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Backcountry Information for the Western Adirondacks

Updated: May 27, 2022

Map of showing the Western Region of the Adirondacks

General Notices

The Welcome to the Adirondacks webpage is the place to go if you are interested in learning more about the Adirondacks. It provides information about the Forest Preserve and conservation easement lands, outdoor recreation opportunities, and Leave No Trace (leaves DEC website). Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information webpage for Adirondack recreation resources, hiking resources, and other information which applies across the Adirondacks.

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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Emergency Situations: If you get lost or injured; keep calm and stay put. If you have cell service, call 911 or the DEC Forest Ranger Dispatch, 833-NYS-RANGERS (833-697-7264).

Weather forecasts and conditions can and do change quickly.

Practice Leave No Trace: Please abide by the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace (leaves DEC website) when recreating in the Adirondacks.

Travel: Check 511NY (leaves DEC website) for road closures and conditions.

@NYSDECAlerts: Follow @NYSDECAlerts on Twitter for real-time updates to help you prepare.

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

For information on North Lake Conservation Easement, please visit the Southwestern Adirondacks page.

Aldrich Pond Wild Forest

  • The Aldrich Pond Wild Forest webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Powell Road leading to South Creek Lake often experiences flooded conditions due to beaver activity. Users should exercise caution and be aware of changing road conditions throughout the seasons. (2020)

Bog River Complex (Lows Lake, Horseshoe Lake Wild Forest, and Big Tupper & Piercefield Conservation Easement Tracts)

  • The Bog River Complex webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • All seasonal access roads on Conservation Easement & Forest Preserve lands are now or will be opened in the near future. Please be aware of the recreational rights allowed on each individual property or at each area. (05/19)

Cranberry Lake Wild Forest (Massawepie and Conifer Emporium Conservation Easement Tracts)

  • The Cranberry Lake Wild Forest webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • All seasonal access roads on Conservation Easement & Forest Preserve lands are now or will be opened in the near future. Please be aware of the recreational rights allowed on each individual property or at each area. (05/19)

Five Ponds Wilderness

  • The Five Ponds Wilderness webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • The footbridge over Glasby Creek located on the High Falls Loop/Cranberry Lake 50 Trail was recently replaced. (11/2021)
  • The Darning Needle Pond, Fishpole Pond, and Olmstead Pond Trails recently received trail work including new drainage structures, hardening of wet sections of trail, and new trail markers. (11/2021)
  • The Olmstead Pond Trail (part of the Cranberry Lake 50 Trail) has several sections of flooding near the pond due to beaver activity. Users should expect wet conditions and may require short bushwacks around flooded sections of trail until water levels recede. (11/2021)

Pepperbox Wilderness

  • The Pepperbox Wilderness webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Nothing to report.

Watson's East Triangle Wild Forest (Croghan & Oswegatchie Conservation Easement Tracts)

  • The Watson's East Triangle Wild Forest webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • All roads on the Croghan and Oswegatchie Conservation Easement Tracts are open. (05/05)
  • The Bear Pond Road Gate has been opened. (04/29)

William C. Whitney Wilderness & Round Lake Wilderness