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Trail Information for the Southeastern Adirondacks

Map depicting forest preserve and conservation easement lands in Southeastern Adirondacks

Updated: March 5, 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!

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
    • Skis or Snowshoes (wherever snow depth is 8 inches or more)
    • 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. (3/5)

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. (3/5)

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. (3/5)

Snow: Snow depths range from 15 to 20 inches in the lower elevations. The snow is deeper in the higher elevations. Use the National Weather Service "NWS Snow Cover Maps" link near the bottom of the right column to check the snow depth and snow forecast for the area. Maps are updated daily. (3/5)

Skis, Snowshoes & Crampons: Skis or snowshoes should be worn on all trails. The use of snowshoes or skis avoids "post-holing", eases travel, and prevents injuries. Traction devices should be carried and worn when warranted. Crampons may be required on summits and icy locations. (3/5)

Trail Conditions: Trails remain in great condition as a result of some additional snowfall and cold temperatures. Some trails, especially lesser used secondary trails, may not be "broken" yet. Traveling on unbroken trails will take more energy and more time. (3/5)

Avoid Hypothermia: Stay dry and warm. Drink plenty of water, eat food and rest often. (3/5)

Summits: Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger and snow will be deeper - especially where drifts have formed. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits or in heavy falling and/or blowing snow. (3/5)

Ice on Water: Avoid ice over or near running water, near inlets & outlets and near boathouses & docks - especially those with bubblers or other ice prevention devices. (3/5)

Snowmobile Trails: Designated snowmobile trails are in good condition. Check local trail conditions before heading out. Skiers and snowshoers using designated snowmobile trails should keep to the side to allow safe passage of snowmobiles. Snowmobiles should slow down when passing skiers and snowshoers. (3/5)

Seasonal Access Roads: Seasonal access roads are closed to motor vehicle traffic until after the spring mud season. (3/5)

Blowdown: Blowdown may be present on trails, especially lesser used secondary trails. (3/5)

Hunting Seasons: Hunting seasons for small game and some 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. (3/5)

Specific Notices

Eastern Lake George Wild Forest

  • The snowmobile trail between Dacy Clearing and Black Mountain has been cleared of blowdown and groomed. (2/12)
  • There are several feet of snow on the summit of Black Mountain. Snowshoes must be worn to travel through deep snows. (2/12)
  • 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)
  • The Black Mountain Trailhead gate off Pike Brook Road remains closed, but only adds 15 minutes to hike up Black Mountain or other destinations. (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)

More about Trail Information for the Southeastern Adirondacks: