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Trail Information for the Southeastern Adirondacks

Map depicting forest preserve and conservation easement lands in Southeastern Adirondacks

Updated: November 26, 2014

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!

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 Autumn

  • 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
    • Waterproof hiking boots and gaiters
    • Layers of wool, fleece or other non-cotton clothing
    • Hat and gloves or mittens (or pack, depending on the conditions)
    • Sunglasses (if sunny)
  • Carry
    • Map and compass - know how to use them and use them!
    • Flashlight or headlamp & extra batteries
    • Traction devices to prevent slips and falls on snow and ice
    • Pocket knife or other multi-tool device
    • Plenty of food and water
  • Pack
    • Extra clothes and socks
    • Waterproof jacket and pants
    • 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

Organized Events on State Lands: DEC regulation (190.8(cc)) 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. See the information under the "Be Prepared" heading above to ensure you are prepared. 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. (11/26)

WINTER STORM WARNING

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for through 7 am Thursday. 8 to 12 inches of snow is forecast. Heavy snow with some drifting and maximum snowfall rates of 1 to 3 inches per hour are expected from this afternoon into the early evening. Use the "NWS Weather Forecast" link near the bottom of the right column for more details and updates on warnings, advisories and forecasts. (11/26)

Holiday Weekend Weather: Chance of snow and below freezing temperatures are forecast for Thursday through Saturday night. Sunday forecast is above freezing temperatures with a chance of rain and snow. Dress and pack appropriately for these conditions. Weather forecasts can and do changes; always check current weather conditions and forecast before entering the backcountry. (11/26)

Winter Conditions: Winter conditions are present throughout the area. Snow, ice and cold temperatures are present at all elevations. Carry extra layers of non-cotton clothing. Put on and take off layers as needed to keep comfortable. Plan trips to be out of the backcountry before dark. Always carry a flashlight or headlamp with fresh batteries just in case. (11/26)

Trail Conditions: Much of the snow on the ground last week has melted with the warm temperatures and rain earlier this week. Snow is forecast at all elevations with as much as 8 to 12 inches expected on the ground by Thursday morning. Most trails are frozen solid but mud & water may be found under ice in low areas, in drainages and along waters. (11/26)

Summits: Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger and snow will be deeper. (11/26)

Proper Footwear: Boots should be worn on all hikes. Traction devices should be carried and worn when conditions warrant to avoid slips and falls. Snowshoes may be necessary if snows are deeper than a foot. (11/26)

Ice on Water: Ice has gone out or thinned considerably from the warm weather and rain earlier this week. Ice remains present or is forming along shorelines, in bays & backwaters and in high elevation waters. Ice will not bear the weight of a person, even if it has snow on it. (11/26)

Water Levels: Water levels are high in rivers, streams, and drainages but should drop over the next few days with the return of below freezing temperatures. Stream crossings on trails may be difficult with deeper waters and icy rocks. (11/26)

Avoid Hypothermia: Stay dry and warm. Drink plenty of water, eat food and rest often. (11/26)

Blowdown: Strong winds earlier this week are likely to have resulted in blowdown on trails, especially lesser used secondary trails. (11/26)

Seasonal Access Roads: Seasonal access roads are typically dirt or gravel roads that often are rough and muddy with rocks sticking up in locations. Shoulders are soft, ditched or even non existent. Drivers should always drive slowly and use caution when operating on these roads. Pickup trucks, SUVs and other high axle vehicles are recommended - four wheel drive vehicles will serve even better. (11/26)

Hunting Seasons: Hunting seasons for big game, small game and waterfowl are 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. There is no record of a hunting related shooting incident in New York State involving a hiker. (11/26)

Paddlers & Boaters: Ice is present and forming along shorelines and in bays & backwaters. All people aboard any water vessel less than 21 feet in length must wear a Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs, aka life jackets). Cold water can quickly cause a person without a PFD to lose their ability to keep their head above water. Use the "USGS Current Streamflow for NY Waters" link near the bottom right column to check water levels and flows in select waters. (11/26)

Fire Danger: Low, always be cautious with campfires. Check the current Fire Danger Map. (11/26)Specific Notices

Eastern Lake George Wild Forest

  • The Dacy Clearing Road will remain open to motor vehicles until winter snows make it impassable. The road will open to snowmobiles when the snow depths allows. The road will close to all motor vehicles and motorized vehicles during the spring mud season. (10/16)
  • 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. (2014)
  • The Black Mountain Trailhead gate off Pike Brook Road remains closed, but only adds 15 minutes to hike up Black Mountain or other destinations. (2014)
  • 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. (2014)
  • 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 the trailhead to Shelving Rock Falls. The parking area includes an accessible privy and space for 25 vehicles. (2012)

More about Trail Information for the Southeastern Adirondacks: