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Backcountry Information for the Eastern Adirondacks

Map of showing the Eastern Region of the Adirondacks

Updated: May 18, 2017

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 the weather and conditions will help to ensure a safe and enjoyable time in the outdoors. Check the current National Weather Service Weather Forecast (leaves DEC's website).

Victoria Day Holiday Weekend: This weekend is a three-day holiday weekend for our Canadian friends to the north. Expect to see higher than usual numbers of people at trailheads and boat launches, and on trails and waterways, especially in typically popular areas. Visitors are encouraged to explore less used trails and waterways of the Adirondacks.

Seasonal Access Roads: Many seasonal access roads remain closed for the spring mud season, but some seasonal access roads have reopened. Check the Specific Notices below for the status of individual roads or road systems. Roads will be reopened after they have dried, hardened, and any necessary maintenance. DEC plans to have all seasonal roads open before the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend. However, wet, cold weather and other factors could prevent the opening individual roads or sections of roads. Four-wheel drive trucks, SUVs, or other high clearance vehicles are recommended for use on seasonal access roads.

Trail Conditions: Trails are wet and muddy, especially in low spots. Trails along waterways may be covered in standing water. Trail crossings of streams and rivers may be difficult, treacherous, or impossible due to high water levels.

Protect Trails and Trailside Vegetation: Stay on trails to protect vegetation and prevent further erosion of trails Walk through mud and water - do not walk on the vegetation growing beside trails.

Water Conditions: Water levels are at or above average spring-time high levels and water temperatures are cold. Boaters, paddlers, and anglers wading in the water or fishing from steep or rocky shorelines should wear Personal Flotation Device (PFD aka). A person submersed in cold water can lose consciousness in minutes, a PFD will keep their head above water and prevent drowning.

Summits: Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger, and snow may present on high elevation summits. Check the National Weather Service Mountain Point Forecasts (leaves DEC's website) for selected summits.

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

  • The bridge over Crowfoot Brook on the Crowfoot Trail has been replaced. (2016)
  • The Lindsey Brook Trail is closed due to flooding by beaver activity. (2007)

Lake George Wild Forest

  • Dacy Clearing Road is open for public motor vehicle access. (5/18)
  • Gates are closed for the spring mud season on the following roads. The roads will be reopened after they have dried, hardened, and any necessary maintenance. (5/18)
    • Lily Pond Road
    • Long Pond Road
    • Palmer Pond Road
    • Bear Slides
  • Jabe Pond Road is open to public motor vehicle use. (2017)
  • Gates on Notch Lane in the nearby Mount Tom State Forest are open and public motor vehicle traffic is allowed. (2017)
  • Shelving Rock Road is open for public motor vehicle use. (2017)
  • All rock climbing routes on the Campground Wall on Rogers Rock are closed to allow peregrine falcons to nest. This includes all routes on the Psycho Slab, Black Triangle Wall, and The Apron. All other rock climbing routes on Rogers Rock remain open. (4/27)
  • All rock climbing routes on the Carhartt Wall on Shelving Rock Mountain are closed to allow peregrine falcons to nest. All other rock climbing routes on Shelving Rock Mountain are open. (4/27)
  • All rock climbing routes on Sleeping Beauty Mountain are closed to allow peregrine falcons to breed and choose a nesting site. (3/30)
  • Camping is prohibited on Montcalm Point at the point of the Tongue Mountain Range on Lake George. (2016)
  • 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. (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)
  • 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)
  • 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 contains campsites, trails and day use areas., including ADA accessible facilities.
  • The Shelving Rock Area contains campsites, trails, and day use areas.

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness

  • The Pharaoh Lake Wilderness web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
  • Members of the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Program have cleared blowdown and installed turnpikes (trail hardening) on the Sucker Brook Horse Trail and removed blowdown from other trails in the wilderness. (2016)
  • 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. (2016)

Split Rock Mountain Wild Forest

More about Backcountry Information for the Eastern Adirondacks: