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Backcountry Information for the Northern Adirondacks

Updated: October 17, 2019

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.

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 webpage for important general notices and information which applies across the Adirondacks.

Watch for Moose and Deer:

  • Motorist should be alert for moose deer on and along roads. (leaves DEC website)
  • Moose and deer actively seek mates in autumn.
  • Moose-vehicle collisions are troublesome-two have occurred already this fall.
    • Moose are much larger and taller than deer.
    • Their large body causes greater damage, and, when struck, their height often causes them to impact the windshield of a car or pickup truck, not just the front of the vehicle.
    • Moose are especially difficult to see at night because of their dark brown to black coloring and their height-which puts their head and much of their body above vehicle headlights.
    • Use the moose sighting form to report all moose sightings.
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 webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • A portion of the Conservation Road in the nearby Deer River State Forest has been flooded due to beaver activity. The road will reopen again once the flooding has been addressed and any necessary road repairs have been completed. (2019)
  • 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 webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Logging trucks will be using the North Branch Road through the end of the month. (10/10)
    • Drive slowly, watch and listen for logging trucks when driving on the road.
    • Move safely off the road to allow them to pass.

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

  • The Saranac Lake Wild Forest webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and maps of the unit.
  • DOT is replacing the Spider Creek Culvert on State Route 30 between Follensby Clear Pond and Fish Creek Ponds. (2019)
    • Watercraft cannot pass through the culvert.
    • People planning to paddle in this part of the Adirondacks should consider using existing canoe routes that avoid the culvert.
    • Parking at the water access site near the construction site will be open but may be congested.
    • The northern entrance to this parking area will be blocked.
    • The culvert will be closed through November.
  • Bike trails are wet and muddy due to recent heavy rain, especially in low areas and along water. (10/17)
    • Please don't ride on muddy trails, they are easily rutted and damaged through use - if you are leaving tracks, turn back.
    • The Barkeaters Trail Alliance (leaves DEC website) provides information on the status of mountain bike trails in the Tri-lakes region of the Adirondacks.

St. Regis Canoe Area

  • The St. Regis Canoe Area webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Nothing to report.