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For Release: Thursday, May 8, 2014

DEC Alerts Hikers of Muddy Trail Conditions in the High Peaks Region

Hikers Should Temporarily Avoid High Elevation Trails in the Adirondacks

It is the start of a new season of outdoor hiking and recreation on public lands in the Adirondacks and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) urges hikers to be cautious and postpone hikes on trails above 3,000 feet until early June, the agency announced today.

DEC is asking hikers to avoid trails above 3,000 feet, particularly high elevation trails in the Dix, Giant and High Peaks Wilderness Areas in the northern Adirondacks, due to muddy conditions and the potential damage hiking can cause to vegetation and soft ground.

Hikers are advised to only use trails at lower elevations during the spring mud season to avoid damaging natural resources and to promote safety. Lower trails usually dry soon after snowmelt and are on less erosive soils than the higher peaks. DEC asks hikers to avoid the following trails:

High Peaks Wilderness Area

All trails above 3,000 feet; where wet, muddy, snow conditions still prevail, specifically:

  • Algonquin
  • Colden
  • Feldspar
  • Gothics
  • Indian Pass
  • Lake Arnold Cross-Over
  • Marcy
  • Marcy Dam - Avalanche - Lake Colden
  • Phelps Trail above John Brook Lodge
  • Range Trail
  • Skylight
  • Wright and
  • All "trail-less" peaks

Dix Mountain Wilderness Area

All trails above Elk Lake and Round Pond

Giant Mountain Wilderness Area

All trails above Giant's Washbowl, "the Cobbles," and Owls Head.

Alternative Hikes

DEC suggests the following alternative trails for hiking, subject to weather conditions:

High Peaks Wilderness

  • Ampersand Mountain
  • Cascade Mountain
  • Porter Mountain from Cascade Mountain (avoid all other approaches)
  • Big Slide
  • The Brothers

Debar Mt. Wild Forest

  • Azure Mountain

Giant Mt. Wilderness

  • Giant's Washbowl
  • Roaring Brook Falls

Hurricane Mountain Wilderness

  • The Crows

McKenzie Mt. Wilderness

  • Baker Mountain
  • Haystack Mountain

Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area

  • Pharaoh Mountain

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest

  • Panther Mountain
  • Scarface Mountain

DEC's web site contains additional information on trail conditions in the Adirondacks or contact the DEC Forest Rangers at (518) 897-1300.

  • Contact for this Page
  • David Winchell
    NYSDEC Region 5
    1115 State Route 86
    P.O. Box 296
    Ray Brook, NY 12977
    email us
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