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Backcountry Information for the Northeastern Adirondacks

Note: The Adirondack Trail Information web pages are now the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages. The web pages include information on the western Adirondacks and have been reorganized and reformatted. Individual Forest Preserve units may not be listed on the same page they were previously listed.

Map of showing the Northeastern Region of the Adirondacks

Updated: July 22, 2016

Traffic Detours: On Sunday, July 24, parts of State Routes 9N, 73, and 86 and other local roads in the Lake Placid, Keene, Jay, Wilmington Area will be closed or have limited traffic during the Ironman Race. Plan according and use suggested detours. Search the web for Lake Placid Ironman Detours for more information.

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 weather and other conditions will help to ensure a safe and enjoyable time in the outdoors. Weather forecasts can and do change. Check the current National Weather Service Weather Forecast (leaves DEC website) before entering the backcountry.

Black Bear Activity: Due to the dry conditions black bears have been more active than usual throughout the Adirondacks.

  • The use of bear-resistant canisters is required for overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness and recommended throughout the Adirondacks.
  • ALL food, toiletries and garbage must be stored in bear-resistant canisters in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness.
  • Elsewhere, ALL food, toiletries and garbage should be stored in bear-resistant canisters or in a food (aka bear) hang elsewhere.
  • Bears are most active in the evening; cook, eat, and clean up before dusk.
  • These and other practices can prevent attracting black bears to campsites in the backcountry.

Thunderstorm Safety: Avoid summits and other open areas and being on the water during thunderstorms. Immediately move to lower elevations, head to shore, or otherwise seek shelter at the first sound of thunder. Find a low spot away from tall trees. Seek an area of shorter trees and crouch down away from tree trunks.

Warm Weather Precautions: Be prepared for warm and hot weather. Wear loose non-cotton clothing; carry and drink plenty of water; rest often; and protect yourself from the sun with a hat, sunglasses and sun block.

Summits: Temperatures will be cooler and winds will be stronger. Sight distance will be limited, sometimes significantly, when clouds cover the summits. The National Weather Service Mountain Point Forecasts (leaves DEC website) provides forecasts for selected summits in this area.

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

Specific Notices

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.
  • Volunteers from the Clinton County Historical Association open the Valcour Island Lighthouse (aka Bluff Point Lighthouse) every Sunday in July and August from 1 pm to 3 pm. (2016)

Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands

Taylor Pond Complex

  • All rock climbing routes on the Main Face of Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain are open. (7/15)
  • 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)
  • Poke-O-Moonshine Fire Tower is closed for the season. DEC thanks the interns and volunteer stewards from the Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine (leaving DEC website) who provided local & natural history interpretation, environmental education, and assistance to hikers. (2016)

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. (5/12)
  • 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)