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Backcountry Information for the Southern Adirondacks

Map of showing the Southern Region of the Adirondacks

Updated: December 6, 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

Ferris Lake Wild Forest

  • The Ferris Lake Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Hikers on the Jockeybush Lake Trail may have difficulty crossing the Jockeybush Lake Outlet during high waters following periods of rain. (9/27)
  • Billy Hamlin Trail is eroded rough and rocky and very wet in places. (2017)

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 new lean-to was constructed by DEC staff along the trail just north of the West Stony Creek crossing. (9/27)
  • The trail is brushy between Silver Lake and Mud Lake and may be difficult to follow in areas. This section is scheduled to cleaned and brushed out in Summer 2019. (9/27)
  • Hikers using the portion of the trail through the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest may have trouble crossing West Stony Creek during high waters following rains. (2018)

Shaker Mountain Wild Forest

  • The Shaker Mountain Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • A new lean-to was constructed by DEC staff along the Northville Placid Trail just north of the West Stony Creek crossing (9/27)
  • The South Trail up Kane Mountain off Schoolhouse Road is closed. The trail crosses private lands and the landowner revoked permission for the public to cross. Hikers must use the formal Kane Mountain Trailhead off Green Lake Road. (2018)
  • Hikers using the Northville-Placid Trail may have trouble crossing West Stony Creek during high waters following rains. (2018)

Silver Lake Wilderness

  • The Silver Lake Wilderness web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • DEC has completed construction of a new paddlers' take-out site along the West Branch Sacandaga River on the Shaker Place Conservation Easement along State Route 10. The take-out previously involved climbing a steep bank to get back to State Route 10. The new access provides a safer and more user-friendly experience. In 2017, the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Corps (SCA) trail crew constructed a short path between the parking area and the river. (10/5)
  • The Northville Placid Trail is brushy between Silver Lake and Mud Lake and may be difficult to follow in areas. This section is scheduled to cleaned and brushed out in Summer 2019. (9/27)

Wilcox Lake Wild Forest

  • The Wilcox Lake Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
  • The trail to Spruce Mountain Fire Tower is open for public use. (12/6)
  • The cab of the Hadley Mountain Fire Tower and the observer's cabin are closed and locked for the season. (2018)
  • The North Bend Bridge on Oregon Trail is flooded but intact. Hikers will need to wade through water to enter and exit the bridge.(2016)
  • A bridge on Bartman Trail just north of Fish Ponds is out. The small stream is crossable by rock hopping (2016)
  • The bridge over Georgia Creek on Cotter Brook Trail is out due to beaver activity. (2016)
  • The bridge over Dayton Creek between Hope Falls Road and Wilcox Lake on East Stony Creek Trail is out. The creek is crossable except during high water conditions. (2016)
  • The Pine Orchard Trail is flooded due to beaver activity .5 mile south of Pine Orchard. (2010)
  • The Murphy Lake Trail is brushy and difficult to follow along the east shore of the lake from the lean-to to the outlet and is flooded at the north end of Murphy Lake. (2004)