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Backcountry Information for the Northwestern Adirondack

Updated: May 25, 2017

Map of showing the Northwestern Region of the Adirondacks

General Notices

WARNING: Backcountry conditions can change suddenly. All users should plan accordingly, including bringing flashlight, first aid equipment, extra food and clothing. Weather conditions may alter your plans; you should always be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the woods before entering the back country. Back country hiking trails can be rugged and rough-they are not maintained as park walkways-wear proper footwear!

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Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web page for important notices and information which apply broadly across the Adirondacks, and links to important information about hiking, camping and paddling in the Adirondacks.

Weather: Always be aware of and prepared for weather conditions. Being properly prepared for the weather and conditions will help to ensure a safe and enjoyable time in the outdoors. Check the current National Weather Service Weather Forecast (leaves DEC's website).

Memorial Day Holiday Weekend: Due to the three-day holiday weekend, expect to see higher than usual numbers of people at trailheads and boat launches, and on trails and waterways, especially in typically popular areas. Visitors are encouraged to explore less used trails and waterways of the Adirondacks.

Seasonal Access Roads: All seasonal access roads are open. Seasonal access roads consist of dirt, sand, gravel, and/or stone and typically have a rough surface. Four-wheel drive trucks, SUVs, or other high clearance vehicles are recommended for use on seasonal access roads.

Trail Conditions: Trails are wet and muddy, especially in low spots. Trails along waterways may be covered in standing water. Trail crossings of streams and rivers may be difficult, treacherous, or impossible due to high water levels.

Protect Trails and Trailside Vegetation: Stay on trails to protect vegetation and prevent further erosion of trails Walk through mud and water - do not walk on the vegetation growing beside trails.

Water Conditions: Water levels are around average spring-time high levels and will likely rise with the forecasted rain. Water temperatures are cold. Boaters, paddlers, and anglers wading in the water or fishing from steep or rocky shorelines should wear Personal Flotation Device (PFD, aka life jacket). A person submersed in cold water can lose consciousness in minutes, a PFD will keep their head above water and prevent drowning.

Report back country emergencies, such as lost or injured hikers, and wildland fires to the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235.

Specific Notices

Grass River Complex (includes Grass River Tract, Long Pond Tract, Sevey's Tract and Tooley Pond Tract Easement Lands)

  • The Grass River Complex web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
  • Allen Pond Road on the Tooley Pond Tract Easement is open to public motor vehicle use. The two-mile seasonal access road off of Tooley Pond Road leads to a parking area and trail head. A 0.6 mile foot trail extends from a trailhead on the road to the shores of Allen Pond providing access for anglers and recreationists. (5/5)
  • The new Pleasant Lake Hand Launch on the Grass River Tract Easement provides access to both Pleasant Lake and approximately 15 miles of Public Fishing Access along the Middle Branch of the Grass River and Pleasant Lake Stream. Pleasant Lake and its namesake stream provide the public with outstanding paddling and angling opportunities in a remote and historic setting. (2016)
  • There are five accessible campsites on the Long Pond Tract Easement. There are also allows 40 miles of road open to public motor vehicle use of which approximately 30 miles is open to public ATV use. (2016)
  • Sevey's Accessible Hand Launch on the Sevey's Tract Easement provides access to the Raquette River above Moody Falls and has an accessible parking area and boat drop off at the head of a short trail to the water. (2016)

Raquette Boreal Complex (includes Raquette River Wild Forest, Raquette Jordan Boreal Primitive Area and nearby easement lands)

  • The Raquette Boreal Complex web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
  • Nothing to report at this time.

Whitehill Wild Forest

  • The Raquette Boreal Complex web page provides information about the Whitehill Wild Forest and its recreational opportunities.
  • The snowmobile trail from Clear Pond to the Picketville Road crosses approximately 150 feet of wetland near the outlet of Rock Pond and may not be passable by hikers. (2016)