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Backcountry Information for the East Central Adirondacks

Updated: September 29, 2022

Map of showing the East Central Region of the Adirondacks

General Notices

The Welcome to the Adirondacks webpage provides information about the Forest Preserve and conservation easement lands, outdoor recreation opportunities, and Leave No Trace. 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 backcountry. Backcountry 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

Camp Santanoni Historic Area

  • The Camp Santanoni Historic Area webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Nothing to report.

Essex Chain Lakes Complex

  • The Essex Chain Lakes Complex webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Blowdown remains on some trails. The Chain Lakes Road North to Sixth Lake horse trail has significant blowdown. (05/12)
  • There is an active logging operation on Cornell Road. This road, and the land adjacent to it, is privately-owned working forest conservation easement land. It also provides public access to the Essex Chain Lakes Complex Forest Preserve - specifically the Deer Pond Parking Lot. Please be alert for log trucks using the Cornell Road, and safely pull off the side of the road to allow them to pass. (5/21)
Hoffman Notch Wilderness
  • The Hoffman Notch Wilderness webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • The Bridge over the North Branch of Trout Brook on the Big Pond Trail near its intersection the Notch Trail is washed off its abutments and will require crossing the stream itself. (5/2021)
  • Most blowdown has been removed. Some trails have minor blowdown, but all are passable. DEC is working on clearing the rest of the blowdown. (5/2021)

Hudson Gorge Wilderness

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

Pine Lake Primitive Area

  • Nothing to report.

Jessup River Wild Forest

  • The Jessup River Wild Forest webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Repairs have been made to Old Military Road, which provides access to Pillsbury Mtn Trailhead. The road is passable and available for public motor vehicle access. (06/23)
  • The bridge at the beginning of Crotched Pond Rd (located on Forest Preserve) which leads to the Crotched Pond Conservation Easement was damaged by the 2019 Halloween Storm and has been closed to vehicular traffic. Access to the Conservation Easement is via foot traffic only.

Siamese Ponds Wilderness

  • The Siamese Pond Wilderness webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • The 35ft bridge over the Botheration Pond outlet on the Botheration Pond Loop Trail has been replaced with a brand new bridge. (08/11)
  • The Chimney Mountain Eagle Cave gate will be open from May 16th to Sept 14th. At all other times of the year the gate will be closed to protect the bat population. (2021)
  • Crotched Pond Road, which provides access to the Kunjamuk Trail and Siamese Ponds Wilderness across the Crotched Pond Conservation Easement Tract, is closed as the bridge at the entrance to the 0.2 mile road was damaged in the 2019 Halloween storm. (2020)
  • 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). (2020)

Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest

  • The Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest webpage provides information about the unit, and its recreational opportunities and a map of the unit.
  • On Tuesday, September 5, work will begin on a temporary bridge over LaBier Dam that will restore motor vehicle access to the Four Corners Parking Area on Gulf Brook Road. To prepare the work site, the pedestrian bridge currently in place over the dam will be removed starting Thursday, September 1. This will temporarily prevent all access beyond LaBier Dam for both motorists and pedestrians. Motor vehicle and pedestrian access will remain open as far as the Fly Pond Parking Area. Visitors should use caution on Gulf Brook Road due to construction equipment also using the road. Work on the temporary bridge is expected to be complete by mid-fall. (09/01)
  • The Campsite Rd gate providing access to the Santanoni to Lake Harris snowmobile trail is now closed for mud season. (3/24)
  • Moose Pond Club Road is temporarily closed for repairs. No parking is allowed by the gate, as administrative access for repairs will need to remain open. Visitors can park across the Boreas River Bridge on old Rte 28N and access the road on foot from there. (04/2021)
  • Due to minor washouts on Cheney Pond Road, only four-wheel drive and other high clearance vehicles are recommended to be used. (2022)
  • 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)