Backcountry Information for the Northwestern Adirondack
Updated: April 20, 2017
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!
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).
Spring Conditions: Temperatures are warming, rain is falling, snow is melting and waters are rising. Spring has arrived, be prepared for a variety of conditions.
Seasonal Access Roads: All seasonal access roads are closed for the spring mud season. The roads will be reopened after they have dried, hardened, and any necessary maintenance. DEC plans to have all seasonal roads open before the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend. However, wet, cold weather and other factors could prevent the opening individual roads or sections of roads. Check the Specific Notices for the status of individual roads or road systems.
Trail Conditions: Wet and muddy conditions are prevalent. Remember to walk through mud and water - not around - to protect trailside vegetation and prevent further erosion of trails.
Water Conditions: Water levels are high and water temperatures are cold. Boaters and paddlers are reminded that until May 1 all persons on any boat, kayak, or canoe must be wearing a Personal Flotation Device (PFD aka). Anglers are encouraged to wear PFDs when wading or fishing from steep shorelines. A person submersed in cold water can lose consciousness in minutes, a PFD will keep their head above water and prevent drowning.
Water Crossings: High water levels will make crossings of some rivers and streams difficult, treacherous or even impossible.
Report back country emergencies, such as lost or injured hikers, and wildland fires to the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235.
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.
- 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)
- Allen Pond Road on the Tooley Pond Tract Easement provides two miles of access road off of the Tooley Pond Road lead 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. (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)