Trail Information for the Southeastern Adirondacks
Updated: December 5, 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!
Report back country emergencies, such as lost or injured hikers, and wildland fires to the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235.
- 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
- Shoes or boots specifically designed for hiking
- Layers of non-cotton clothes
- Hat for protection from sun and rain
- Map and compass - know how to use them and use them!
- Flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries
- Plenty of food and water
- Insect repellent and sunblock
- Extra clothes and socks
- Hat and gloves or mittens
- 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.
Cold Weather: The short current recent warm spell will be followed by a return to below freezing temperatures. Day time highs are forecasted to be in the 20s & 30s with night time lows in the 20s & teens. Cold weather outer garments, extra layers of non-cotton clothing and a winter hat & gloves are necessary for any outdoor recreation activities. Use the link near bottom of the right column to view the current National Weather Service "Weather Forecast". (12/5)
Snow and Ice: Last week's storm did not result in the snow depths that were forecasted. Much of the snow present is melting during the current warm spell. As temperatures fall below the freezing mark snow will harden. Snowshoes are not required at this time, but boots and traction devices are recommended. Crampons may be warranted on summits and bedrock slopes. (12/5)
Trail Conditions: In the lower elevations trails should harden up by the weekend and may be icy in certain areas. Hard snow and ice can be expected in the higher elevations. (12/5)
Shorter Days: Days are shorter. Plan accordingly and always carry a flashlight or headlamp and extra fresh batteries. (12/5)
Summits: Conditions on and near summits are more extreme - stronger winds, colder temperatures, ice and snow. (12/5)
Ice on Water: Ice has formed on most waters. Waters may have opened up during the warm spell and refroze with the return of the cold weather. No ice is safe to travel on at this time. Ice that holds snow will not hold the weight of a person at this time of year. (12/5)
Cold Water: Water temperatures are mostly in the 30s. PFDs must be worn by all people at all times in boats less than 21 feet in length until May 1. (12/5)
Hunting Seasons: Autumn hunting seasons for small game, waterfowl and big game 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. Hunting accidents involving non-hunters are extremely rare. Hikers may want to wear bright colors as an extra precaution. (12/5)
Blowdown: Blowdown may be present on trails. Plan accordingly. (12/5)
Eastern Lake George Wild Forest
- Blowdown has been removed from the Sleeping Beauty Mountain Trail. (12/5)
- 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. (11/7)
- Some trail advisor websites are promoting an undesignated trail to access the Calves Pen "jumping rock" by land. The path described crosses private lands and is hard to follow. Use of this path has led to trespassing and lost hikers. DEC discourages the public from accessing the Calves Pen by land. (9/12)
- CAMPSITES IN THE SHELVING ROCK AREA CAN NOT BE RESERVED. The designated campsites are considered primitive (aka backcountry) campsites on Forest Preserve lands and are not part of the Lake George Islands Campground. The campsites can be obtained on a first come, first served basis and used in accordance with the State Land Camping and Hiking Rules. (8/8)
- All rock climbing routes on the Main Wall of Shelving Rock are open, peregrine falcon nesting activity has ended for the season. (8/5)
- 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)
- 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)
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