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Backcountry Information for the West Central Adirondacks

Updated: January 16, 2020

Map showing the West Central 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).

Recent Storm Damage:

  • Warm temperatures, heavy rain, and strong winds across much of the Adirondacks this past weekend, and freezing rain Sunday morning in the northern Adirondacks, had caused a
    • Significant loss of snow;
    • Flooding; and
    • Blowdown on some access roads and trails.
  • DEC has just begun assessing the damage in the backcountry.
  • Visitors to the backcountry should use caution as they may encounter:
    • Flooded trails;
    • Extensive blowdown; and
    • Damaged or missing foot bridges and other infrastructure.
  • Be prepared to turn around when conditions warrant.

Adirondack Backcountry Information: Be sure to check Adirondack Backcountry Information main webpage 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

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.
  • Logging operations will continue this winter on the Township 19 Conservation Easement Lands. (2020)
    • Snowmobilers will be sharing the roads with logging trucks and other equipment.
    • Be alert and proceed with caution.
  • 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

  • The Blue Ridge Wilderness and Wakely Mountain Primitive Area webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • The bridge across Rock Pond is out. Cascade Pond and the Cascade Pond Lean-To can now only be accessed via Wilson Pond Trail and Crossover Trail or via Northville-Placid Trail. (11/7)

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.
  • The seasonal access road system is closed to public motor vehicle use. Designated snowmobile trails will open as snow allows. (2020)

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. (2020)
  • 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. (2020)
    • 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

  • The Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tracts webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • The Brister Brook Parking Area is closed this winter due to damage from the Halloween Storm. The Town of Lake Pleasant has created a larger parking area off NYS Rt 30 near the turn for Jessup River Road. (2020)

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.
  • Nothing to report.

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.
  • The foot bridge over the Mad Tom Brook on the South Branch Trail has washed out. The stream may be impassable in high water. (2020)
  • 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. (2020)
  • 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. (2020)
    • 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.