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Backcountry Information for the West Central Adirondacks

NOTE: The Adirondack Trail Information web pages are now the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages and include information on the western Adirondacks and have been reorganized and reformatted. Individual Forest Preserve units may not be listed on the same page they were previously listed.

Map of showing the West Central Region of the Adirondacks

Updated: May 26, 2016

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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Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web page for important notices and information which apply broadly across the Adirondacks, and links to important information about hiking, camping and paddling in the Adirondacks.

Weather: Always be aware of and prepared for weather conditions. Being properly prepared for weather and other conditions will help to ensure a safe and enjoyable time in the outdoors. Weather forecasts can and do change. Check the current National Weather Service Weather Forecast (leaves DEC website) before entering the backcountry.

Spring Conditions: Trails are dry and firm for this time of year. However, mud and water are present on trails along water bodies, in low lying areas and in higher elevations. Walk through mud and water - not around - to prevent further eroding trails and damaging trailside vegetation.

Water Levels: Waters levels are low. Low water crossings are passable. Paddlers and boaters should watch for unexpected obstacles above or just below the water. Some sections of rivers and streams may not be passable.

Seasonal Access Roads: All but a few seasonal access roads are open. Seasonal access roads can be rough, the use of 4-wheel drive pickup trucks, SUVs and other high clearance motor vehicles is recommended.

Report back country emergencies, such as lost or injured hikers, and wildland fires to the DEC Forest Rangers 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/Township 19 Tract & Township 20 Tract Easement Lands

  • The Blue Mountain Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
  • Minerva Club Road on the Township 20 Tract Easement Lands is open to public motor vehicle use, but contains some soft spots - use caution. (5/19)
  • Pickwacket Pond Road which provides access to the Fishing Brook Hand Launch Site on the Township 20 Tract Easement Lands is open to public motor vehicle use. Paddlers may travel downstream to County Line Flow and take out at the new hand launch site on the south shore - see entry below. (5/19)
  • Construction work, including blasting of bedrock, has begun on the access road to the radio towers on Blue Mountain and is expected to continue through the fall. Hikers should avoid the road and use the trail to the summit of the mountain, especially during the week. (5/13)
  • O'Neill Flow Road and Barker Pond Road are open to public motor vehicle use. The roads, particularly Barker Pond Road, are rough, only 4-wheel drive pickups & SUVs and other high clearance vehicles should use the road. (5/12)
  • Construction of a roadway, parking area and trail which provide access for paddlers to the County Line Flow on the Township 20 Tract is complete and open for public use. Public trespass on the lands other than the roadway, parking lot and trail is prohibited. Fishing from shore - including at the waterway access site - is prohibited. (2015)

Blue Ridge Wilderness

Moose River Plains Complex

  • The Moose River Plains Complex web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
  • Limekiln-Cedar River Road (aka Moose River Plains Road) will be open for public motor vehicle use on Friday, May 20. While the roads are in great shape workers from the Town of Indian Lake's and Town of Inlet's Highway Departments will be conducting road work in many areas through the month of June. Drivers are asked to use caution approaching and passing workers. (5/19)
  • Otter Brook Road is open to public motor vehicle use up to the bridge over the Moose River. The road remains closed to motor vehicles beyond the bridge but is open for hiking and biking. (5/19)
  • Rock Dam Road remains closed to public motor vehicle use. and will remain closed until further notice. (5/19)
  • The Town of Indian Lake has opened the Cedar River Road to motor vehicle use to the Cedar Flow Gate, the road is in good shape. (4/21)

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.
  • Volunteer trail workers removed blowdown from the Northville-Placid Trail. (2015)

Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Lands

  • The Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Lands web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
  • Speculator Tree Farm Road Network is open to public motor vehicle use. (4/22)
  • The Town of Lake Pleasant has opened the Perkins Clearing Road to public motor vehicle use. (4/21)
  • Seasonal access roads, including the Jessup River Road and Military Road, are open to public motor vehicle use. (5/5)

Sargent Ponds Wild Forest

  • DEC staff constructed a new lean-to on the southeastern side of Big Island on Raquette Lake. Additionally work crews from the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Program have completed work on lean-tos on Raquette Lake as follows: (2016)
    • The eastern lean-to on Big Island was roofed and stained;
    • The northern lean-to at Lonesome Bay was recently roofed and stained; and
    • The middle lean-to on Big Island was removed in preparation for constructing a new lean-to this summer.

West Canada Lakes Wilderness

  • The West Canada Lakes Wilderness web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
  • The Sucker Brook Trail which connects the Northville-Placid Trail and the DEC Lewey Lake Campground is closed until further notice. Blowdown, wet stretches of trail, and beaver activity make the trail impassable and difficult to follow. DEC is developing plans to restore the trail corridor and allow safe passage for hikers. The Colvin Brook Lean-to at the western end of the trail remains open but can only be accessed from the Northville-Placid Trail. (2016)

More about Backcountry Information for the West Central Adirondacks: