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Backcountry Information for the Eastern Adirondacks

NOTE: The Adirondack Trail Information web pages are now the Adirondack Backcountry Information. The web pages now include information on the western Adirondacks and have been reorganized and reformatted. Individual Forest Preserve units may not be listed on the same page they were previously listed.

Map of showing the Eastern Region of the Adirondacks

Updated: May 26, 2016

General Notices

WARNING: Backcountry 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!

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Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web page for important notices and information which apply broadly across the Adirondacks, and links to important information about hiking, camping and paddling in the Adirondacks.

Weather: Always be aware of and prepared for weather conditions. 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. Check the current National Weather Service Weather Forecast (leaves DEC website) before entering the backcountry.

Spring Conditions: Trails are dry and firm for this time of year. However, mud and water are present on trails along water bodies, in low lying areas and in higher elevations. Walk through mud and water - not around - to prevent further eroding trails and damaging trailside vegetation.

Water Levels: Waters levels are low. Low water crossings are passable. Paddlers and boaters should watch for unexpected obstacles above or just below the water. Some sections of rivers and streams may not be passable.

Seasonal Access Roads: Seasonal access roads are open. Seasonal access roads can be rough, the use of 4-wheel drive pickup trucks, SUVs and other high clearance motor vehicles is recommended.

Summits: Temperatures will be colder and winds will be stronger. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits. The National Weather Service Mountain Point Forecasts (leaves DEC website) provides forecasts for selected summits in this area.

Report back country emergencies, such as lost or injured hikers, and wildland fires to the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235.

Specific Notices

Hammond Pond Wild Forest

  • There is blowdown on the trail between Hammond Pond and Bloody Pond. (2014)
  • A bridge over Crowfoot Brook on the Crowfoot Trail is out. (2011)
  • The Lindsey Brook Trail is closed due to flooding by beaver activity. (2007)

Lake George Wild Forest

  • Dacy Clearing Road is open to public motor vehicle use. (5/19)
  • Camping is prohibited on Montcalm Point at the point of the Tongue Mountain Range on Lake George. (5/13)
  • Large camping groups (more than 8 people) must contact local Forest Ranger prior to leaving the trailhead and entering the Tongue Mountain Range trail system. Also campfires must be kept small and within a 3 foot fire ring. (5/13)
  • Palmer Pond Road is open to public motor vehicle use. (5/13)
  • Gay Pond Road is open to public motor vehicle use. The road is heavily rutted from illegal use by 4-wheel drive vehicles during the snowmobile season. Only high clearance vehicles should be used to traverse the road and even those should be used with caution. (5/13)
  • Lily Pond Road is open to public motor vehicle use and is in fair shape. (5/12)
  • Jabe Pond Road is open to public motor vehicle use. (5/12)
  • All rock climbing routes on the Main Wall of Shelving Rock Mountain are open. All rock climbing routes on the Big Wall and Jackass Buttress (between & including "Enduro Man" and "Winds of Change") and the approach trail to them are now closed. Please use the lower approach trail that ascends the talus below the Main Wall. (5/12)
  • Shelving Rock Road is open to motor vehicle traffic. (5/12)
  • Buttermilk Road Extension is washed out and remains closed to all motor vehicle traffic. (2016)
  • Trails on Cat & Thomas Mountains are marked with Lake George Land Conservancy markers. Obtain a map from Conservancy before hiking this trail system. (2016)
  • On the Tongue Mountain Range, signs at trail intersection of the Summit (red) Trail and Lake (blue) Trail coming from the Clay Meadow Trailhead are often stolen. Hikers are advised to carry maps. (2016)
  • A snowstorm during the 2014/15 winter dumped more than a foot of wet, heavy snow in the Shelving Rock/Dacy Clearing area caused extensive blowdown on trails above 1,200 feet elevation. Please use caution when traversing the trail system as many section of trails are not clearly marked, indiscernible and/or impassable. DEC cleared some trails this spring and more work will take place this summer. Trails to Buck Mountain, Sleeping Beauty Mountain, and Shelving Rock Mountain are in good shape. (2015)
  • Heavy blowdown is present above 1,200 feet on Erebus Mountain Trail, Fishbrook Pond to Lake George Trail and other lesser used trails in the area. (2015)
  • 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)
  • Deer Leap Trail on Tongue Mountain is washed out and heavily cobbled with boulders from the trail head to the spur to Deer Leap, but is passable on foot. (2014)
  • Equestrians should be aware that there is significant blowdown on horse trails. While hikers may be able to get through the trails, it may be impossible or at least much harder for horses to get through. (2010)
  • The Hudson River Special Management Area web page provides more information and maps on the facilities, including ADA accessible facilities, in this area.
  • The Shelving Rock Area contains campsites, trails and day use areas.

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness

  • The newly constructed Berrymill Pond Lean-to is available for use. DEC Operations, Lands & Forests and Forest Ranger staff completed the construction of the new lean-to. (5/12)
  • The two trails between the Pharaoh Lake and Glidden Marsh have extensive blowdown in the sections along the lake. (2011)
  • The Springhill Pond Trail has extensive, large-sized blowdown along the entire length from parking area on West Hague Road to Pharaoh Lake. (2011)
  • The Blue Hill Trail has larger sized blowdown (greater than 2 feet diameter)and some minor trail washout from streams jumping banks. (2011)

Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest


More about Backcountry Information for the Eastern Adirondacks: