip is longer.

Take the DEC Informational Kiosk Survey

DEC kiosk on farmed land

Give us your feedback and win a gift voucher for a sports shop! DEC would like your opinion on our information stands. Kiosks are small, open wooden structures that provide cover for educational/informational signs. These kiosks are located on various state lands such as state forests, wilderness areas, wildlife sanctuaries, wildlife management areas (WMAs), boat docks and more. Take our poll to let us know what you think and be entered into a prize draw for a $50 gift card to a sporting goods store and a free subscription to Conservationist magazine! Winners will be announced each month from January 2023 to January 2024. A grand prize winner will be announced in January 2024 and will receive a $200 gift card to a sporting goods store and a complimentary magazine subscription. By doing your part, you can help us improve your outdoor experience!

Please see DEC’s website for pricing rules and regulations.