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Backcountry Information for the West Central Adirondacks

Map showing the West Central Region of the Adirondacks

Updated: October 17, 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 webpage for important general notices and information which applies across the Adirondacks.

Watch for Moose and Deer:

  • Motorist should be alert for moose deer on and along roads. (leaves DEC website)
  • Moose and deer actively seek mates in autumn.
  • Moose-vehicle collisions are troublesome-two have occurred already this fall.
    • Moose are much larger and taller than deer.
    • Their large body causes greater damage, and, when struck, their height often causes them to impact the windshield of a car or pickup truck, not just the front of the vehicle.
    • Moose are especially difficult to see at night because of their dark brown to black coloring and their height-which puts their head and much of their body above vehicle headlights.
    • Use the moose sighting form to report all moose sightings.
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

Adirondack Canoe Route/Northern Forest Canoe Trail

  • The Adirondack Canoe Route is part of the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT) (leaves DEC website) which links the waterways of New York, Vermont, Québec, New Hampshire and Maine.

Blue Mountain Wild Forest

  • The Blue Mountain Wild Forest webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • A new 2.2-mile spur trail connecting the 134-mile Northville-Placid Trail (NPT) to the hamlet of Long Lake is open. (2019)
    • The trail connects with the NPT approximately 1.9 miles south of Route 28N.
    • The connection is marked with yellow trail markers and crosses Forest Preserve and Town owned lands.
    • The trailhead is located in a gravel parking lot at the intersection of Route 30/28N, South Hill Road, & Pavilion Lane across from the Long Lake Post Office.
    • The trail eliminates 1.5 miles of hiking on the shoulder of Route 28N.
  • The access road to the radio towers on Blue Mountain is a private road. The use of the road by people other than authorized personnel with administrative duties is prohibited and is considered trespassing. (2019)

Blue Ridge Wilderness/Wakely Mountain Primitive Area

Cedarlands Conservation Easement Tract

Moose River Plains Complex

  • The Moose River Plains Complex webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Nothing to report

Northville-Placid Trail

  • The Northville-Placid Trail Chapter (leaves DEC website) of the Adirondack Mountain Club provides the latest trail conditions and information for planning a hike on the trail - whether a through-hike, section-hike or weekend-hike.
  • Expect to encounter heavy blowdown on this section of the trail. Plan for hikes to take longer due to working through or around blowdown. (2019)
  • The Sucker Brook Trail which connects the Northville-Placid Trail and the DEC Lewey Lake Campground is unmaintained beyond the height of ground between Lewey Mountain and Cellar Mountain, about 4.4 miles west of the campground. (2019)
    • Beyond the height of ground blowdown, wet stretches of trail, and beaver activity make the trail difficult to follow.
    • Access to Colvin Brook Lean-to and the Northville Placid Trail may be gained from the Moose River Plains trailhead off Limekiln Lake - Cedar River Road.

Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tracts

Sargent Ponds Wild Forest

  • The Sargent Ponds Wild Forest webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • During a 10-day hitch by a Student Conservation Association Adirondack Program Crew, members brushed, removed blowdown, and installed new trail markers where needed along the Lower Pond, Middle Pond/Crossover, Upper Pond Trail, and the spur trail leading to the Lower Sargent Pond Lean-To. The crew brushed and removed blowdown from nearly 5.5 miles of trail. (2018)

West Canada Lakes Wilderness

  • The West Canada Lakes Wilderness webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Trails throughout the area contain significant amount of blowdown. (2019)
    • Blowdown is particularly prevalent on the Northville-Placid Trail and Cedar Lakes Trail.
    • Plan for hikes to take longer due to working through or around blowdown.
  • The Sucker Brook Trail which connects the Northville-Placid Trail and the DEC Lewey Lake Campground is unmaintained beyond the height of ground between Lewey Mountain and Cellar Mountain, about 4.4 miles west of the campground. (2019)
    • Beyond the height of ground blowdown, wet stretches of trail, and beaver activity make the trail difficult to follow
    • Access to Colvin Brook Lean-to and the Northville Placid Trail may be gained from the Moose River Plains trailhead off Limekiln Lake - Cedar River Road.