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Backcountry Information for the Northeastern Adirondacks

Updated: October 19, 2017

Map of showing the Northeastern 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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Be sure to check Adirondack Backcountry Information for important general notices and information which apply across 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 (leaves DEC's website).

Practice Leave No Trace: Please abide by the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace (leaves DEC's website) when recreating in the Northeastern Adirondacks.

Fall Conditions: Daytime temperatures are cool, nighttime temperatures may be below freezing - especially in higher elevations.

  • Plan accordingly, wear or carry extra layers of non-cotton clothing
  • Carry a headlamp or flashlight on all hikes.
  • Be sure to have fresh batteries and to carry extras.
  • Do not depend on your cell phone as a flashlight - the batteries will drain quickly and you will be unable to call for help.

Trail Conditions: Trails are drying with the good weather and loss of leaves on trees.

  • Expect to still encounter wet and muddy conditions along waterways, in low areas, and above 3,000 feet.
  • Use caution when hiking on fallen leaves.
  • Wet or icy leaves can be very slippery, particularly on steep sections of trail.

Protect Trails & Trailside Vegetation: Stay on trails to protect vegetation and prevent further erosion of trails.

  • Do not walk on the vegetation growing beside trails.
  • Walk through mud and water.
  • It's not hiking (or fun) if your hiking shoes don't get muddy!!!

Summits: Temperatures will be colder and winds will be stronger on high elevation summits

Hunting Seasons: The regular big game hunting season opens Saturday, many small game, and waterfowl hunting seasons are or will soon open.

  • Hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters bearing firearms or archery equipment while hiking on trails.
  • Please recognize that these are fellow outdoor recreationists with the legal right to participate in these activities on the Forest Preserve.
  • Hunting accidents involving non-hunters are extremely rare.

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

  • Nothing to report.

Lake Champlain Islands

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 and will remain open through the big game hunting season The public can access and use the six designated primitive campsites along the road by foot. Camping is permitted at designated sites only. Map of road and campsites. (10/19)
  • Barnes Pond Road is open to ATVs for people with a Motorized Access Permit for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD). MAPPWD permit holders should contact the DEC Ray Brook Office at 518-897-1291 for information on how to access the road. Camping is permitted at designated sites only. Map of road and campsites. (2017)
  • 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. (2016)

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.
  • Rehabilitation of lower half of the Ranger Trail on Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain had been completed by Tahawus Trails LLC under contract with the Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine (leaves DEC's website) and oversight of DEC. The Adirondack Mountain Club Professional Trail Crew will be working on the reroute of the upper half of the trail this Fall. (8/31)

Wilmington Wild Forest

  • The Wilmington Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
  • More than 1.5 miles of bike trails, including a new loop opportunity, have been added to the Beaver Brook Trail Network. (7/20)
  • 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 outlet of Cooper Kill Pond is flooded by beaver activity. (2009)