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Backcountry Information for the Northeastern Adirondacks

Updated: September 19, 2019

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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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 National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast (leaves DEC website) for updated notices and current conditions and forecasts. 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. Travel: Check NY511 for road closures and conditions (leaves DEC website).

Travel: Check NY511 for road closures and conditions (leaves DEC website).

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

Pilot Hiker Shuttle: Essex County will operate the Whiteface-Lake Placid Hiker Shuttle (leaves DEC website) through Columbus Day providing free rides Friday through Sunday to and from four stops which access six family-friendly hiking trails. Shuttle schedule (leaves DEC website).

  • Whiteface Landing Trailhead;
  • Copperas Pond Trailhead;
  • Bear Den Mountain Trailhead; and
  • Whiteface Mountain Ski Lodge
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

Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area

Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area

  • The Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit
  • Waters have receded and the Catfish Bay Parking Area is open. This WMA sets on the shores of Lake Champlain north of the Adirondacks. (2019)
  • Catfish Bay Road is closed to motor vehicle use for the season. It will reopen when the bay freezes over in the winter. (2019)

Chazy Highlands Wild Forest

  • The Chazy Highlands Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Nothing to report.

Lake Champlain Islands

  • The Lake Champlain Islands Complex web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Nothing to report.

Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Tract

  • The Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and maps of the unit.
  • The gate on Barnes Pond Road is closed until the 2019 Big Game Hunting Season. Hikers and skiers may still use the road to access the six campsites along the road. (2019)

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, and maps of the unit.
  • 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.
  • Terry Mountain Road in the Terry Mountain State Forest remains closed. (2019)

Wilmington Wild Forest

  • The Wilmington Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Essex County will run a pilot Whiteface-Lake Placid Hiker Shuttle (leaves DEC website)  through Columbus Day providing free rides Friday through Sunday to and from four stops which access six family-friendly hiking trails. Shuttle schedule (leaves DEC website) (9/19)
    • Whiteface Landing Trailhead;
    • Copperas Pond Trailhead;
    • Bear Den Mountain Trailhead; and
    • Whiteface Mountain Ski Lodge.
  • Bike trails are dry but wet and muddy conditions may be encountered in low areas and along water. (9/12)
    • 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.
  • The outlet of Cooper Kiln Pond is flooded by beaver activity. (2009)