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Backcountry Information for the Eastern Adirondacks

Map of showing the Eastern Region of the Adirondacks

Updated: March 14, 2019

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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Practice Leave No Trace: Please abide by the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace (leaves DEC's website) when recreating in the Adirondacks.

Weather forecasts and conditions can and do change quickly.

  • Check the current National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast (leaves DEC website) and be prepared for the forecasted conditions or to change your plans.
  • NY Mesonow (leaves DEC website) has two dozen stations in and just outside of Adirondacks that provide real time weather data and forecasts.

FLOOD WATCH: The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for Northern New York in effect from 8 am Friday to 8 pm Saturday.

  • The Flood Watch covers all of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, and St. Lawrence County.
  • Temperatures rising well into the 50s Thursday and Friday will lead to a rapid loss of snowpack, especially in valley locations.
  • The runoff will contribute to river ice breakup, likely beginning during the day Friday and extending through Saturday.
  • Due to thick river ice, in excess of one foot in many areas, the potential exists for localized ice jams and associated flooding as river ice breakup occurs.
  • Be alert to sudden changes in river levels and localized flooding.
  • A Flood Watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts.
  • Monitor NWS forecasts (leaves DEC website) and be alert for possible Flood Warnings.

Road Conditions and Closures: Check before you travel at NY511 (leaves DEC website).

Winter Weather: Snow, ice, and below freezing temperatures are present throughout the Adirondacks. The National Weather Service NERFC Snow Page (leaves DEC website) provides maps depicting current snow depths and forecasts.

Be Prepared for Winter Conditions with safety tips from this fact sheet and this winter safety video (leaves DEC website).

DEC and OPRHP remind snowmobilers to ride responsibly (leaves DEC website) while enjoying the state's abundant snowmobiling opportunities.

DEC Adventure Adirondacks: Visit the DEC Facebook page (leaves DEC website) to follow the DEC Adventure Adirondacks Group for more information on winter hiking safety, preparedness, trail conditions, and trip ideas. Login to join the group

Adirondack Backcountry Information: Be sure to check Adirondack Backcountry Information main web page for important general notices and information which applies across the Adirondacks.

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

Specific Notices

Hammond Pond Wild Forest

  • The Hammond Pond Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Nothing to report.

Lake George Wild Forest

  • The Lake George Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • The Town of Fort Ann has closed Shelving Rock Road for mud season. Parking along Shelving Rock Road and at the gate is prohibited. Sleeping Beauty, Shelving Rock, and the Buck Mountain East Trailhead are not accessible while the road is closed. (3/14)
  • The gate on Notch Lane Truck Trail on the nearby Mount Tom State Forest in the town of White Creek, Washington County, has been closed for ice/mud conditions. (2/8)
  • Snowmobile gates and trails to Long Pond in town of Horicon and Palmer Pond in town of Chester are open. (1/25)
  • Trails on Cat & Thomas Mountains are marked with Lake George Land Conservancy markers. Obtain a map from Conservancy before hiking this trail system. (2016)
  • 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)
  • 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)

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness

  • The Pharaoh Lake Wilderness web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Nothing to report.

Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest

  • The Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • The gate at Lewis Clearing Bay Trailhead along Lake Shore Road is open. Anglers can use the Lewis Clearing Bay Trail to access the ice on Lake Champlain. (2/8)