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DEC Adirondack Outdoor Recreation Bulletin
June 13, 2019
Have a safe and enjoyable outdoor recreational experience on the lands and waters of the Adirondacks. Properly plan and prepare for your outdoor adventure. Minimize the impact on the mountains and forests, rivers and brooks, ponds and lakes, and the wildlife of the Adirondacks.
Check the Backcountry Information for the Adirondacks [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7865.html ] web pages for more detailed information on access, outdoor recreation infrastructure, and conditions for those planning to recreate in the Adirondacks. This bulletin provides only the most recent notices.
*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 Emergency Dispatch, 518-891-0235.
Check mountain weather conditions [ http://www.weather.gov/btv/mountain ] before heading out this weekend.
Packing the proper gear for a hike is very important and you should be prepared to encounter all conditions. See our recommended packing list and safety tips [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/112826.html ].
*Bear Advisories:* While preparing for your camping or hiking trip, check area notices for active bear advisories. If there are active bears present where you are planning to go, either choose an alternative trip or thoroughly educate yourself on how to reduce your chance of a bear encounter with proper food storage, disposal of food waste, and then what to do if you happen to encounter a bear. Learn more about avoiding nuisance bears [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6995.html ].
_*Plan Ahead and Prepare*_
Weather forecasts and conditions can and do change quickly. Check the current National Weather Service Forecast [ http://www.weather.gov/btv/ ] and be prepared for the forecasted conditions or change your plans.
* *Black flies:* Wear clothing that fully covers your body, use bug spray where you are not protected, and bring/wear a bug net to protect yourself from black flies. Wear light-colored clothing. Flies are attracted to dark colors.
* *Wet and muddy trails:* Intermittent rain is forecast through the weekend. Trails will continue to be wet and muddy creating slippery and unstable conditions in higher elevations and on steeper sloping trails. Wear durable, waterproof hiking boots and bring trekking poles for extra stability while hiking through the mud.
* *Parking restrictions along Route 73:* Reminder that parking is prohibited on the shouldersalong State Route 73. Violators will be ticketed. Park in designated pull offs and parking areas only.
_*Practice Leave No Trace*_
Follow proper trail etiquette to maintain minimal impact on the environment and the natural resources of the Adirondacks as well as ensuring an enjoyable outdoor experience for all visitors by following the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace [ http://lnt.org/learn/7-principles ].
* *Minimize Campfire Impacts:* Fires should be built in existing fire pits or fireplaces if provided. Use only dead and down wood for fires. Extinguish all fires with water and stir ashes until they are cold to the touch before walking away. Do not build fires in areas marked by a “No Fires” disk. Camp stoves are safer, more efficient, cleaner, and provide the least impact to natural resources.
* *Firewood Alert! Dont move firewood *NYS regulation [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/28722.html ] prohibits importing untreated firewood into NY as well as prohibits untreated firewood grown in NY to be transported more than 50 miles from its source or origin. The regulation was put in place because transporting infested firewood allows invasives to spread further and faster than they would have on their own and moving untreated firewood is one of the main ways invasive pests and diseases spread to new areas.Heres what you can do to protect our trees:
* Do not bring your own firewood to campgrounds or parks, instead get it locally from the campground or a nearby vendor.
* If you choose to transport firewood within New York State, you must have a receipt indicating the firewoods source which must be within 50 miles of its destination.
Learn the conditions you will encounter from Adirondack Backcountry Information [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7865.html ]
* *Travel:* Check NY511 [ https://511ny.org/ ] for road closures and conditions.
* *Spring Weather:* Temperatures are warming and there are more sunny days, but it continues to be cooler and wetter than usual.
* Water levels are higher and water temperatures are colder than is typical for this time of year.
* Paddlers and tubers should be aware of these conditions.
* Air temperatures can be warm, while water temperatures remain cold.
* Mud and water present on seasonal access roads and trails.
* Check spring recreation tips [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/113437.html ] for a safe and enjoyable outing while minimizing impacts on natural resources and trails.
* Check the National Weather Service [ http://www.weather.gov/btv/ ] or NY Mesonow [ http://www.nysmesonet.org/mesonow ] for current conditions and forecasts for the location where you plan to recreate.
* *Seasonal Access Roads:* Most seasonal access roads are open while a few remain closed for mud season.
* Seasonal access roads are dirt and gravel which can be rough.
* Four-wheel drive SUVs, pick-up trucks, and other high clearance vehicles are recommended for driving on these roads.
* Roads may be narrow use caution, drive slowly, and watch for oncoming vehicles.
* *Biting Insects:* It is Bug Season in the Adirondacks. Black flies and mosquitoes are present in large numbers. Follow these steps to minimize the nuisance of biting insects:
* Wear light colored long sleeve shirts and long pants.
* Tuck shirts into pants, button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist, and tuck the bottom of pant legs into your socks.
* Pack a head net to wear when insects are thick.
