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DEC High Peaks Region Weekly Bulletin – 07/27/17

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Current Conditions in the High Peaks Region
Compiled on July 27, 2017

Backcountry Information for the High Peaks Region [ ]

Please be advised of the following conditions and prepare for them to ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor recreational experience.

*Weather forecasts and conditions can and do change quickly.* Check the currentNational Weather Service Forecast [ ] and be prepared for the forecasted conditions. Carry extra clothing, equipment, and supplies in case of an overnight stay.

*Practice Leave No Trace:* Please abide by theSeven Principles of Leave No Trace [ ] when recreating in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks.

*Fire Danger:* Low. TheDEC Fire Danger Map [ ] shows the current fire risk.

*Trail Conditions:* It continues to be a wet summer,to encounter wet and muddy conditions in some locations, especially in low spots and along waterways. Walk through mud and water not around it to protect trailside vegetation and prevent further erosion of trails. Some steep sections of trails may have experienced additional erosion during recent heavy rains – rocks, gravel, and dirt in these sections may be unstable. *IT’S NOT HIKING IF YOU DON’T GET YOUR HIKING SHOES WET AND MUDDY!!*

*High Bear Activity in Dix Mountain Wilderness:* Bear have been approaching hikers, campers, and rock climbers along the Gill Brook Trail and in the Chapel Pond area. DEC distributed anotice with more details [ ] earlier this week.

*Bear Resistant Canisters:* Overnight users in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness must store all food, toiletries, and garbage in bear resistant canisters [ ]. The use of bear resistant canisters is encouraged throughout the Adirondacks.

*Biting Insects:* Mosquitoes, deer flies and biting midges (no-see-ums) are present throughout the Adirondacks. 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 abundant; and, Use an insect repellant with DEET, follow label directions.

*Water Levels:* Water levels remain above average for this time of year. Water crossings should be passable but you may need to get your feet wet on larger brooks.

*Thunderstorm Safety:* 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.

*Summits:* Temperatures will be colder and winds will be stronger. Check theNational Weather Service Mountain Point Forecasts [ ] for selected summits.


*Avalanche Lake Trail:* The trail will be closed from August 15 through August 25 while DEC and Student Conservation Association Adirondack Programs replace the Hitch-up Matildas the bridging on the cliff face along the lake. Access thru Avalanche Pass to the head of the lake and from Lake Colden to the outlet will be possible, but through passage will be inaccessible. Plan alternate routes between Avalanche Camp and Lake Colden during this period. Be aware that the trail between Feldspar and Lake Arnold has some flooded sections which worsen during and after rains.

*Rock Climbing Route Closures:* All rock climbing routes on the Upper and Lower Washbowl Cliffs near Chapel Pond are now open.

*Calamity Brook Trail:* The high water bridge on the Calamity Trail is unsafe and unusable and should not be crossed. Crossing Calamity Brook without using the bridge will be difficult especially with high water levels. After rain water levels in the brook will be higher. The East River Trail (aka the Opalescent River/Hanging Spear Falls Trail) can be used to access the Flowed Lands and Lake Colden. It is an additional 3.7 miles one-way to reach the Flowed Lands using this route. DEC will work to stabilize and repair the high water bridge later this season.

*Mt. Adams Fire Tower:* The top landing on the Mt. Adams Fire Tower has been damaged by ice wind. Fencing and railings were broken off and the tower stairs and landings are slippery. The top landing and the cab are closed to the public at this time. DEC plans to repair the tower this year.

*Lake Arnold/Feldspar Brook Trail:* The trail is flooded and the bog bridging cannot be crossed. Alternate routes using other trails in the area can be used to avoid the trail. DEC is working to find a permanent solution to this section of trail in the near future.

*Blueberry Hiking Trail:* The first 1,500 feet of this trail in the Western High Peaks has been closed. The trail now connects with the Blueberry Horse Trail approximately 0.3 mile east of the previous location (0.8 mile from the Seward Trailhead). This reroute eliminates the need to hike through a large wet area and avoids hiking (and maintaining) more than 120 feet of bog bridging.

*Blueberry Horse Trail:* The trail between the Calkins Creek Horse Trail and Ward Brook Horse Trail in the Western High Peaks contains extensive blowdown, is grown in with vegetation and is poorly marked. The trail is impassable to horses making it impossible to complete the Cold River Horse Trail Loop. DEC worked in the fall of 2016 to open up about 75% of the trail. During the spring of 2017 work will continue to open the trail back up.

*Phelps Trail:* The high water bridge over Slide Mountain Brook between the Garden Trailhead Parking Area and Johns Brook Lodge broke in spring of 2016 and the remains were removed. Materials were flown to the site so a new bridge can be built in 2017.

*Whiteface Landing Trail:* The trail has been rerouted to avoid private camps on Connery Pond. The new trail route starts at the small parking area just before the private gate. Please respect the private property and stay on the trail.

*Bradley Pond Trail:* The first and second foot bridges on the Bradley Pond Trail are damaged and unusable. The stream can be forded/rock hopped on the downstream side of the bridge sites.

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