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Backcountry Information for the East Central Adirondacks

Map of showing the East Central Region of the Adirondacks

Updated: February 14, 2019

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).

DEC and OPRHP remind snowmobilers to ride responsibly (leaves DEC website) while enjoying the state's abundant snowmobiling opportunities.

DEC Adventure Adirondacks: Visit the DEC Facebook page (leaves DEC website) to follow the DEC Adventure Adirondacks Group for more information on winter hiking safety, preparedness, trail conditions, and trip ideas. Login to join the group

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

Camp Santanoni Historic Area

  • The Camp Santanoni Historic Area web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • DEC and the Friends of Camp Santanoni have scheduled the 2019 Camp Santanoni Winter Weekends. (2/14)
    • The second Camp Santanoni Winter Weekend will be held this President's Day holiday weekend.
    • While the first weekend was shortened to just one day due to weather, this weekend will make for it with plenty of snow on the ground, lots of sunshine in the forecast and daytime temperatures in the mid-20s. Don't miss it.
    • Cross-country skiers and snowshoers will have access to the historic camp properties to rest, tour the buildings, and view interpretative displays.
    • Snow conditions for skiing are excellent and snowshoes are available to borrow.
    • Cross-country skiers and snowshoers will have access to the historic camp properties to rest, tour the buildings, and view interpretative displays.
    • The remaining Winter Weekend event is scheduled for March 16-17.

Essex Chain Lakes Complex

  • The Essex Chain Lakes Complex web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Goodnow Flow Road is a private road beyond the intersection with the Chain Lakes Road North and should not be used by the public. (2019)
  • Public trespass of the Gooley Club and Polaris Club cabins, out buildings and the lands around them is prohibited. (2019)

Hoffman Notch Wilderness

  • The Hoffman Notch Wilderness web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Several small beaver dams are flooding sections of the Hoffman Notch Trail just south of Blue Ridge Road Trailhead under a foot of water. A reroute has not yet been developed. Hikers may have to walk through the water - take off boots and socks and roll-up pants. (2014)

Hudson Gorge Wilderness

  • The Hudson Gorge Wilderness web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Nothing to report.

Jessup River Wild Forest

  • The Jessup River Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Nothing to report.

Siamese Ponds Wilderness

  • The Siamese Pond Wilderness web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • The former site of the 55 foot bridge over the East Branch of the Sacandaga River on the Botheration Pond Loop Trail is now a foot crossing (rock hopping). (2019)
    • Hikers may have trouble crossing during times of high water following heavy rain or during spring snow melt.
    • Wear trail crampons and use hiking poles with steel or carbide tips when traversing ice covered rocks.

Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest

  • The Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit, and its recreational opportunities and a map of the unit.
  • The Boreas River crossing on the Cheney Pond- Irishtown Trail is not bridged. During low water conditions, crossing by rock hopping may be possible. (2016)