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Backcountry Information for the Northwestern Adirondack

Updated: September 21, 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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Be sure to check Adirondack Backcountry Information for important general notices and information which apply across 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).

Practice Leave No Trace: Please abide by the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace (leaves DEC's website) when recreating in the Northwestern Adirondacks.

Fall Arrives Friday: Temperatures are cool in the morning and evening, while days are shortening as the sun sets earlier each day. Plan accordingly, wear or carry extra layers of non-cotton clothing and carry a headlamp or flashlight on all hikes. Be sure to have fresh batteries and to carry extras.

Fall Foliage: Leaves continue to change color in the Adirondacks (Leaves DEC website). Expect to encounter many people on trails and waters every weekend through the Columbus Day Holiday Weekend. Boat launches, trailhead parking lots, and interior campsites will fill early, especially if the weather is nice. There are many beautiful places to view the fall foliage in the Adirondacks, seek out backcountry recreation opportunities in some of the lesser used areas.

Hunting Season: Early Bear Hunting Season is open. Hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters bearing firearms or archery equipment while hiking on trails. Please recognize that these are fellow outdoor recreationists with the legal right to participate in these activities on the Forest Preserve. Hunting accidents involving non-hunters are extremely rare.

Walk on Trails - Not Beside Them: Protect trailside vegetation and prevent further erosion of trails. Do not walk on the vegetation growing beside trails - walk through mud and water. It's not hiking (or fun) if your hiking shoes don't get muddy!!!

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. (2017)
  • 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.
  • Goldmine Road is closed to motorized and non-motorized public use until early September while a new bridge over Dead Creek is under construction. This prevents public access to the Long Pond Trail via the Long Pond Trailhead. Long Pond and Lilly Pad Pond may be accessed from the Clear Pond Trailhead off . (8/10)
  • 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)