Trail Information for the Southeastern Adirondacks
Updated: May 23, 2013
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!
- 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, snow depths and short-term forecast
- Appropriate winter outer wear and foot wear (boots, gaiters and waterproof outer wear)
- Hat and gloves or mittens
- Layers of non-cotton clothes
- Map and compass - know how to use them and use them!
- Flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries
- Plenty of food and water
- Extra clothes and socks
- Ensolite pad to rest on and insulate your body from cold surfaces
- Bivy sack or space blankets for extra warmth
- Fire starter supplies - waterproof matches, butane lighter, candles, starter material, etc.
- Always inform someone of your itinerary and when you expect to return
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.
FLASH FLOOD WATCH: The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for all of the Adirondack region from noon Thursday (5/23) through Friday (5/24) morning. Low water crossings may not be passable this afternoon and trails along waters may be flooded.
Memorial Day Weekend: Trailhead parking lots, boat launches and interior campsites may reach capacity across the region. Plan accordingly and seek backcountry recreation opportunities in other areas of the Adirondack Forest Preserve to avoid crowds. (5/23)
Bear Activity: Black bears are becoming active in the backcountry. The use of bear-resistant canisters is encouraged throughout the Adirondacks. Prevent creating nuisance bears by properly using bear-resistant canisters, by storing all food, toiletries and garbage in the canister and by following other practices to prevent attracting bears. (5/23)
Biting Insect: Until the end of summer black flies, mosquitoes, deer flies and/or midges (no-see-ums) will be present. Take steps to minimize the nuisance of biting insects: (5/23)
- Wear light colored clothing;
- Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants, and tuck shirts into pants;
- Button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist;
- Tuck the bottom of pant legs into your socks;
- Pack a headnet to wear when insects are thick;
- Use an insect repellant with DEET, follow label directions.
Road Construction and Parking Area Closures: Road construction on the Old Military Road, which connects Route 73 and Route 86 near Lake Placid, is scheduled to be completed on Friday. Motor vehicles may still be required to detour through the village of Lake Placid during the day Friday. Old Military Road should be open to traffic throughout the holiday weekend. 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 the Adirondacks. (5/23)
Trail Conditions: Recent rains and the forecast for showers throughout the weekend means trails will be wet and muddy. Water levels are high; low water crossings may be unpassable and trails along waters may be flooded. Wear appropriate footwear for hiking through wet and muddy areas. Stay on the trail and hike through muddy areas to avoid widening the trails or creating "herd paths". Always check current weather conditions and forecasts before entering the backcountry. Use the link near bottom of the right column to view the current National Weather Service "Weather Forecast". (5/23)
Paddling Conditions: Water levels are high on most waters after recent rains and waters temperatures remain cold. Don't paddle alone, wear clothing that will keep you warm and dry and always wear a personal floatation device (PFD). Use the link near the bottom of right column to view the USGS Streamflows for selected waters in this area. (5/23)
Summits: Conditions on and near summits are more extreme - stronger winds and cooler temperatures. (5/23)
Blowdown: Blowdown may be present on trails, especially lesser used trails. Plan accordingly. (5/23)
Eastern Lake George Wild Forest
- All rock climbing routes on the Main Wall of Shelving Rock from Snake Charmer and Infinity Crack are closed. The rock climbing routes are closed to allow peregrine falcons to successfully nest. (5/23)
- The gate at the Hogtown Parking Lot is open and the Dacy Clearing Road is open to motor vehicle traffic. Vehicles with low clearance should use caution as the road is in rough shape in a few spots. (5/3)
- DEC will replace the roof on the Milman Pond Lean-to in the town of Dresden this spring. Materials for this project are being stored in the lean-to. Please leave these materials in the lean-to and use the other half of the floor space if you are camping there. (4/5)
- The gate at the Black Mountain Trailhead in the town of Dresden on the road to the Minogue Camp is closed for mud season. The gate will be reopened when the road is sufficiently dry to prevent damage from motor vehicle use. (4/5)
- Gates in the Pilot Knob area are closed. (3/15)
- A new parking area has been constructed along Shelving Rock Road near at the trailhead to Shelving Rock Falls. The parking area includes an accessible privy and space for 25 vehicles. (2012)
- 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 block traffic including emergency vehicles. Vehicles parked along the road will be ticketed. (2012)
- The trail markers on Buck Mountain Trail have been changed to avoid confusion. The trail from Shelving Rock Road to the summit of Buck Mountain has been re-marked with blue trail markers. The trail from Pilot Knob to Buck Mountain remains marked with yellow markers. (2011)
- There are a few blowdown trees on the trail to Sleeping Beauty Mountain. (2011)
- Camping is prohibited at "The Pines" and other locations within the Shelving Rock Day Use Area. (2005)
- 12 designated campsites have been built adjacent to the Shelving Rock and Dacy Clearing Roads. Campers must utilized these campsites or camp more than 500 feet from the roads. Use the link at the bottom of the page for additional information and a map of the designated campsites. (2005)
- Notch Lane Road in Mount Tom State Forest in town of White Creek, Washington County is gated closed for mud season. The gate will be reopened when the road is sufficiently dry to prevent damage from motor vehicle use. (4/5)
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