Trail Information for the Southeastern Adirondacks
Updated: August 27, 2015
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!
- 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
- Hiking shoes or hiking boots
- Comfortable non-cotton clothing
- Hat to protect from sun or rain
- Sunglasses (if sunny)
- 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
- Extra clothes and socks
- Waterproof jacket and pants
- Gaiters to wear on wet & muddy trails
- 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
Report back country emergencies, such as lost or injured hikers, and wildland fires to the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235.
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.
Organized Events on State Lands: DEC regulation (190.8(cc), link leaves DEC website) 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.
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, 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.
Avoid Dehydration: DEC Forest Rangers and other field staff have assisted numerous people suffering from varying degrees of dehydration this summer. Dizziness, confusion, weakness, cramping and nausea are signs of dehydration. Be sure to carry plenty of water. It is better to drink moderate amounts of water often than large amounts of water occasionally. Rest and drink water often - especially in warm weather - to avoid dehydration. (8/27)
Fire Danger: MODERATE. Don't leave campfires unattended. Be sure campfires are completely out and embers are wet and cool. Check today's Fire Danger Rating Map. (8/27)
Trail Conditions: Trails may be wet and muddy, especially in low areas and along water. Wear waterproof footwear and gaiters walk through - not around - mud and water on trails to avoid further eroding trails. (8/27)
Water Levels: Water levels in streams and rivers are average or above average for this time of year. Low water crossings are passable, but may not be during or immediately after thunderstorms or heavy rain. (8/27)
Paddlers & Boaters: PFDs should be worn by all paddlers and boaters in small boats. A PFD is required for each person in a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddleboard (SUP). 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. (2015)
Thunderstorm Safety: Avoid summits, water surfaces and other open areas during thunderstorms. As soon as you are first aware of an approaching thunderstorm move to lower elevations, head to shore or otherwise seek shelter. If caught outside in a thunderstorm find a low spot away from tall trees, seek an area of shorter trees and crouch down away from tree trunks. (2015)
Summits: Temperatures will be cooler and winds will be stronger. (2015)
Seasonal Access Roads: All 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. (2015)
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. (2015)
Biting Insects: Expect to encounter Mosquitos, Deer Flies and Gnats (no-see-ums). Follow these steps to minimize the nuisance of biting insects: (2015)
- 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.
Eastern Lake George Wild Forest
- There has been an increase number of sightings of timber rattlesnakes on the eastern side of Lake George by hikers and other recreationist. Be alert, pay attention to the trail ahead of you and areas adjacent to the trail. Rattlesnakes do not always rattle just because you are close. If you spot a rattlesnake keep away or move slowly away. The snake will likely want to move away from you don't block its escape. Do not harass or harm the snake - it is unsafe and illegal to do so. (7/23)
- A snowstorm this winter which 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 the following mountains are in good shape: (6/18)
- Buck Mountain
- Sleeping Beauty Mountain
- Shelving Rock Mountain
- 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. (6/18)
- Dacy Clearing Road is open to motor vehicle traffic from the Hogtown Parking Area to Dacy Clearing. (2015)
- Hogtown Road and the Hogtown Parking Area are open to public motor vehicles. (2015)
- Shelving Rock Road is open to public motor vehicle traffic. (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)
- The Shelving Rock Area contains campsites, trails and day use areas.
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