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Backcountry Information for the West Central Adirondacks

Map showing the West Central Region of the Adirondacks

Updated: October 18, 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.

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

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.

Blue Mountain Wild Forest/Township 19 Tract & Township 20 Tract Easement Lands

  • The Blue Mountain Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
  • A logging operation is occurring on the conservation easement lands along the Northville-Placid Trail south of Tirrell Pond. (2018)
    • Logging equipment will be crossing the Northville-Placid Trail at one location.
    • There is a 100-foot buffer on either side of the trail outside of that crossing
    • Please be attentive for logging activity when on that section of trail.
    • Logging is a normal activity on conservation easement lands.
  • Logging operations on the Township 19 Easement Lands will result in increased numbers of logging trucks on O'Neil Flow Road this summer. Roll down vehicle windows, travel slowly, listen for trucks, and move off the road to allow passage of logging trucks. Logging trucks have the right of way. (2018)
  • The access road to the radio towers on Blue Mountain is a private road. The use of the road by people other than authorized personnel with administrative duties is prohibited and is considered trespassing. (2018)

Blue Ridge Wilderness/Wakely Mountain

  • The Blue Ridge Wilderness and Wakely Mountain Primitive Area web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
  • Repairs have been completed on the Wakely Mountain Fire Tower. The fire tower and the Wakely Mountain Trail are once again open to public use. (7/10)
  • DEC and others have completed a two- year project to address wet and muddy areas on the Sagamore Lake Trail within the Historic Great Camps Special Management Area adjacent to Great Camp Sagamore. DEC staff, Camp Sagamore Trail Stewards and volunteers: (7/5)
    • Installed bog bridges, culverts, and puncheons;
    • Cleaned and rehabilitated drainage ditches; and
    • Reconfigured trails to shed water.

Cedarlands Conservation Easement Tract

Moose River Plains Complex

  • The Moose River Plains Complex web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
  • This summer crews from the Student Conservation Association Adirondack Corps cleaned and brushed out an approximate seven-mile section of the Otter Brook Truck Trail from the gate off the Otter Brook Road to a mile east of the intersection with the trail to Lost Pond. DEC expects to clean and brush out the remainder of the trail between the trail to Lost Pond and the Moose River Plains Road next summer. (9/27)
  • Lean2Rescue has completed three lean-to projects on Eighth Lake during the past several weeks. (9/27)
    • Dunning Lean-to located on the northern shore of the lake has been completely rehabilitated. Volunteers with the organization replaced the roof, the floor, and select logs that were in poor condition. They also stained the lean-to.
    • The "Double-wide Lean-to" on the western shore of Eighth Lake has been completely rehabilitated. The four base logs, the floor, and the roof were all replaced and the lean-to was stained.
    • Earlier this summer the lean-to located on a small island near the western shore of Eighth Lake was removed. Due to the small size of the island it cannot sustain camping. The site has been converted into a day use site.
  • Wilson Ridge Trail, Sly Pond Trail, and Otter Brook Truck Trail are overgrown and sections of the trails may be difficult to follow. DEC plans to clear and brush the trails this year. (2018)

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 broken foot bridge spanning Lamphere Brook in the West Canada Wilderness was recently replaced with a new 35-foot bridge (leaves DEC's website). (10/11)
    • State Police Aviation and DEC Forest Rangers transported materials for the bridge to the remote stream crossing by helicopter in Spring of 2018.
    • A Student Conservation Association Adirondack Corps crew completed the bridge replacement this Fall.
    • The bridge was fully replaced using treated poles and lumber for strength and longevity.
  • A logging operation is occurring on the conservation easement lands along the trail south of Tirrell Pond. (2018)
    • Logging equipment will be crossing the Northville-Placid Trail at one location.
    • There is a 100-foot buffer on either side of the trail outside of that crossing.
    • Please be attentive for logging activity when on that section of trail.
    • Logging is a normal activity on conservation easement lands.
  • The Sucker Brook Trail which connects the Northville-Placid Trail and the DEC Lewey Lake Campground in the West Canada Lakes Wilderness is closed until further notice. (2018)
    • Blowdown, wet stretches of trail, and beaver activity make the trail impassable and difficult to follow.
    • DEC is developing plans to restore the trail corridor and allow safe passage for hikers.
    • Colvin Brook Lean-to at the western end of the trail remains open but can only be accessed from the Northville-Placid Trail.

Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Lands

Sargent Ponds Wild Forest

  • The Sargent Ponds Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.
  • During a recent 10-day hitch by a Student Conservation Association Adirondack Program Crew, members brushed, removed blowdown, and installed new trail markers where needed along the Lower Pond, Middle Pond/Crossover, Upper Pond Trail, and the spur trail leading to the Lower Sargent Pond Lean-To. The crew brushed and removed blowdown from nearly ~5.5 miles of trail. (8/10)
  • All three lean-tos on Seventh Lake are fully repaired, work on Lean-to #2 and Lean-to #3 was completed this past spring by Lean2Rescue. (2017)
  • Work has also been completed on Raquette Lake lean-tos by DEC, crews from the SCA Adirondack Program, and, most of all, volunteers from Lean2Rescue and includes: (2017)
    • All three lean-tos at Boucher Point have been repaired and moved, Boucher #2 was moved 0.2 mile to the east.
    • Outlet Bay Lean-to on Raquette Lake was repaired and moved to a nearby site in the same general area
    • The middle lean-to on Big Island was replaced and relocated to the south eastern shore of the island
    • The eastern lean-to on Big Island was roofed and stained
    • The northern lean-to at Lonesome Bay was roofed and stained
    • The remaining two lean-tos (one on Big Island and one at Lonesome Bay) will be repaired this fall

West Canada Lakes Wilderness

The West Canada Lakes Wilderness web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities.

  • A broken foot bridge spanning Lamphere Brook on the Northville-Placid Trail was recently replaced with a new 35-foot bridge (leaves DEC's website). (10/11)
    • State Police Aviation and DEC Forest Rangers transported materials for the bridge to the remote stream crossing by helicopter in Spring of 2018.
    • A Student Conservation Association Adirondack Corps crew completed the bridge replacement this Fall.
    • The bridge was fully replaced using treated poles and lumber for strength and longevity.
  • The Sucker Brook Trail which connects the Northville-Placid Trail and the DEC Lewey Lake Campground is closed until further notice. (2018)
    • Blowdown, wet stretches of trail, and beaver activity make the trail impassable and difficult to follow.
    • DEC is developing plans to restore the trail corridor and allow safe passage for hikers.
    • Colvin Brook Lean-to at the western end of the trail remains open but can only be accessed from the Northville-Placid Trail.