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Backcountry Information for the West Central Adirondacks

Map showing the West Central Region of the Adirondacks

Updated: December 13, 2018

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 current National Weather Service Forecast (leaves DEC website) and 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.

Road Conditions and Closures: Check before you travel at NY511 (leaves DEC website).

Winter Weather: Snow, ice, and below freezing temperatures are present throughout the Adirondacks. The National Weather Service NERFC Snow Page (leaves DEC website) provides maps depicting current snow depths, forecasts, and other snow information.

Be Prepared for Winter Conditions with safety tips from this fact sheet and winter safety video (leaves DEC website).

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

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, and a map of the unit.
  • Four miles of the southern end of Snowmobile Route 538 between Indian Lake and Newcomb on will be plowed to allow for transportation of timber by logging trucks. Snowmobilers should reduce speed and expect to encounter log trucks when traveling this route. (11/29)
  • A logging operation is occurring on the conservation easement lands along the Northville-Placid Trail south of Tirrell Pond. (2018)
    • Logging equipment will be crossing the Northville-Placid Trail at one location.
    • There is a 100-foot buffer on either side of the trail outside of that crossing
    • Please be attentive for logging activity when on that section of trail.
    • Logging is a normal activity on conservation easement lands.
  • 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. (2018)

Blue Ridge Wilderness/Wakely Mountain

Cedarlands Conservation Easement Tract

Moose River Plains Complex

  • The Moose River Plains Complex web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • The Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road (aka the Moose River Plains Road) and other designated snowmobile trails are open for use. (12/6)
  • This summer crews from the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Corps cleaned and brushed out an approximate seven-mile section of the Otter Brook Truck Trail from the gate off the Otter Brook Road to a mile east of the intersection with the trail to Lost Pond. DEC expects to clean and brush out the remainder of the trail between the trail to Lost Pond and the Moose River Plains Road next summer. (9/27)
  • Lean2Rescue has completed three lean-to projects on Eighth Lake during the past several weeks. (9/27)
    • Dunning Lean-to located on the northern shore of the lake has been completely rehabilitated. Volunteers with the organization replaced the roof, the floor, and select logs that were in poor condition. They also stained the lean-to.
    • The "Double-wide Lean-to" on the western shore of Eighth Lake has been completely rehabilitated. The four base logs, the floor, and the roof were all replaced and the lean-to was stained.
    • Earlier this summer the lean-to located on a small island near the western shore of Eighth Lake was removed. Due to the small size of the island it cannot sustain camping. The site has been converted into a day use site.
  • 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. (2018)
    • 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.
  • Wilson Ridge Trail, Sly Pond Trail, and Otter Brook Truck Trail are overgrown and sections of the trails may be difficult to follow. DEC plans to clear and brush the trails this year. (2018)

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.
  • A broken foot bridge spanning Lamphere Brook in the West Canada Wilderness was recently replaced with a new 35-foot bridge (leaves DEC's website). (10/11)
    • State Police Aviation and DEC Forest Rangers transported materials for the bridge to the remote stream crossing by helicopter in Spring of 2018.
    • A Student Conservation Association Adirondack Corps crew completed the bridge replacement this Fall.
    • The bridge was fully replaced using treated poles and lumber for strength and longevity.
  • 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. (2018)
    • 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.
  • A logging operation is occurring on the conservation easement lands along the trail south of Tirrell Pond. (2018)
    • Logging equipment will be crossing the Northville-Placid Trail at one location.
    • There is a 100-foot buffer on either side of the trail outside of that crossing.
    • Please be attentive for logging activity when on that section of trail.
    • Logging is a normal activity on conservation easement lands.

Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Lands

Sargent Ponds Wild Forest

  • The Sargent Ponds Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • During a recent 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. (8/10)

West Canada Lakes Wilderness

The West Canada Lakes Wilderness web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.

  • Spruce Lake Lean-tos #1 and #2 were restored this season by volunteer crews from Lean2Rescue. (11/15)
  • A broken foot bridge spanning Lamphere Brook on the Northville-Placid Trail was recently replaced with a new 35-foot bridge (leaves DEC's website). (10/11)
    • State Police Aviation and DEC Forest Rangers transported materials for the bridge to the remote stream crossing by helicopter in Spring of 2018.
    • A Student Conservation Association Adirondack Corps crew completed the bridge replacement this Fall.
    • The bridge was fully replaced using treated poles and lumber for strength and longevity.
  • 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. (2018)
    • 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.