Outside Situations (7/eight): Path initiatives accomplished within the Cranberry Lake Wild Forest –

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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:

Cranberry Lake Wild Forest (City of Clifton): A trail project was recently completed that created a new 600-foot detour of the Campground Trail: part of the Cranberry Lake 50 trail system. NYSDEC Cranberry Lake Operations employees began the project by snowmobiling materials for a new footbridge to the site in February 2022. During the last week of June, a contract trail crew from Tahawus Trails installed the new 4 x 12 foot bridge and moved the trail to better drained ground. The wood from the old footbridge will be removed by DEC Operations later this year.

Cranberry Lake Wild Forest (City of Clifton): A trail project was recently completed that created a new 285-foot detour of the Bear Mountain Trail near the DEC Cranberry Lake Campground. In the week of 20.06. a contract trail crew from Tahawus Trails installed the trail detour and closed the former section of the trail, which was steep and in poor condition. Significant rock works, including stone steps, were installed as part of the newly laid trail.

The Cranberry Lake Wild Forest Hiking Project (Clifton Township) included the creation of a new 285-foot detour of the Bear Mountain Trail near the DEC Cranberry Lake Campground. (DEC photo)

Last week:

Silver Lake Wilderness: Working with our partners at the Adirondack Mtn Club, a volunteer trail crew recently helped close and relocate two primitive campgrounds from the south shore of Woods Lake to the north shore. The goal of the project was to expand usage and improve camping opportunities for NPT thru hikers. This project was part of a larger trail work organized by the ADK Mtn Club on June 4th, National Trails Day.

General information

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

What you need to know (07/07):

  • Temperatures: Expect warm temperatures this weekend. On Friday, 70 degrees are expected to be reached in some places. Daily highs on Saturday, Sunday and Monday are expected to hit the mid to over 70’s with lows in the mid 40’s. Temperatures at the mountaintops are still significantly cooler than at lower elevations, so bring extra layers and rain and wind gear.
  • water transitions: Sometimes the water levels are slightly higher. Do not attempt to cross high, fast-moving water.
    Biting insects: black flies, gnats and deer flies – oh my! Pack bug spray, bug nets, and other methods of bite protection.
  • Heat safety: Wear sunscreen and other sun protection. Bring plenty of water, take breaks in the shade, and eat salty foods to help with water retention and electrolyte balance. For their safety, leave pets at home.
  • Sunrise sunset: Sunrise = 5:25 AM, Sunset = 8:35 PM Make a timeline and stick to it. Pack a headlamp, even if you expect to finish your activity before sunset.
  • Busy hiking trails: 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.

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
    • Beekmantown Rest Area, heading south on Route 87, from 7am
  • Additional stops this weekend:
    • Friday – Sunday at Marcy Field, Keene Valley, starting at 7:00am

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: From 07.07. Fire hazard is low for much of the Adirondacks, with areas on the eastern, western, and southern borders rising to moderate. Check the fire rating card.

Water conditions: Water levels throughout the Adirondack region range from average 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. Wearing life jackets (Personal Flotation Devices, PFDs, also life jackets) is 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 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

Summer 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.

Water and water filtration on the trail

We all know that you need to take water with you on a hike, and we also know that water is heavy, which makes it difficult to determine how much to take with you. Luckily, a little planning and preparation can help.

Two liters of water per person is generally a good amount for a day hike, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be enough. This is where water supply in the hinterland becomes crucial to avoid dehydration.

Some symptoms of dehydration are:

  • headache
  • Confusion & disorientation
  • Loss of appetite from nausea
  • dizziness

These symptoms can cause:

  • become disoriented
  • heat exhaustion
  • heatstroke
  • hypothermia
  • shock

When planning your hike, be sure to identify water sources along the route. It is important to carry a water filtration or water sterilization system with you on every hike. There are many different types to choose from. If you decide to go with a battery-powered one, be sure to take extra batteries with you. You may also want to bring water purification drops or tablets as a backup.

Filtering or sterilizing the water you get from the hinterland will prevent you from contracting diseases like Giardia (beaver fever).

Remember to always pack the 10 essentials, including enough water and a system to get clean water along the way! Have a safe and responsible adventure!

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!

Proper disposal of human waste

Everyone has to poop at some point, even if you’re on the trail. Therefore, in order to maintain the outdoor space and continue to use it, it is crucial that our waste is disposed of properly. So before you embark on your wilderness trek, make sure you know how to dispose of your waste in the area you are visiting so you can avoid contaminating water sources, spreading disease, someone else on it to thrust and so you can maximize the decomposition speed.

First things first, check the solid human waste rules in the particular area you’re visiting, as some areas will require you to unpack, such as narrow river gorges or fragile alpine landscapes. You can contact the local Land Management Authority for the specific rules of the area you intend to visit.

If you are bagging your waste from an area, there are several EPA-approved, commercially available bagging systems that are easy to use and hygienic for backpacking/hiking.

If you don’t unpack or use some sort of privy, you should use a cat hole. Visit the Leave No Trace™ website for more information on properly building a cat hole.

Professional disposal is becoming more and more important as hiking trails are becoming more frequented. So do your part!