* Use an insect repellant with DEET, follow label directions.
* *Fire Danger:* Low, throughout the Adirondacks. Check the Fire Danger Rating Map [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/68329.html ]
* *Thunderstorm Safety:* Thunderstorms [ http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/3109/ ] can pop up even if they are not forecast.
* Avoid summits, water surfaces and other open areas during thunderstorms.
* As soon as you are first aware of an approaching thunderstorm move to lower elevations, head to shore or otherwise seek shelter.
* If caught outside in a thunderstorm find a low spot away from tall trees, seek an area of shorter trees and crouch down away from tree trunks.
* *Report Moose Sightings:*
* DEC is asking the public to report moose sightings and observations [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/117197.html ].
* DEC and its research partners use these public sightings as indices of moose distribution and abundance in New York.
* This is part of a multi-year research project to obtain information on the status of New York State’s moose population, health of the moose, and the factors that influence moose survival and reproductive rate.
* Use the moose sighting form [ https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSesIB6t1Xf-sUPsLYSpiy58RAZYaiw499mErjw_sefZraxaXg/viewform ].
* Hikers & Campers*
* *General Information:*
* Hiking [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/351.html ]
* Backcountry Camping [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/41282.html ]
* *Muddy Trail Advisory*: Due to cool temperatures and the amount of rainfall the Muddy Trail Advisory [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/116878.html ] remains in effect.
* Please protect high elevation trails and vegetation and postpone hikes on trails above 2,500 feet until these high elevation trails have dried and hardened.
* Snow and ice are currently melting on high elevation trails.
* Steep trails with thin soils can be dangerous to hike and are susceptible to erosion; and sensitive alpine vegetation is easily damaged.
* Choose any of the numerous trails under 2,500 feet to hike [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/116823.html ]until the advisory is lifted.
* *Trail Conditions:*
* Mud and water are present on most all trails protect trails and trailside vegetation by walking through mud and water not around it.
* Water levels are high – low water crossings may be problematic or impossible to cross.
* *Bear Resistant Canisters:*
* The use of bear-resistant canisters [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7225.html ] is required for overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness between April 1 and November 30.
* All food, toiletries and garbage must be stored in bear-resistant canisters.
* DEC encourages the use of bear-resistant canisters and other practices to avoid negative encounters with bears [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6995.html#Backcountry ]throughout the Adirondacks.
* *Mountain Summits:* Please avoid high elevation mountain summits while the Muddy Trail Advisory is in effect.
* *General Information:* Biking [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/101033.html ]
* *Trail Conditions:*
* Most trails are dry and rideable, but some trails remain closed due to wet and muddy conditions.
* Dont use muddy trails, they are easily rutted and damaged through use.
* If you are leaving tracks, turn back.
* The Barkeaters Trail Alliance [ http://www.betatrails.org/ ] provides information on the status of mountain bike trails in the Tri-lakes region of the Adirondacks.
* *E-bikes:* Electric powered bikes are prohibited on all bike trails on the Forest Preserve.
*Boaters, Paddlers, and Anglers*
* *General Information*
* Boaters [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/349.html ]
* Paddlers [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/100898.html ]
* Fishing [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html ]
* Water levels are higher and water temperatures are colder than usual for this time of year.
* Paddlers, tubers, and waders should expect to encounter strong currents on rivers.
* A group of paddlers on the Batten Kill in Washington were unable to avoid a tree that had fallen the river (aka a strainer) due to the strong currents.
* Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs aka lifejackets) are strongly recommended to be worn by all anglers, boaters, and paddlers.
* People immersed in cold waters can lose the ability to think clearly and move quickly after only a short time in the water.
* Check the USGS Current Water Data for New York [ https://waterdata.usgs.gov/ny/nwis/rt ]for stream flow of selected waters.
* *DEC Boat Launches:* Docks have been installed at all but a few boat launches where high water levels are preventing installation.
* *Rock Climbing Route Closures:* Some Adirondack rock climbing routes are closed [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7870.html ] to protect Peregrine falcon nest sites.
Notices below reflect recent changes in conditions and recreation infrastructure work completed by DEC and its partners. Adirondack Backcountry Information [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7865.html ] web pages for ongoing issues and more detailed information
* *Vanderwhacker Wild Forest:* Wolf Pond Trail and the Wolf Pond Lean-to are open to public use [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/117243.html ].
* The 2.3-mile Wolf Pond Trail may be access from Boreas River/Wolf Pond Parking Area on the Blue Ridge Road near the bridge over the Boreas River.
* The gently rolling and easy to navigate trail crosses Wolf Pond Brook and proceeds northeast.
* The trail ends at the outlet of Wolf Pond and the new lean-to is located up a short spur trail on the south-western side of the pond.
* Wolf Pond provides scenic views of the High Peaks and surrounding mountains as well as excellent fishing opportunities.
