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Backcountry Information for the West Central Adirondacks

Updated: May 19, 2022

Map of showing the West Central Region of the Adirondacks

General Notices

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). 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 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 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

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

  • The Blue Mountain Wild Forest webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • 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. (2020)

Blue Ridge Wilderness/Wakely Mountain Primitive Area

Cedarlands Conservation Easement Tract

Moose River Plains Complex

  • The Moose River Plains Complex webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • DEC anticipates opening the Moose River Plains gates the week prior to Memorial Day weekend. (05/19)
  • The Cedar River Road, which accesses the Cedar River Flow/Wakley Dam area, is now open. The 10 roadside tent sites located at the Cedar River Headquarters are now open for public use. (05/05)
  • A 200' section of the West Mtn Trail is flooded due to beaver activity at the Beaver Brook crossing in Moose River Plains Wild Forest. Until the flooding is addressed it is recommended to access the West Mtn summit from the Constable Pond trailhead off Higby Road (Pigeon Lake Wilderness). (3/24)
  • Otter Brook Road remains closed at Falls Pond Outlet.

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.
  • DEC staff recently cleared blowdown on 16 miles of the Northville Placid Trail from Godfrey Rd to the Whitehouse trailhead (West River Road). The trail is clear and conditions are good. (05/05)
  • West River Road, which provides access to the Northville-Placid Trail in the Town of Wells, will remain unplowed and unmaintained for the duration of the winter. Seasonal access will re-open after spring mud season, typically late May. (01/13)
  • A 400-foot section of the trail within the West Canada Lake Wilderness - about 0.5 mile north of the Carry Lean-to - is flooded trail due to beaver activity. The trail is passable, but hikers should anticipate wet feet while passing through this area. (2021)
  • 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. (2021)
    • 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.

Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tracts

  • The Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tracts webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • High clearance vehicles are recommended for Jessup River Road. (05/19)
  • Mud Lake Road is now open. (05/19)
  • Roads are currently closed for mud season. (05/12)
  • The bridge at Old Route 8 by Christine Falls will be closed for repairs starting 5/16. Roads that will consequently close because of this are Fly Creek Road and Robbs Creek Road. (05/12)

Sargent Ponds Wild Forest

  • The Sargent Ponds Wild Forest webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • All snowmobile trails are now closed. (3/24)

West Canada Lakes Wilderness

  • The West Canada Lakes Wilderness webpage provides information about the unit and its recreational opportunities, and a map of the unit.
  • A 400-foot stretch of the Northville-Placid Trail - about 0.5 mile north of the Carry Lean-to - is flooded trail due to beaver activity. The trail is passable, but hikers should anticipate wet feet while passing through this area. (2021)
  • Old Military Road is closed between the turn to Pillsbury Mountain and the Pillsbury Mountain Trailhead due to severe washouts. Hikers must park at Sled Harbor and walk the road 1.5 miles to the trailhead. (5/2021)
  • The foot bridge over Sampson Bog on the Northville-Placid Trail is washed out, please use caution in this area. The crossing may be difficult after periods of significant rain. (2021)
  • 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. (2021)
    • 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.