Trail Information for the Southeastern Adirondacks
Updated: February 11, 2016
WARNING: Wilderness 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!
Be Prepared for Winter Conditions
- Your own physical capabilities, knowledge of backcountry recreation and skill level
- The distance you plan to travel and the terrain and conditions you will encounter
- Check (before entering the backcountry)
- With the Local Forest Ranger for current information
- Snow depths
- Current weather conditions and short-term forecast
- Winter Boots
- Waterproof Outer Wear
- Layers of non-cotton clothing
- Fleece or Wool Hat
- Gloves or Mittens
- Sunglasses (if sunny)
- Map and compass - know how to use them and use them!
- Snowshoes or skis
- Crampons, spikes or other traction devices
- Flashlight or headlamp & extra batteries
- Pocket knife or other multi-tool device
- Plenty of food and water
- Extra clothes and socks
- Bivy sack or space blankets in case you need to spend the night in woods
- Fire starter supplies - waterproof matches, butane lighter, candles, starter material, etc.
- Always inform someone of your itinerary and when you expect to return
Report back country emergencies, such as lost or injured hikers, and wildland fires to the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235.
Electronic Technology: Do not depend on electronic technology in the backcountry. Cell phone coverage is spotty at best and often non-existent. GPS signal can be poor under heavy tree cover. Batteries expire quickly in cold temperatures. Prepare before the trip and carry a map and compass for navigation or at least as backup.
Organized Events on State Lands: DEC regulation (190.8(cc), link leaves DEC website) prohibits any person from sponsoring, conducting or participating in any organized event of more than twenty people unless authorized by DEC under a temporary revocable permit (TRP). DEC seeks to ensure that large groups recreate on forest preserve lands 1) at locations, 2) during certain periods and 3) following practices that minimize their impacts on trails, vegetation, wildlife and other users.
Camping Permits: Camping for more than three nights or in a group of ten or more in Wild Forest lands requires a permit from a Forest Ranger. The following information must be provided to the forest ranger to obtain a camping permit: Name, Address, City, State, Zip Code, Vehicle License Plate Number, Telephone Number, Date of Birth, Number in Group, Camping Dates, and Location of Campsite.
Backcountry Campsites: Camping at designated campsites in the backcountry is done on a first come, first served basis. There is no reservation system for these primitive campsites. Campsites in popular areas fill up quickly on weekends so plan accordingly.
Road & Traffic Information: Use the link in the right column to visit NYS Department of Transportation 511 New York for information on transportation services, traffic, and road conditions throughout New York State.
Trails Supporter Patch: 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.
Weather: Always be aware of and prepared for weather conditions. Being properly prepared for weather and other conditions will help to ensure a safe and enjoyable time in the outdoors. Weather forecasts can and do change, use the National Weather Service "NWS Weather Forecast" link near the bottom of the right column to check the current weather forecast before entering the backcountry.
Extreme Cold and Wind Chill Forecasted: The National Weather Service forecast indicates this weekend will be the coldest of the winter so far. High temperatures will be below zero and wind chills will make it feel even colder through Sunday night. Check the NWS Windchill Chart (leaves DEC's website). Exposed skin may experience frostbite within 30 minutes or sooner. Minimize skin exposure: wear appropriate footwear, waterproof & insulated outer layer, a hat, gloves or mittens and layers of non-cotton clothing. Carry extra layers of non-cotton clothing. Put on and take off layers to keep comfortable. Avoid hypothermia by staying warm & dry, and resting, eating and hydrating often. (2/11)
Summit Information: Remember the temperature is colder, winds are stronger, and windchills are lower on summits. Bedrock and other exposed areas are icy and snow is deeper. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits. (2/11)
Ice on Water: The return of below freezing temperatures (and the extreme cold this weekend) has and will be making ice. Ice may be thin in some locations where there had been open water just days ago such as: along shorelines, over running water, near inlets & outlets, and near boathouses & docks - especially those with "bubblers" or other ice prevention devices. Ice with snow on the surface, may not hold a person's weight. Always check the thickness of ice before traveling across it. (2/11)
Snow Information: Snow depths range from 2 to 4 inches of light fluffy snow over frozen ground or ice. An additional 3 to 4 inches of snow is forecast through Friday night. Use the link near the bottom of the right column to view the National Weather Service "NERFC Snow Information" for maps depicting current snow depths, daily snowfall amounts, snow forecasts and information about the snowpack. (2/11)
Trail Conditions: Trails may be icy under light snow. Carry crampons or spikes and use when warranted. Cross-country skiing conditions have improved with the best conditions found on roadways and flat, smooth trails. (2/11)
Blowdown: Blowdown (fallen or hanging trees, limbs, and branches) may be found on trails, especially on trails in the higher elevations and less used trails. (2/11)
Snowmobile Trails: Gates have been opened on some snowmobile trails. Currently snowmobile trail conditions are poor to fair with some snow in the forecast. Snowmobilers should check local conditions before going out on trails. Skiers and snowshoers using designated snowmobiles trails should keep to side to allow safe passage of snowmobiles. Snowmobiles should slow down when passing skiers and snowshoers. (2/11)
Seasonal Access Roads: All seasonal access roads are closed to public motor vehicle access at this time. The roads will be reopened after the spring mud season. (2016)
Hunting Season: Small game hunting seasons remain open. Hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters bearing firearms or other hunting implements 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 may want to wear bright colors as an extra precaution. (2016)
Eastern Lake George Wild Forest
- Shelving Rock Road beyond Dacy Clearing Road is closed to snowmobiles until snows deepen. (2/4)
- The gates on Notch Lane in Mount Tom State Forest in southern Washington County are closed. The gates will be opened to snowmobiles when snow depths warrant, otherwise the gates will remain closed until the end of the spring mud season. (2/4)
- A snowstorm last winter which dumped more than a foot of wet, heavy snow in the Shelving Rock/Dacy Clearing area caused extensive blowdown on trails above 1,200 feet elevation. Please use caution when traversing the trail system as many section of trails are not clearly marked, indiscernible and/or impassable. DEC cleared some trails this spring and more work will take place this summer. Trails to the following mountains are in good shape: (2015)
- Buck Mountain
- Sleeping Beauty Mountain
- Shelving Rock Mountain
- Heavy blowdown is present above 1,200 feet on Erebus Mountain Trail, Fishbrook Pond to Lake George Trail and other lesser used trails in the area. (2015)
- Access to the 2,472-acre Saddles State Forest in northern Washington County, adjacent to the Adirondack Park, is currently limited due to the poor and unsafe condition of the access road and the lack of a parking area. While the public can walk the road there is no place nearby to park. DEC is working on plans to improve the road and to build a parking area. (2015)
- Users of the Shelving Rock Day Use Area must park in designated parking areas, not on the side of Shelving Rock Road. Vehicles parked along the road block traffic including emergency vehicles. Vehicles parked along the road will be ticketed. (2015)
- The Shelving Rock Area contains campsites, trails and day use areas.Ice continues to slowly thicken. Ice anglers are on the ice on waters open to ice fishing.
More about Trail Information for the Southeastern Adirondacks:
- Shelving Rock Area of the Lake George Wild Forest - New camping sites, parking lots and management actions in the Shelving Rock Area of the Lake George Wild Forest