* The 59-acre pond is home to stocked wild strain brook trout.
* *Aldrich Pond Wild Forest:* All seasonal access roads, including Streeter Lake Road, are open to public motor vehicle access.
* *Boreas Ponds Tract:* DEC will be working in June and July to provide additional access and recreational infrastructure [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/117073.html ].
* Gulf Brook Road will be open Saturday and Sunday this upcoming weekend to the Fly Pond Parking Area.
* Until work is completed the road will be open to motorists on weekends only.
* The road will be open to hikers, bicyclist, and horseback riders during the week but be cautious around construction areas and obey all instructions from workers.
* *Moose River Plains Wild Forest/West Canada Lakes Wilderness:* All seasonal access roads, except for Rock Dam Road, are open to public motor vehicle use.
* *Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement Tract:* All seasonal access roads are now open to public motor vehicle use.
* *Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Tract:* All seasonal access roads are open to public motor vehicle use including the first two miles Robbs Creek Road.
* *High Peaks Wilderness:*Hikers seeking to use the Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail, which opened last fall, will be re-routed around the construction underway to make significant improvements to Olympic Sports Complex facilities.
* Hikers can park at the Biathlon Facility parking area in the Complex and use a marked 2.9-mile detour bypassing the construction zone using roads, ski trails, and a temporary trail to reach the Mt. Van Hoevenberg East Trail approximately 1.0 mile below the summit.
* Expect to encounter trail workers along the trail to the summit of the mountain as they complete the final touches on the sustainably designed and recently opened trail.
* Hikers may also reach the summit using the traditional route the 2.2-mile Mt. Van Hoevenberg West Trail which begins at the trailhead on Meadows Lane.
* *Ausable Mountain Reserve Conservation Easement Tract/High Peaks & Giant Mountain Wildernesses:*Parking is prohibited on a four-mile section of State Route 73 (www.dec.ny.gov/press/117106.html) between Chapel Pond and the Rooster Comb Trailhead.
* Forest Rangers issued more than 70 tickets last weekend.
* Tickets can result in fines up to $150 plus court costs.
* Parking will still be allowed at trailheads and other designated pull-offs.
* DEC encourages hikers to discover and visit the other numerous hiking opportunities in the area or visit on weekdays when there is less demand.
* Hikes Outside the Adirondack High Peaks [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/9163.html ]lists a dozen nearby alternate hikes.
* *Blue Mountain Wild Forest/Township 19 & 20 Conservation Easement Tracts:*
* Pickwickett Pond Road is open to public motor vehicle use.
* The following roads remain closed to public motor vehicle use.
* Minerva Club Road
* O’Neil Flow Road
* Barker Pond Road
* *Kushaqua Conservation Easement Tract:* Mountain Pond Road remains closed due to muddy conditions.
* *Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Tract:*
* D&H Road is closed to public motor vehicle use due to a logging operation. The road will reopen when the logging operation finishes in late June.
* Piney Ridge Road will remain open while logging is occurring drivers should use caution and be aware of logging equipment and trucks on the road.
_*Highlighted Hike: Independence River Area Trail Network*_
The trail system, located in Independence River Wild Forest [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/58192.html ], consists of just over 11 miles of trails.
*Beach Mill Trail* extends 5.3 miles along the north bank of the Independence River from a trailhead at the end of Beach Mill Road.
*Panther Pond Trail* extends 1.1 miles to the Panther Pond Lean-to from a trailhead at the end of Smith Road, and extends another 3.2 miles to the Independence River where it meets up with the Beach Mill and Fish Trails.
*Fish Trail* extends 1.7 miles to the Independence River from a trailhead at the end of the Stony Lake Road.
All three trails meet immediately north of a footbridge on the Fish Trail on the north bank of the Independence River.
View Map [ http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/independenceriverareahikingmap.pdf ]
Beech Mill Road Trailhead Parking Area is located at the end of Beech Mill Road. (43.8073N, 75.2752W)
Smith Road Trailhead Parking is located at the end of Smith road off Number Four Road and provides access to an accessible campsite. (43.8333N, 75.1595W)
Stony Lake/Mt. Tom Trailhead Parking Area is located at the end of Stony Lake Road (43.7750N, 75.2057W)
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation [ https://www.dec.ny.gov/index.html ] respects your right to privacy [ https://www.dec.ny.gov/about/27720.html ] and welcomes your feedback <firstname.lastname@example.org>|Update preferences or [ https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/NYSDEC/subscriber/edit ]|Learn more about DEC Delivers [ https://www.dec.ny.gov/public/65855.html ]. Connect with DEC: Facebook [ http://www.facebook.com/nysdec ] Twitter [ https://twitter.com/NYSDEC ] YouTube [ https://www.youtube.com/user/nysdecvideos ]Bookmark and Share [ https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/NYSDEC/bulletins/24b1ce6?reqfrom=share ]
Basil Seggos, Commissioner