Adirondack Backcountry Information
Looking for a great seasonal hike in the Adirondacks? How about an easy, family-friendly hike? Maybe you prefer a quiet paddle in a canoe or an exhilarating kayaking adventure. The Adirondack Regional Tourism Council (leaves DEC website) provides directions and trail descriptions for hundreds of hikes (leaves DEC website) through the woods and up mountains; and directions and descriptions of routes for hundreds of paddles (leaves DEC website) on the lakes, ponds and rivers of the Adirondacks.
The more than 2,300 miles of trails on the Adirondack Forest Preserve provide hikes of various distances, levels of challenge and types of scenery. All trails are available for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and some trails are available for biking or horseback riding. The more than 3,000 lakes and ponds, and 30,000 miles of rivers and streams in the Adirondacks provide for a variety of boating, paddling and fishing opportunities. Find a trail, boat launch or hand launch for your backcountry adventure using the State Land Interactive Mapper or DEC Google Data.
Help Maintain Trails & Waterway Access
The Trails Supporter Patch is now available for $5 at all outlets where sporting licenses are sold, on-line and via telephone at 1-866-933-2257. Patch proceeds will help maintain and enhance non-motorized trails throughout New York State.
Volunteer to help preserve, maintain and enhance New York's outdoor recreation. Individuals or groups can enter into a Volunteer Stewardship Agreement to maintain trails, lean-tos, boat launches, or other recreational infrastructure.
Stay Safe, Respect Others and Protect the Environment
Back country hiking trails can be rugged and rough - they are not maintained as park walkways - and wilderness conditions can change suddenly. Properly prepare to ensure a safe outdoor experience. Follow all state land use rules for hiking and primitive camping and Leave No Trace principles (leaves DEC website) to minimize your impacts on the natural resources and others users.
Be aware that you may encounter black bears and other wildlife while hiking, paddling and camping in the Adirondacks. Enjoy viewing and photographing wildlife, but do not feed or harass wildlife.
Seasonal Notices and Information (October 20, 2016)
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. Weather forecasts can and do change.
Fire Danger: Low. Check the current Fire Danger Map.
Rain and Snow: Significant amounts of rain are forecast through the weekend. The current forecast calls for a mix of rain & snow and snow at times. Snow may accumulate in the higher elevations of the central and northern Adirondacks. Check the current National Weather Service Weather Forecast (leaves DEC website) and the National Weather Service NERFC Snow Page (leaves DEC website) for the latest snow information.
High Elevation Summits: Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger, and snow may be present on summits. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits. Check the National Weather Service Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits.
Trail Conditions: Trails will be wet and muddy in the lower elevations and may have snow and ice in the higher elevations - with mixed conditions in between. Wet leaves, snow and ice will make for slippery trails - wear proper footwear and traction devices. Snowshoes may be warranted in the highest elevations of the central and northern Adirondacks. Remain on trails; walk through mud & water and on snow & ice to prevent further eroding trails and damaging trailside vegetation.
Avoid Hypothermia: The forecasted wet and cold weather provides ideal conditions for hypothermia.
- Wear waterproof outer layers.
- Wear layers of fleece, wool, and other non-cotton clothing.
- Pack extra clothing including a fleece, wool or other non-cotton jacket or sweater.
- Add or remove layers to maintain a comfortable body temperature.
- Wear cold weather hat and gloves (or mittens).
- Eat, drink and rest often.
Shorter Days: Autumn has arrived the sun sets earlier each day. Sunset is around 6:00 pm, earlier in deep valleys and on northern and eastern facing slopes. It will become darker sooner when skies are cloud covered. Plan to return to the trailhead by sunset but always carry a flashlight or headlamp just in case.
Water Levels: Waters level are low but will rise with the forecasted precipitation. Use caution when traversing low water crossings and drainages.
Autumn Foliage: Track the changing colors of the leaves in the Adirondacks, view the New York Fall Foliage Report (leaves DEC website).
Hunting Seasons: The regular Northern Zone Big Game hunting season opens this weekend. Small game and waterfowl hunting seasons are also 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. Hikers can wear bright colors as an extra precaution if it makes them more comfortable.
Paddling and Boating: Water levels are low. Boaters should use caution when using boat launches. Boaters and paddlers should be aware that waters are shallower and previously unknown rocks, logs and other obstructions may be at or just below the water surface. Use caution even when boating in areas known to you, but especially in areas you have never boated before.
Seasonal Access Roads: Seasonal access roads may be rough, wet and muddy; the use of 4-wheel drive pickup trucks, SUVs and other high clearance motor vehicles is recommended.
