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Trail Information for the Southeastern Adirondacks

Map depicting forest preserve and conservation easement lands in Southeastern Adirondacks

Updated: May 21, 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

  • 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

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

Fire Danger: MODERATE. Don't leave campfires unattended. Be sure campfires are completely out and embers are cool to the touch. Check today's Fire Danger Rating Map. (5/21)

Memorial Day Holiday Weekend: Due to the holiday weekend expect to see more people than usual recreating on the lands and waters of the Adirondacks. Trailheads, campsites, lean-tos and boat launches may fill up early at popular locations. Plan accordingly and seek less used locations to recreate. (5/21)

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. (5/21)

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 can expire. Prepare before the trip and carry a map and compass for navigation or at least as backup. (5/21)

Spring Conditions: Temperartures are forecast to drop below freezing Friday night. Daytime temperatures are forecast to be in the 60s and 70s through Monday. There is a small chance of rain showers on Memorial Day. Carry a water & wind resistant outer layer and extra layers of non-cotton clothing. Add and remove clothing to stay comfortable. (5/21)

Trail Conditions: Trails may be muddy and wet, especially in low lying areas and along water. Wear waterproof footwear and gaiters, and remember to walk through - not around - mud and water on trails to avoid further eroding trails. Ice may be present on trails early Saturday. (5/21)

Seasonal Access Roads: Most seasonal access roads are open. Seasonal access roads are rough, dirt or gravel roads. Four wheel drive trucks, SUVs and other high axle vehicles are recommended. (5/21)

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. All food, toiletries and garbage must be stored in bear-resistant canisters. (5/21)

Biting Insects: Black Flies and Mosquitos are present in the lower elevations. Follow these steps to minimize the nuisance of biting insects: (5/21)

  • Wear light colored clothing, long sleeve shirts, and long pants;
  • Tuck shirts into pants, pant legs into socks and button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist;
  • Pack a headnet to wear when insects are thick;
  • Use an insect repellant with DEET and follow the label directions.

Summits: Temperatures will be cooler and winds will be stronger. (5/21)

Water Levels & Temperatures: Water levels are below normal spring flows, but water temperatures remain very cool. A person in the water will quickly lose the ability to keep their head above water without a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). PFDs should be worn by all paddlers and boaters in small boats. Use the link near the bottom of the right column to check levels and flows of selected waters at the USGS Current Streamflow for New York Waters. (5/21)

Specific Notices

Eastern Lake George Wild Forest

  • Due to severe erosion during the spring melt Dacy Clearing Road remains closed to motor vehicles. Those planning to camp at Campsites #1-7 can hike from the Hogtown Parking Area to the campsites. This will require a hike of 1.5 miles to reach Campsite #7. (5/21)
  • Hogtown Road and the Hogtown Parking Area are open to public motor vehicles. (5/21)
  • Shelving Rock Road is open to public motor vehicle traffic. (5/21)
  • Notch Lane in the nearby Mt. Tom State Forest is open. (5/21)
  • Dolph Pond Road in the Dolph Pond State Forest is open to public motor vehicle traffic. Hunters may use the road to access the state forest for turkey hunting. (5/21)
  • The gate and access road for the Black Mountain Trailhead are closed to motor vehicles until the end of the spring mud season. (4/30)
  • Climbing routes on the Main Wall (left of Wake and Bake Buttress) from the Snakecharmer Corner to Infinity Crack in the Shelving Rock area are closed to climbers. (More information, included the list of specific closed climbing routes) All other climbing routes are open. (5/21)
  • 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)

More about Trail Information for the Southeastern Adirondacks: