Backcountry Information for the Northern Adirondacks - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

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Backcountry Information for the Northern Adirondacks

Updated: August 16, 2018

Map of showing the Northern Region of the Adirondacks

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 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.

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

Adirondack Canoe Route/Northern Forest Canoe Trail

  • The Adirondack Canoe Route is part of the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) (leaves DEC website) which links the waterways of New York, Vermont, Québec, New Hampshire and Maine.

Debar Mountain Wild Forest

  • The Debar Mountain Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
  • Student Conservation Association (SCA) Adirondack Program Crew Members installed drainage structures and repaired badly eroded sections of the Debar Meadows-Meacham Lake Trail. (7/5)
  • Lyme Adirondack Forest Company, the private landowner of the Kushaqua Conservation Easement Tract, is conducting a timber harvest in the area of the Loon Lake Mountain Trail. Be prepared to encounter logging trucks and heavy equipment at any time on the trail and the easement lands in the area during this active harvest operation. Please contact the DEC Ray Brook Office at 518-897-1291 for questions regarding this harvest operation. (3/9)
  • The foot bridge on the access trail to Debar Pond has been removed. Debar Pond may now be accessed near the lodge building using the road beyond the gate at the parking area. A new gate will be installed that will allow easier passage of people with boats in the very near future. Trespassing in the lodge or any other building is prohibited. (2017)

Kushaqua Conservation Easement Tract

  • The Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement Tract web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
  • Lyme Adirondack Forest Company, the private landowner of the Kushaqua Conservation Easement Tract, is conducting a timber harvest in the area of the Loon Lake Mountain Trail. Be prepared to encounter logging trucks and heavy equipment at any time on the trail and the easement lands in the area during this active harvest operation. Please contact the DEC Ray Brook Office at 518-897-1291. (3/9)

Paul Smiths College Easement Tract

Santa Clara Conservation Easement Tract (includes Madawaska Pond/Quebec Brook Primitive Area & Deer River Primitive Area)

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest

  • Water levels are very low in the Saranac Chain of Lakes, the Saranac River, and connected waters. Numerous propellers and lower units of boat motors are being damaged when striking rocks, logs, stumps, or the bottom. Boaters should stay in the channel and clear of all hazard buoys. Travel slow and trim motors up when traveling in shallow or unknown waters. (8/3)
  • Due to unforeseen circumstances, DEC will only staff the Lower Lock in the Saranac Lakes Chain on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the remainder of summer. DEC staff will operate the lock between 10 am and 6 pm. (8/2)
  • The Lake Flower Boat Launch is open but due to a clean-up project removing contaminated sediments from Lake Flower's Pontiac Bay no parking is available on site. Alternate parking is available for vehicles with boat trailers across the street. (2018)

St. Regis Canoe Area

  • The St. Regis Canoe Area web page provides information including a map about the unit, its recreational opportunities and how to access the lands and waters.
  • Student Conservation Association (SCA) Adirondack Program Crew Members replaced 120 feet of bog bridging and hardened 60 feet of trail on the Floodwood to Long Pond Trail. (7/5)