Blowdown: Blowdown (fallen or hanging trees, limbs, and branches) may be present on trails, especially on trails in the higher elevations and lesser used trails.
Check the map and then link to the area of Adirondacks you plan to visit. Use the Adirondack Forest Preserve Map and Guide to help you determine the area you plan to visit. The information is provided by DEC Forest Rangers and Foresters based on their knowledge & observations and is updated weekly.
The information provided may not reflect current specific conditions. Contact the local Forest Ranger for more current and specific information by calling 518-897-1300 or check the list of Region 5 Forest Rangers or Region 6 Forest Rangers for direct contact information.
Green - Forest Preserve Lands
Tan - Conservation Easement Lands
Gray - Private Lands
More about Adirondack Backcountry Information :
- Backcountry Information for the Northwestern Adirondack - Information regarding access, outdoor recreation infrastructure and conditions on the lands and waters in the Northwestern Adirondack Backcountry for Grass River Complex, Raquette Boreal Complex, and Whitehill Wild Forest
- Backcountry Information for the Northern Adirondacks - Information regarding access, outdoor recreation infrastructure and conditions on the lands and waters in the Northern Adirondack Backcountry for the DeBar Mountain Wild Forest, Kushaqua Tract Easement, Paul Smiths College Easement, Santa Clara Tract Easement, Saranac Lakes Wild Forest, and St. Regis Canoe Area
- Backcountry Information for the Northeastern Adirondacks - Information regarding access, outdoor recreation infrastructure and conditions on the lands and waters in the Northern Adirondack Backcountry for the Chazy Highlands Wild Forest, Lake Champlain Islands Complex, Sable Highlands Tract, Taylor Pond Complex, and Wilmington Wild Forest.
- Backcountry Information for the High Peaks Region - Information regarding access, outdoor recreation infrastructure and conditions on the lands and waters in the backcountry of the High Peaks Region for the High Peaks Wilderness, Dix Mountain Wilderness, Giant Mountain Wilderness, Hurricane Mountain Wilderness, Jay Mountain Wilderness, McKenzie Mountain Wilderness, and Sentinel Range Wilderness
- Backcountry Information for the Western Adirondacks - Information regarding access, outdoor recreation infrastructure and conditions on the lands and waters in the Western Adirondack Backcountry for the Aldrich Pond Wild Forest, Bog River Complex, Cranberry Lake Wild Forest, Five Ponds & Pepperbox Wildernesses, Watson's East Triangle Wild Forest, and William C. Whitney & Round Lake Wilderness
- Backcountry Information for the West Central Adirondacks - Information regarding access, outdoor recreation infrastructure and conditions on the lands and waters in the West Central Adirondack Backcountry for the Blue Mountain Wild Forest, Township 19 Easement, Township 20 Easement, Blue Ridge Wilderness, Moose River Plains Complex, Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Easement, Sargent Ponds Wild Forest, West Canada Lakes Wilderness
- Backcountry Information for the East Central Adirondacks - Information regarding access, outdoor recreation infrastructure and conditions on the lands and waters in the East Central Adirondack Backcountry for the Camp Santanoni Historic Area,Essex Chain Lakes Complex, Hoffman Notch Wilderness, Hudson Gorge Wilderness, Jessup River Wild Forest, Siamese Ponds Wilderness and Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest
- Backcountry Information for the Eastern Adirondacks - Information regarding access, outdoor recreation infrastructure and conditions on the lands and waters in the Eastern Adirondack Backcountry for the Hammond Pond Wild Forest, Lake George Wild Forest, Pharaoh Lake Wilderness, and Split Rock Wild Forest
- Backcountry Information for the Southwestern Adirondacks - Information regarding access, outdoor recreation infrastructure and conditions on the lands and waters in the Southwestern Adirondack Backcountry for the Black River Wild Forest, Fulton Chain Wild Forest, Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness, Independence River Wild Forest, and Pigeon Lake Wilderness
- Backcountry Information for the Southern Adirondacks - Information regarding access, outdoor recreation infrastructure and conditions on the lands and waters in the Southern Adirondack Backcountry for the Ferris Lake Wild Forest, Shaker Mountain Wild Forest, Silver Lake Wilderness, and Wilcox Lake Wild Forest
- North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) - The DEC has completed a Draft Plan/GEIS for the North Country National Scenic Trail Adirondack Park section. This plan describes a proposed route across the central region of the Adirondack Park. The route assessment presented in this plan will be integrated into the unit management plans (ump's) for each respective unit traversed by the trail.