Current Conditions in the High Peaks Region Compiled on May 18, 2017

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 current National Weather Service Forecast and be prepared for the forecasted conditions. Carry extra clothing, equipment, and supplies in case of an overnight stay.

Fire Danger: MODERATE. The Fire Danger Map shows the current fire risk.

Victoria Day Holiday Weekend: This weekend is a three-day holiday weekend for our Canadian friends to the north. Be aware that trailhead parking lots may reach capacity early in the day and interior campsites be filled by Friday evening. Visitors are encouraged to explore less used areas of the Adirondacks. Hikes Outside the High Peaks provides a list of alternative day hikes. (NOTE: This list include some hikes that should not be taken while the Muddy Trail Advisory is in effect.)

MUDDY TRAIL ADVISORY: Trails above 2,500 feet mix of mud, ice and snow as the ice melts and frost leaves the ground, making the them slippery and vulnerable to erosion by hikers. Hikers can prevent damage to hiking trails and sensitive alpine vegetation by avoiding high elevation trails at this time. Hikers are advised to only use trails at lower elevations as these usually dry soon after snowmelt and are on less erosive soils than the higher peaks. The Muddy Trail Advisory provides additional information and a list of alternate hikes.

Trail Conditions: Trails are wet and muddy, especially in low spots and along waterways. Some trails along waterways may be covered by standing water.

Protect Trailside Vegetation: Stay on trails to protect vegetation and prevent further erosion of trails, especially in the higher elevations. Walk through mud and water, do not walk on the vegetation growing beside trails.

Water Crossings: Water levels are high and water crossings may be difficult.

Biting Insects: Black flies and mosquitoes are out in the lower elevations. 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 headnet to wear when insects are abundant; and, Use an insect repellant with DEET, follow label directions.

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, winds will be stronger, and snow & ice will be present on the highest summits, north-facing slopes, and other shaded areas. Check the National Weather Service Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits.

NOTICES

High Peaks Information Center: The High Peaks Information Center (HPIC) at the Adirondak Loj Trailhead is open.

Elk Lake Road: The road is open to public motor vehicle access to the trailhead parking area.

South Meadow Lane: The lane is open to public motor vehicle access.

Corey’s Road: The road is open to public motor vehicle access.

Rock Climbing Route Closures: All rock climbing routes on the Upper Washbowl Cliff, near Chapel Pond, are now open. All rock climbing routes on the Lower Washbowl Cliffs remain closed to allow peregrine falcons to nest and raise young.

Calamity Brook Trail: The high water bridge on the Calamity Trail is unsafe and unusable and should not be crossed. Crossing Calamity Brook, which is completely open at this time, without using the bridge will be difficult – especially with high water levels. On warm and rainy days water levels in the brook will be higher in the afternoon, plan accordingly. 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 in the spring.

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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