D E C banner
D E C banner

Disclaimer

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Trail Information for the Northern Adirondacks

Map depicting forest preserve and conservation easement lands in Northern Adirondacks

Updated: July 2, 2015

Sign up to receive e-mail notices regarding news, events and conditions in the Adirondacks.

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!

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

Be Prepared

  • 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
    • Current weather conditions and short-term forecast
  • Wear
    • Hiking shoes or hiking boots
    • Comfortable non-cotton clothing
    • Hat to protect from sun or rain
    • Sunglasses (if sunny)
  • Carry
    • 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
  • Pack
    • Extra clothes and socks
    • Waterproof jacket and pants
    • Gaiters to wear on wet & muddy trails
    • 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

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 can expire. Prepare before the trip and carry a map and compass for navigation or at least as backup. (5/28)

Organized Events on State Lands: DEC regulation (190.8(cc)) 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.

Motorized Equipment in Wilderness, Primitive and Canoe Areas: DEC has adopted a regulation (Section 196.8)prohibiting the use of motorized equipment in lands classified as wilderness, primitive or canoe. Public use of small personal electronic or mechanical devices such as cameras, radios or GPS receivers are not affected this new regulation. See in the DEC Regulations.

Camping Group Sizes in Wilderness, Primitive and Canoe Areas: DEC regulation (Section 190.4) requires that groups of ten or more persons camping on state land obtain a permit from a forest ranger. DEC policy prohibits issuing group camping permits to groups wanting to camp on forest preserve lands in the Adirondacks that are classified as wilderness, primitive or canoe area. This policy was developed to protect natural resources, the primeval character of the area and exceptional wilderness experiences for all recreationists, and follows Leave No Trace practices. Except for the eastern High Peaks Wilderness, Pharaoh Lake Wilderness and the William C. Whitney Wilderness, where the group size is 8, camping groups in wilderness, primitive and canoe area lands are limited to 9 people or less.

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 Notice

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.

Busy Holiday Weekend: Due to 4th of July, Canada Day and the great weather forecast expect to encounter many more people than usual recreating on the lands and waters of the Adirondacks. Trailheads, campsites, lean-tos and boat launches may be filled, especially at popular locations. Plan accordingly and seek lesser used locations to recreate. Be patient with others. (7/2)

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. (7/2)

Trail Conditions: Trails are very muddy and wet, especially in low lying areas and along streams, rivers, ponds and lakes. Wear waterproof footwear and gaiters, and remember to walk through - not around - mud and water on trails to avoid further eroding trails. (7/2)

High Water Levels: Heavy and continuous rains the past several weeks have kept water levels high in streams and drainages. Low water crossings may not be accessible, at the very least, crossing may require you to get your boots wet. (7/2)

Paddlers & Boaters: Water levels are very high and water temperatures are cool. A person can lose the ability to keep their head above water without a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). PFDs should be worn by all paddlers and boaters in small boats. PFDs are required to be present for all people in a canoe, kayak or stand-up paddle board (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. (7/2)

Summits: Temperatures will be cooler and winds will be stronger. Use the link near the bottom of the right column to view the National Weather Service "NWS Mountain Forecasts" for selected summits in this area. (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 Black Flies, 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.

Access Road to Madawaska Pond: Public access to the Santa Clara Tract Easement Lands and Madawaska Flow from Route 458 is unavailable at this time. DEC continues to work to reopen public access to this area. (2015)

Specific Notices

Adirondack Canoe Route/Northern Forest Canoe Trail (northern portion)

  • The Adirondack Canoe Route is part of the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) which links the waterways of New York, Vermont, Québec, New Hampshire and Maine. Use the link near the bottom of the right column for more information.
  • Water levels are very high and water temperatures are cool. A person in the water can lose the ability to keep their head above water without a Personal Flotation Device (PFD). PFDs should be worn by all paddlers. (7/2)

