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Backcountry Information for the West Central Adirondacks

Map showing the West Central Region of the Adirondacks

Updated: July 19, 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.

HEAT ADVISORY:

  • The National Weather Service has issued a HEAT ADVISORY for the Adirondacks from noon Friday today through 8 p.m. Saturday.
    • Temperatures in the lower 90s and dew points in the lower to mid 70s will result in Heat Index around 100.
    • Highest heat index values will occur between noon and 5 p.m. each day.
  • 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.

Avoid Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

  • Wear light, loose clothing; sunscreen; and a hat.
  • Slow your pace.
  • Drink water and rest more often.
  • Seek shade and avoid long periods in direct sunlight.
  • If you are feel ill or extremely uncomfortable:
    • Rest in the shade
    • Drink lots of liquids
    • Cool off, and then
    • Head back to the trailhead.
  • Please leave dogs at home! Dogs are much more susceptible to overheating.

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

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

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 Conservation Easement Tracts

  • The Blue Mountain Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • The O'Neill Flow and Barker Pond Roads are closed through the weekend due to extremely muddy conditions.
  • The following roads are now OPEN to public motor vehicle use - the use of four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicles are recommended: (2019)
    • Minerva Club Road
    • Pickwickett Pond Road
  • A new 2.2-mile spur trail connecting the 134-mile Northville-Placid Trail (NPT) to the hamlet of Long Lake is open. (2019)
    • The trail connects with the NPT approximately 1.9 miles south of Route 28N.
    • The connection is marked with yellow trail markers and crosses Forest Preserve and Town owned lands.
    • The trailhead is located in a gravel parking lot at the intersection of Route 30/28N, South Hill Road, & Pavilion Lane across from the Long Lake Post Office.
    • The trail eliminates 1.5 miles of hiking on the shoulder of Route 28N.
  • A logging operation is occurring on the conservation easement lands along the Northville-Placid Trail south of Tirrell Pond. (2019)
    • 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 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. (2019)

Blue Ridge Wilderness/Wakely Mountain Primitive Area

Cedarlands Conservation Easement Tract

Moose River Plains Complex

  • The Moose River Plains Complex web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Rock Dam Road remains closed. (7/3)
  • The following roads are open to public motor vehicle access: (2019)
    • Limekiln Lake-Cedar River Road (aka Moose River Plains Road)
    • Otter Brook Road
    • Indian Lake Road
  • The Sucker Brook Trail which connects the Northville-Placid Trail and the DEC Lewey Lake Campground is unmaintained beyond the height of ground between Lewey Mountain and Cellar Mountain, about 4.4 miles west of the campground. (2019)
    • Beyond the height of ground blowdown, wet stretches of trail, and beaver activity make the trail difficult to follow.
    • Access to Colvin Brook Lean-to and the Northville Placid Trail may be gained from the Moose River Plains trailhead off Limekiln Lake - Cedar River Road.
  • 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. (2018)
  • Lean2Rescue has completed three lean-to projects on Eighth Lake last year. (2018)
    • 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.
  • Expect to encounter heavy blowdown on this section of the trail. Plan for hikes to take longer due to working through or around blowdown. (6/27)
  • The Sucker Brook Trail which connects the Northville-Placid Trail and the DEC Lewey Lake Campground is unmaintained beyond the height of ground between Lewey Mountain and Cellar Mountain, about 4.4 miles west of the campground. (2019)
    • Beyond the height of ground blowdown, wet stretches of trail, and beaver activity make the trail difficult to follow.
    • Access to Colvin Brook Lean-to and the Northville Placid Trail may be gained from the Moose River Plains trailhead off Limekiln Lake - Cedar River Road.
  • A broken foot bridge spanning Lamphere Brook in the West Canada Wilderness was replaced with a new 35-foot bridge (leaves DEC's website). (2018)
    • 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.

Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tracts

  • The Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tracts web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • All seasonal access roads in the Speculator Tree Farm Tract are open to public motor vehicle use. (2019)
  • All seasonal access roads in the Perkins Clearing Tract, are open to public motor vehicle use. (2019)

Sargent Ponds Wild Forest

  • The Sargent Ponds Wild Forest web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • During a 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. (2018)

West Canada Lakes Wilderness

  • The West Canada Lakes Wilderness web page provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • Trails throughout the area contain significant amount of blowdown. (6/27)
    • Blowdown is particularly prevalent on the Northville-Placid Trail and Cedar Lakes Trail.
    • Plan for hikes to take longer due to working through or around blowdown.
  • The Sucker Brook Trail which connects the Northville-Placid Trail and the DEC Lewey Lake Campground is unmaintained beyond the height of ground between Lewey Mountain and Cellar Mountain, about 4.4 miles west of the campground. (2019)
    • Beyond the height of ground blowdown, wet stretches of trail, and beaver activity make the trail difficult to follow
    • Access to Colvin Brook Lean-to and the Northville Placid Trail may be gained from the Moose River Plains trailhead off Limekiln Lake - Cedar River Road.
  • Spruce Lake Lean-tos #1 and #2 were restored by volunteer crews from Lean2Rescue. (2018)
  • A broken foot bridge spanning Lamphere Brook on the Northville-Placid Trail was replaced with a new 35-foot bridge (leaves DEC website). (2018)
    • 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.