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Trail Information for the Southeastern Adirondacks

Map depicting forest preserve and conservation easement lands in Southeastern Adirondacks

Updated: April 28, 2016

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!

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Be Prepared for Winter Conditions

  • 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
    • Snow depths
    • Current weather conditions and short-term forecast
  • Wear
    • Boots
    • Gaiters
    • Waterproof Outer Wear
    • Layers of non-cotton clothing
    • Sunglasses (if sunny)
  • Carry
    • Map and compass - know how to use them and use them!
    • Spikes or other traction devices
    • Flashlight or headlamp & extra batteries
    • Pocket knife or other multi-tool device
    • Plenty of food and water
  • Pack
    • Extra clothes and socks
    • Hat and gloves
    • 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

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.

Seasonal Notices

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.

Fire Danger: Moderate. Dead and dry vegetation is present. Never leave campfires unattended and be sure campfires are out and embers are cool. Current Fire Danger Map. (4/28)

Early Spring Conditions: Daytime temperatures are forecast to be in the mid and high 50s. Nighttime low temperatures will be in the mid and high 30s. Chance of rain forecast for Sunday. (4/28)

Mud & Water on Trails: Middle and high elevation trails are muddy. All hikers should wear waterproof footwear and gaiters. Remain on the trails and walk through mud & water to protect trails. Walking around mud or water erodes trails and damages trailside vegetation. (4/28)

Ice on Trails: Ice may be present in the highest elevations where snow was compacted through the winter. All hikers should carry micro-spikes and wear when warranted. Remain on the trails and walk on ice to protect trails. Walking around ice erodes trails and damages trailside vegetation. (4/28)

Ice on Water: Ice is out on all waters. (4/28)

Water Levels & Temperatures: Waters levels are high but well below average for this time of year. Water temperatures are very cold. A person fell into the water could quickly lose the ability to keep their head above water. People boating or paddling should wear a personal flotation device (PFD) at all times. PFDs are required to be worn by all people in watercraft less than 21 feet in length until May 1st. (4/28)

Blowdown: Strong winds from a recent storm may have resulted in blowdown (fallen or hanging trees, limbs, and branches) on trails, especially on trails in the higher elevations and less used trails. (4/28)

Summits: Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger, and bedrock and other exposed areas will be icy. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits. (4/28)

Seasonal Access Roads: Most seasonal access roads remain closed through the spring mud season. DEC will reopen the roads once any needed maintenance is completed and the roads are dry enough to safely handle public motor vehicle traffic. Motor vehicle use during the spring mud season will damage roads and result in road opening delays. (4/28)

Specific Notices

Eastern Lake George Wild Forest

  • Dacy Clearing Road remains closed for mud season. (4/28)
  • All rock climbing routes on the Main Wall of Shelving Rock Mountain are closed to allow peregrine falcons to nest. (4/7)
  • The Town of Fort Ann has reopened Shelving Rock Road to motor vehicle traffic. (3/24)
  • Notch Lane in Mount Tom State Forest in southern Washington County is open to motor vehicles traffic. (3/24)
  • A snowstorm last 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: (2015)
    • 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. (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.Ice continues to slowly thicken. Ice anglers are on the ice on waters open to ice fishing.

More about Trail Information for the Southeastern Adirondacks: