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Backcountry Information for the Northeastern Adirondacks

Updated: July 29, 2021

Map of showing the Northeastern Region of the Adirondacks

Welcome to the Adirondacks

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). Be sure to check out the links to additional information and tips for recreating safely and minimizing your impacts on natural resources, recreational infrastructure, and other backcountry users in the Adirondacks.

Keep Our Environment Clean

Help preserve the beauty of the Adirondacks and protect our local wildlife by putting garbage in designated trash cans when available or taking your garbage home with you. Please do not leave trash, gear, or food scraps behind. Use designated toilets when available and visit the Leave No Trace website to learn how you can Leave No Trace when going to the bathroom in the woods. Do not graffiti or carve your name into rocks, trees, or backcountry structures like lean-tos or fire towers.

Drone Use

Drones are prohibited on lands classified as Wilderness, Primitive, and Canoe Area. Before you launch your device, learn more about drone use on DEC lands.

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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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 Emergency Dispatch, 833-NYS-RANGERS.

High Water Warning: Frequent and heavy rains have swollen waterways throughout the region. Several trails, campgrounds, and popular water recreation areas are experiencing flooding. Be cautious in and around areas of high water. Do not attempt to cross high, fast-moving rivers or streams without a bridge. Exercise extreme caution when paddling or swimming in moving water. Wear a properly fitted PFD (life jacket) when paddling and boating and be careful entering and exiting the vessel. If you are camping near water, be prepared to move if waters begin to rise. Do not drive through flood waters.

Wet and Muddy Trails: Following recent rain, trails are likely to be muddy. Wear waterproof shoes and walk through mud, not around it, to help protect fragile trail edges. Gaiters help keep feet dry and trekking poles provide added stability. Use caution at stream crossings where water is high and fast-moving. If water levels are too high, do not attempt a crossing. Mountain bikers are encouraged to avoid riding in muddy and wet conditions as biking on wet trails can significantly contribute to erosion and trail widening. As with hiking, ride through the center of the trail to avoid impacting trailside soils and plants.

Rock Climbing Closures: DEC closes certain rock climbing routes in the Adirondacks to protect nesting peregrine falcons. Once peregrine nest sites are determined, climbing routes that will not disturb nesting will be reopened. Routes that remain closed will reopen after the young have fledged. Check the full list of route closures.

Weather forecasts and conditions can and do change quickly.

  • Check the forecast for your destination and pack and plan accordingly.
  • 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.
  • Check the National Weather Service Northern Adirondacks (leaves DEC website) and Southern Adirondacks (leaves DEC website) Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits.

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.

Adirondack Backcountry Information: Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information main webpage for Adirondack recreation resources, hiking resources, and other 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

Port Henry Boat Launch

  • The Port Henry Boat Launch will be closed for maintenance on Friday, July 30.

Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area

Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area

  • The Kings Bay Wildlife Management Area webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • The gate that provides winter access for ice fishing on Catfish Bay has been closed for the season. (03/25)

Chazy Highlands Wild Forest

  • The Chazy Highlands Wild Forest webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Nothing to report.

Lake Champlain Islands Complex

  • The Lake Champlain Islands Complex webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Nothing to report.

Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Tract

  • The Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Tract webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • The gates at both ends of Liberty Road are closed for mud season. (03/25)
  • The gate on Cobble Hill Road is closed for mud season. (03/25)
  • Barnes Pond Road is open to public motor vehicle use. The road will remain open until the end of the Northern Zone big game hunting season but may close sooner if conditions warrant. (10/1)
  • The wheelchair ramp at the Fishpole Pond Accessible Fishing Site was damaged by a wildfire and is unusable. (2020)

Taylor Pond Complex

  • The Taylor Pond Complex webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • The Ranger Trail, Observer's Trail, and summit of Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain will be closed on July 16 to allow for the safe aerial delivery of materials for an ongoing trail maintenance project. (7/13)

Wilmington Wild Forest

  • The Wilmington Wild Forest webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • The Lake Placid Ironman will be held on Sunday, July 25. Road closures and road restrictions will cause traffic delays (leaves DEC website) on the roads in the Lake Placid, Keene, Jay, and Wilmington area.