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Backcountry Information for the East Central Adirondacks

Map of showing the East Central Region of the Adirondacks

Updated: September 19, 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).

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.

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 web page 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 web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • 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 web page 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 web page 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 web page 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 web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • 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 web page provides information about the unit, and its recreational opportunities and a map of the unit.
  • Gulf Brook Road is open to motor vehicle use to the Four Corners Parking Lot. (9/12)
    • Hikers and horseback riders may travel one mile between the parking lot to the Boreas Ponds dam.
    • Hikers and horseback riders may also travel on any of the approximately 8 miles of "woods roads" in the area.
    • Bicyclists may ride on Gulf Brook Road and the roadway to Boreas Ponds as far as the gate which is located 500 feet from the Boreas Ponds dam.
    • Paddlers may carry one mile to access the water near the Boreas Ponds dam or 
    • Drop off canoes/kayaks, and equipment at a waterway access site on LaBier Flow, 0.1 mile away from the Four Corners Parking Lot before parking. 
    • Paddlers may paddle halfway down LaBier Flow and carry 0.3 mile to access the water near Boreas Ponds dam.
    • Campers can camp at large providing they are more than 150 feet from any road, trail, or surface water.
  • The new Wolf Pond Trail and Wolf Pond Lean-to are open to public use. The 2.3-mile Wolf Pond Trail may be access from Boreas River/Wolf Pond Parking Area on the Blue Ridge Road near the bridge over the Boreas River. (2019)
  • 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)