DeBar Mountain Wild Forest

  • A trail has been built to the fire tower on summit of 3,355-foot Loon Lake Mountain. A trailhead parking area is located on the west side of of County Route 26 in the Town of Franklin in Franklin County, approximately 4.7 miles north of the hamlet of Loon Lake. Trail map and press release with more information. (2013)

Deer River Primitive Area

Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement Lands

  • The Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement Lands web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
  • The Mountain Pond Road is open to public motor vehicle traffic. (2015)
  • The Kushaqua Tract road system is open for hikers and all-terrain bicycles. The public is prohibited from trespassing on the 1-acre parcels where lessees cabins are located. (2015)
  • A trail has been built to the fire tower on summit of 3,355-foot Loon Lake Mountain. A trailhead parking area is located on the west side of of County Route 26 in the Town of Franklin in Franklin County, approximately 4.7 miles north of the hamlet of Loon Lake. Trail map and press release with more information. (2013)

Madawaska Flow/Quebec Brook Primitive Area

  • The Santa Clara Tract Conservation Easement Lands web page provides information about the Madawaska Flow/Quebec Brook Primitive Area and its recreational opportunities.
  • Public access to these lands from Route 458 is unavailable at this time. DEC continues to work to reopen public access to this area. (2015)

Paul Smith College Conservation Easement Lands

Round Lake Wilderness

  • Information about the recreational opportunities in the Round Lake Wilderness, including a map is available.

Santa Clara Tract Conservation Easement Lands (former Champion Lands)

  • The Santa Clara Tract Conservation Easement Lands web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
  • Public access to the Santa Clara Tract Easement Lands and Madawaska Flow from Route 458 is unavailable at this time. DEC continues to work to reopen public access to this area. (2015)

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest

  • The Lower Locks on the Saranac Lakes Chain are open and operating normally. (7/2)
  • The newly renovated Upper Saranac Lake Boat Launch is open for the launching and retrieving of boats. (2015)
  • Hikers accessing Whiteface Landing should park at the paved parking area along Route 86 immediately west of the bridge over the West Branch of the Ausable. A trail connects the parking area and Connery Pond Road. season. Hikers may use the road to access trails to Connery Pond, Lake Placid and Whiteface Landing. (2015)
  • The Lake Clear Girl Scout Camp Road (aka the St. Germain Pond Road) is open to motor vehicles. (2015)
  • The typical location for roadside parking for access to the McKenzie Pond Boulder Field has been posted with no parking signs by the Essex County Highway Department. A location a short distance away on the other side of the road now is designated with signs for roadside parking. DEC plans to develop a parking area for the McKenzie Pond Boulder Field after the Saranac Lake Wild Forest UMP is finalized, until then boulderers should use the designated roadside parking. (2015)

St. Regis Canoe Area

  • Information about the recreational opportunities in the St. Regis Canoe Area, including a map, is available.
  • Maps depicting the current location of campsites can be viewed by using the links in the left column. Maps in PDF can be downloaded also be view and downloaded Map 1 - Long Pond region (PDF, 166 KB) and Map 2 -St Regis Pond region (PDF, 181 KB).
  • Campers on Little Green Pond no longer are required to get a permit from the Adirondack Fish Hatchery. Regular state land camping regulations now apply - a permit is only required if campers will be camping four or more nights. This permit can be obtained from the local forest ranger. (2015)
  • Fishing is prohibited on Little Green Pond, Little Clear Pond and their tributaries to protect valuable hatchery brood stock and endangered round whitefish. (2015)
  • A section of the canoe carry about half way between Long Pond and Nellie Pond has been flooded by beavers. This will required a short paddle across the beaver pond. (2011)

William C. Whitney Wilderness

  • Information about the recreational opportunities in the William C. Whitney Wilderness, including a map is available.
  • Beaver activity has caused the flooding of the Stony Pond Road approximately one mile from the trailhead. Please use caution if you choose to cross this area. (2010)

More about Trail Information for the Northern Adirondacks: