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Backcountry Information for the Western Adirondacks

Map of showing the Western Region of the Adirondacks

Updated: July 19, 2019

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.

HEAT ADVISORY:

    • The National Weather Service has issued a HEAT ADVISORY for the Adirondacks from noon Friday through 8 p.m. Saturday.
      • Temperatures in the lower 90s and dew points in the lower to mid 70s will result in Heat Index around 100.
      • Highest heat index values will occur between noon and 5 p.m. each day.
    • Check the National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast (leaves DEC website) for updated notices and current conditions and forecasts. 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.
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Avoid Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

  • Wear light, loose clothing; sunscreen; and a hat.
  • Slow your pace.
  • Drink water and rest more often.
  • Seek shade and avoid long periods in direct sunlight.
  • If you are feel ill or extremely uncomfortable:
    • Rest in the shade
    • Drink lots of liquids
    • Cool off, and then
    • Head back to the trailhead.
  • Please leave dogs at home! Dogs are much more susceptible to overheating.

Travel: Check NY511 for road closures and conditions (leaves DEC website).

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

Aldrich Pond Wild Forest

  • The Aldrich Pond Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • All seasonal access roads, including Streeter Lake Road, are open to public motor vehicle access. (2019)
  • Powell Road leading to South Creek Lake often experiences flooded conditions due to beaver activity. Users should exercise caution and be aware of changing road conditions throughout the seasons. (2019)

Bog River Complex (Lows Lake, Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest, and Big Tupper & Piercefield Conservation Easement Tracts)

  • The Bog River Complex web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • All seasonal access roads are open to public motor vehicle use including the access road to Lows Lake/Hitchens Pond Waterway Access Site. (2019)

Cranberry Lake Wild Forest

  • The Cranberry Lake Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Nothing to report.

Five Ponds Wilderness

  • The Five Ponds Wilderness web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • A ten-mile section of the Oswegatchie River from High Falls downstream to the Inlet Hand Launch (Inlet Road) has numerous fallen trees across the river which may make passage difficult. Paddlers should portage around downed trees whenever possible. (2019)
  • An 800-foot portion of the High Falls Loop (part of the Cranberry 50) has been rerouted to avoid a dangerous log crossing of a beaver dam. The new route has been signed and blowdown has been removed. It is located approximately 0.6 mile east of High Falls. (2019)
  • Frequent flooding from beaver activity occurs along the High Falls Trail between Wanakena and the Sand Lake Trail. The trail is an important part of both the High Falls Loop (approximately 14 miles), and the larger Cranberry Lake 50 mile trail. (2016)

Pepperbox Wilderness

  • The Pepperbox Wilderness web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Main Haul Road on Croghan Conservation Easement Tract, which provides access to western portion of the wilderness, is open to public motor vehicle use. (5/16)

Watson's East Triangle Wild Forest (Croghan & Oswegatchie Conservation Easement Tracts)

  • The Watson's East Triangle Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Main Haul Road on Croghan Conservation Easement Tract is open to public motor vehicle use. (2019)
  • Bear Pond Road on the Watson's East Triangle Wild Forest is open to public motor vehicle use. (2019)
  • All seasonal access roads on Oswegatchie Conservation Easement Tract are open to public motor vehicle use. (2019)
  • Access to the Oswegatchie Tract Easement via the Bryant Bridge Road is limited to those paddling on the easement lands. All others should use the Bald Mountain Road. (2019)

William C. Whitney Wilderness & Round Lake Wilderness

  • The William C. Whitney Wilderness & Round Lake Wilderness web page provides information about the unit, and its recreational opportunities and a map of the unit.
  • Lake Lila Road is open for public motor vehicle use. Do not trespass on adjacent private lands. (2019)
  • A beaver dam has caused flooding of the Lilypad Pond Trail about 1.5 miles from trailhead, just past campsite #5. (2017)
  • Beaver activity has caused the flooding of the Stony Pond Road approximately one mile from the trailhead. Please use caution if you choose to cross this area. (2010)