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Backcountry Information for the Northwestern Adirondack

Updated: March 22, 2019

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

Weather forecasts and conditions can and do change quickly.

  • Check the current National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast (leaves DEC website) and be prepared for the forecasted conditions or to change your plans.
  • NY Mesonow (leaves DEC website) has two dozen stations in and just outside of Adirondacks that provide real time weather data and forecasts.
WINTER STORM WARNING: The National Weather Service has issued Winter Storm Warnings for all the Adirondacks except for the Champlain Valley through noon Saturday.
  • A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible. If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
  • Significant amount of heavy, wet snow is possible.
  • Total snow accumulations of range from 6 to 16 inches throughout the watch areas with locally higher amounts possible.
  • Strong winds are associated with the storm could gust up to 35 mph on Friday night
  • High winds may lead to scattered tree damage and isolated power outages.
  • Travel could be very difficult to hazardous and may impact the morning and evening commutes on Friday.
  • Check the National Weather Service (leaves DEC website) for the current conditions, forecasts, and the specific Winter Storm Watch information for the location where you live, plan to travel, and plan to recreate.
  • The National Weather Service NERFC Snow Page (leaves DEC website) provides maps depicting current snow depths, forecasts, and other snow information.
  • Check NY511 for road closures and conditions (leaves DEC website).
  • Governor's Press Release on Winter Storm

Be Prepared for Winter Conditions with safety tips from this fact sheet and winter safety video (leaves DEC website).

DEC and OPRHP remind snowmobilers to ride responsibly (leaves DEC website) while enjoying the state's abundant snowmobiling opportunities.

DEC Adventure Adirondacks: Visit the DEC Facebook page (leaves DEC website) to follow the DEC Adventure Adirondacks Group for more information on winter hiking safety, preparedness, trail conditions, and trip ideas. Login to join the group

Adirondack Backcountry Information: Be sure to check Adirondack Backcountry Information main web page for important general notices and information which applies across the Adirondacks.

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

Specific Notices

Grass River Wild Forest (includes Grass River, Long Pond, Sevey's and Tooley Pond Conservation Easement Tracts)

  • The Grass River Complex web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • The previously closed snowmobile trails on the Grass River and Tooley Pond Conservation Easement Tracts have reopened. (2/21)

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

  • The Raquette Boreal Complex web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • DEC has improved access and recreational opportunities at Jamestown Falls on the Raquette River along State Route 56. Improvements include: (2018)
    • Rehabilitated access road
    • A hand launch on the river
    • Information kiosk and
    • ADA compliant primitive campsite with the following accessibly designed feature: hardened tent pad, picnic table, fire ring, and privy.

Whitehill Wild Forest (includes Gold Mine and Long Pond Conservation Easement Tracts)

  • The Raquette Boreal Complex web page provides information about the Whitehill Wild Forest and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Nothing to report.