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Backcountry Information for the East Central Adirondacks

Map of showing the East Central Region of the Adirondacks

Updated: November 21, 2019

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).

Adirondack Backcountry Information: Be sure to check Adirondack Backcountry Information main webpage for important general notices and information which applies across the Adirondacks.

Seasonal Access Roads:

  • Open seasonal access roads may have minor wash outs, use caution when using them.
  • Seasonal access roads typically remain open until the end of the Northern Zone Regular Big Game Hunting Season unless snow or other conditions warrant an early closure.
  • Seasonal access roads are dirt and gravel which can be rough.
  • Four-wheel drive SUVs, pick-up trucks, and other high clearance vehicles are recommended for driving on these roads.
  • Roads may be narrow - use caution, drive slowly, and watch for oncoming vehicles.

Trail Conditions:

  • Trailheads will be icy, especially in the morning.
  • Trails will be covered in ice and snow.
  • Many bridges were washed out or damaged in the Oct. 31 storm leaving some streams impassable. Use caution and be prepared to turn around.
  • Expect to encounter heavy blow down in areas. Be cautious of hanging branches and unstable fallen trees.
  • Blow down may take considerably more time to hike around.
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

Camp Santanoni Historic Area

  • The Camp Santanoni Historic Area webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Nothing to report.

Essex Chain Lakes Complex

  • The Essex Chain Lakes Complex webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Gates on two seasonal access roads providing hunters and others motor vehicle access to additional lands and roadside primitive tent sites are open: (10/24)
    • Camp Six Road has three roadside primitive tent sites and a parking lot at the end - one mile from the Chain Lakes North Road.
    • The gate at the Outer Gooley Club on the Chain Lakes Road South is provides access to three primitive tent sites and a parking area 1.5 miles beyond the gate. Two additional tent sites are located past the gate at the seasonal parking area - one further north on the Chain Lakes Road South and one at Pine Lake.
  • Goodnow Flow Road is a private road beyond the intersection with the Chain Lakes Road North and should not be used by the public. (2019)
  • Public trespass of the Gooley Club and Polaris Club cabins, out buildings and the lands around them is prohibited. (2019)

Hoffman Notch Wilderness

  • The Hoffman Notch Wilderness webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Several small beaver dams are flooding sections of the Hoffman Notch Trail just south of Blue Ridge Road Trailhead under a foot of water. A reroute has not yet been developed. Hikers may have to walk through the water - take off boots and socks and roll-up pants. (2014)

Hudson Gorge Wilderness

  • The Hudson Gorge Wilderness webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Nothing to report.

Jessup River Wild Forest

  • The Jessup River Wild Forest webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Nothing to report.

Siamese Ponds Wilderness

  • The Siamese Pond Wilderness webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Trail and Road Storm Damage Update (11/21)
    • Elm Lake Road is rough but passable to the Cisco Brook Trailhead. The use of four-wheel drive vehicles is recommend.
    • Barton Mines Road is now passable by most passenger vehicles.
    • DOT work is still continuing on Route 8 but there are fewer stoppages of traffic.
  • Trail and Road Storm Damage (11/5)
    • Thirteenth Lake Road has been washed out. The public can still access Thirteenth Lake Trailhead by detouring on Harvey Road and meeting back up with Thirteenth Lake Road beyond the washout.
    • The Thirteenth Lake Trailhead and accessible trails have sustained damage. Public should use caution.
    • The seasonal road to Old Farm Trailhead Parking Lot has washed out at a culvert. Temporary parking is being determined.
  • The former site of the 55 foot bridge over the East Branch of the Sacandaga River on the Botheration Pond Loop Trail is now a foot crossing (rock hopping). (2019)
    • Hikers may have trouble crossing during times of high water following heavy rain or during spring snow melt.
    • Wear trail crampons and use hiking poles with steel or carbide tips when traversing ice covered rocks.

Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest

  • The Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest webpage provides information about the unit, and its recreational opportunities and a map of the unit.
  • Gulf Brook Road to Boreas Ponds is closed due to culvert damage and washout. (11/21)
  • The Boreas River crossing on the Cheney Pond- Irishtown Trail is not bridged. During low water conditions, crossing by rock hopping may be possible. (2016)