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Trail Information for the Southeastern Adirondacks

Map depicting forest preserve and conservation easement lands in Southeastern Adirondacks

Updated: November 25, 2015

General Notices

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!

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Be Prepared

  • Know
    • 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
    • Current weather conditions and short-term forecast
  • Wear
    • Hiking shoes or hiking boots
    • Comfortable non-cotton clothing
    • Hat to protect from sun or rain
    • Sunglasses (if sunny)
  • Carry
    • Map and compass - know how to use them and use them!
    • Flashlight or headlamp & extra batteries
    • Pocket knife or other multi-tool device
    • Plenty of food and water
  • Pack
    • Extra clothes and socks
    • Waterproof jacket and pants
    • Gaiters to wear on wet & muddy trails
    • Sunscreen
    • 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.

Seasonal Notices

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.

Shorter Days: The length of day continues to shorten and sunset arrives much earlier with the return to Standard Time. Sunset will occur at approximately 4:25 pm, it will be dark by 4:55 pm. Plan trips to be out of the backcountry before dark. Forest Rangers have recently responded to numerous incidents of hikers in the dark without a flashlight. Always carry a flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries just in case you are caught after dark. (11/25)

Colder Temperatures: While day time temperatures are forecast to be around 50s on Thanksgiving Day and Friday, and around 40 on the weekend. There is a chance of showers Friday evening, changing to a mix of rain & snow Friday night with a chance of snow showers Saturday morning. Wear appropriate footwear, a waterproof outer layer, a hat and layers of non-cotton clothing. Carry extra layers of non-cotton clothing. Put on and take off layers as needed to keep comfortable. Stay warm & dry to prevent hypothermia. (11/25)

Trail Conditions: Trails may be a mixture of mud and ice in the morning but may be wet and muddy by midday. Ice and snow may be present in the higher elevations. Wet or frozen leaves can make for slippery footing; especially on steep grades. Bedrock, rocks, logs, bog bridging and bridges may be icy, especially in the morning - pack footwear traction devices and use when warranted. Wear waterproof footwear & gaiters, walk through - not around - mud and water on trails. (11/25)

Summits: Temperatures will be cooler, winds will be stronger and snow & ice may be presen during the weekend. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits. (11/25)

Seasonal Access Roads: Seasonal access roads will remain open through the hunting seasons provided there is no significant snowfall. Seasonal access roads are rough, dirt or gravel roads. Four wheel drive trucks, SUVs and other high axle vehicles are recommended. (11/25)

Fire Danger: LOW. Check today's Fire Danger Rating Map. (11/25)

Hunting Season: Big game, small game and waterfowl hunting seasons are 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. (11/25)Bear-Resistant Canisters: The use of bear-resistant canisters is recommended throughout the Adirondacks to avoid losing food to bears and to prevent creating nuisance bears through the month of November. All food, toiletries and garbage must be stored in bear-resistant canisters. (11/2015)

Specific Notices

Eastern Lake George Wild Forest

  • 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: (6/18)
    • 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. (6/18)
  • Dacy Clearing Road is open to motor vehicle traffic from the Hogtown Parking Area to Dacy Clearing. (2015)
  • Hogtown Road and the Hogtown Parking Area are open to public motor vehicles. (2015)
  • Shelving Rock Road is open to public motor vehicle traffic. (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.

More about Trail Information for the Southeastern Adirondacks: