Backcountry Information for the Northeastern Adirondacks
Updated: December 1, 2016
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!
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. (link leaves DEC's website)
Trail Conditions: Trailheads and lower elevation trails will be a varying mix of mud, water, snow, and ice. Wear proper footwear and stay on trails. Higher elevation trails will be mainly snow and ice. Traction devices should be carried and worn when warranted.
Summits: Temperatures will be colder, winds will be stronger, and snow will be deeper. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits. Check the National Weather Service Mountain Point Forecasts (link leaves DEC's website) for selected summits.
Blowdown: Recent rains were accompanied by strong winds. Blowdown (fallen or hanging trees, limbs, and branches) may be present on trails, especially on lesser used trails and trails in the higher elevations.
Seasonal Access Roads: Seasonal access roads will remain open through the weekend, but beginning Monday gates may be closed. The use of 4-wheel drive pickup trucks, SUVs and other high clearance motor vehicles is recommended. Many seasonal access roads are wet and muddy due to recent rains.
Report back country emergencies, such as lost or injured hikers, and wildland fires to the DEC Forest Rangers at 518-891-0235.
Chazy Highlands Wild Forest
- Restoration and rehabilitation of the Lyon Mountain Fire Tower has been completed by DEC and Student Conservation Association Adirondack Program. (2015)
Lake Champlain Islands
- The Lake Champlain Islands Complex web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
- Nothing to report.
Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands
- The Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
- Barnes Pond Road is open to public motor vehicle use, including access to the six designated primitive campsites along the road. The six designated campsites are marked with "Camp Here" discs and have privies, fire rings, and picnic tables. The campsites y are schedule for some routine maintenance, but are in useable condition. Camping is permitted at designated sites only. Map of road and campsites. (9/29)
- A new parking area (44.6004°N, 74.1359°W) Google Maps (leaves DEC website) has been constructed off Franklin County Route 26 (aka Old Route 99) north of Loon Lake which provides access to the northern portion of the Plumadore-Inman Public Use Area. A 0.4-mile foot trail follows an old skid road east from the parking area, through a log landing, and continues on to access the banks of Plumadore Brook - a trout stream. The stream bank access point also provides scenic views of the Loon Lake Mountain Range to the west. (9/29)
Taylor Pond Complex (Taylor Pond Wild Forest, Terry Mountain State Forest, Burnt Hill State Forest, Franklin Falls Easement Tract, Shell Rock Easement Tract, and Black Brook Easement Tract)
- The Taylor Pond Complex web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
- The Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) (leaves DEC website) links the waterways of New York, Vermont, Québec, New Hampshire and Maine and follows the Saranac River through this area. (2016)
- Significant trail work has been completed on the Ranger Trail on Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain. Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine (leaving DEC website) hired Tahawus Trails LLC and an Adirondack Mountain Club Professional Trail Crew to upgrade the existing trail under DEC supervision. Stone steps were installed and portions of the trail are rerouted. One trail reroute passes some interesting rock features. (10/13)
Wilmington Wild Forest
- The Wilmington Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
- Whiteface Landing Trail has been rerouted to avoid private camps on Connery Pond. The new trail route starts at the small parking area just before the private gate. Please respect the private property and stay on the trail. (2016)
- The map of the Beaver Brook Trail system has been updated to include a new 3.0 mile trail on the east side of Hardy Road. See the Beaver Brook Trail System web page for more information and a link to the map. (2015)
- The outlet of Cooper Kill Pond is flooded by beaver activity. (2009)