Trail Information for the Southeastern Adirondacks
Updated: February 27, 2014
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!
Report back country emergencies, such as lost or injured hikers, and wildland fires to the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235.
Be Prepared in the Winter
- 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
- Winter hiking boots
- Cold weather outer wear
- Layers of non-cotton clothes
- Hat and gloves or mittens
- Traction devices and crampons and use when warranted
- Snowshoes or skis and use in snow depths of 8 inches or more
- 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.
Winter Weather: Saturday is forecast to be cloudy & windy with snow showers. Daytime temperatures will be in the single digits in the morning then warm into the high 20s in the afternoon before dropping into the teens overnight. Sunday's forecast has some sun with daytime temperatures rising into the 20s. Water-resistant, cold weather outerwear, extra layers of non-cotton clothing and winter hat & gloves are recommended for any outdoor recreation activities. Weather forecasts can change, use the National Weather Service "NWS Weather Forecast" link near the bottom of the right column to check the current weather forecast before going into the backcountry. (2/27)
Winter Trail Conditions: There is good snow depth on the ground, however, warm weather, rain and usage last week compacted snow on trails. The return of cold weather has hardened the trails to "boilerplate" conditions with a shallow layer powder snow on top. Use the link in the right column to see the National Weather Service "NWS Snow Cover Map" which is updated daily. (2/27)
Cross Country Skiing: Skiing conditions are poor to fair. Groomed trails, less used secondary trails, less used snowmobile trails and high elevation trails provide the best opportunities for skiing. (2/27)
Snowshoes: Snowshoes with cleats (crampons) are necessary. Crampons or traction devices may be sufficient on lower elevation trails. Off trail snows provide the best opportunity for snowshoeing. The use of snowshoes or skis prevents "post-holing," avoids injury and eases travel on snow. "Post-holing" (leaving deep foot prints in the snow) ruins the trails for others and makes trails dangerous to travel. (2/27)
Blowdown: Strong winds have occurred this past week and are expected on Saturday. Blowdown may be found on trails, especially secondary, lesser used trails. Prepare accordingly. (2/27)
Prevent Hypothermia: Dress properly, stay dry and add or remove layers to regulate your body temperature. Carry plenty of food and water. Eat, drink and rest often. Being tired, hungry or dehydrated makes you more susceptible to hypothermia. Traveling in snow takes more energy and more time than traveling the same trail on bare ground. (2/27)
Snowmobiles: Gates are open and snowmobiles may legally operate on designated snowmobile trails. Conditions are fair to good. Check for local conditions using the snowmobile trail conditions links using the Visit Adirondacks link in the right column. Snowshoers and skiers using designated snowmobile trails should move to the side to allow snowmobiles to safely pass. (2/27)
Ice on Water: Ice conditions are good, but slush and water may be present on the surface. Avoid ice over or near running water, near inlets & outlets and near boathouses & docks - especially those with bubblers or other ice prevention devices. Ice that holds snow may not hold a person. Snow may cover thin ice or open water. Always check ice depths before going on the ice. (2/27)
Summits: Conditions on and near summits are more extreme - stronger winds, colder temperatures, deeper snow and ice. Use the link near the bottom of the right column to view the National Weather Service "NWS Mountain Forecasts" for selected summits in this area. (2/27)
Crampons: Crampons should be carried for use on summits and other icy areas. (2/27)
Short Days: Days are short. Plan accordingly and always carry a flashlight or headlamp and extra fresh batteries. (2/27)
Hunting Seasons: Hunting seasons remain open for small game. Hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters bearing firearms 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. (2/27)
Eastern Lake George Wild Forest
- All gates in the Shelving Rock area are open for winter recreation. (1/3)
- The gate on the snowmobile trail at the Black Mountain Trailhead off Pike Brook Road in the Town of Dresden is open. (1/3)
- Blowdown has been removed from the Sleeping Beauty Mountain Trail. (2013)
- The Dacy Clearing Road has received some much needed maintenance. Materials has been added to fill holes and cover rocks, and the road was raked and smoothed. (2013)
- DEC has replaced the roof on the Milman Pond Lean-to in the town of Dresden. (2013)
- 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 traffic including emergency vehicles. Vehicles parked along the road will be ticketed. (2012)
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