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Backcountry Information for the Northern Adirondacks

Updated: January 16, 2020

Map of showing the Northern Region of the Adirondacks

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 website) when recreating in the Adirondacks.

Weather forecasts and conditions can and do change quickly.

  • Check the National Weather Service (NWS) Forecast (leaves DEC website) for updated notices and current conditions and forecasts. 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.

Travel: Check NY511 for road closures and conditions (leaves DEC website).

Recent Storm Damage:

  • Warm temperatures, heavy rain, and strong winds across much of the Adirondacks this past weekend, and freezing rain Sunday morning in the northern Adirondacks, had caused a
    • Significant loss of snow;
    • Flooding; and
    • Blowdown on some access roads and trails.
  • DEC has just begun assessing the damage in the backcountry.
  • Visitors to the backcountry should use caution as they may encounter:
    • Flooded trails;
    • Extensive blowdown; and
    • Damaged or missing foot bridges and other infrastructure.
  • Be prepared to turn around when conditions warrant.

Adirondack Backcountry Information: Be sure to check Adirondack Backcountry Information main webpage 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.

Debar Mountain Wild Forest

  • The Debar Mountain Wild Forest webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Gates have been closed and locked on the C8 Snowmobile Trail between Debar Meadows and the DEC Meacham Lake Campground. The gate will be reopened once there is enough snow. (1/9)
  • A portion of the Conservation Road in the nearby Deer River State Forest has been flooded due to beaver activity. The road will reopen again once the flooding has been addressed and any necessary road repairs have been completed. (2019)
  • The foot bridge on the access trail to Debar Pond has been removed. Debar Pond may now be accessed near the lodge building using the road beyond the gate at the parking area. A new gate will be installed that will allow easier passage of people with boats in the very near future. Trespassing in the lodge or any other building is prohibited. (2017)

Kushaqua Conservation Easement Tract

Paul Smiths College Easement Tract

Santa Clara Conservation Easement Tract (includes Madawaska Pond/Quebec Brook Primitive Area & Deer River Primitive Area)

Saranac Lakes Wild Forest

  • The Saranac Lake Wild Forest webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and maps of the unit.
  • Nothing to report.

St. Regis Canoe Area

The St. Regis Canoe Area webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.

  • Nothing to report.