Warrensburg, NY, Sep 09, 2011 — John Warren, of the Adirondack Almanack, joins us Friday mornings with information about local outdoor and backcountry conditions.
The Eastern Zone of the High Peaks Wilderness and the Giant Mountain Wilderness have reopened, although the Dix Mountain Wilderness and several area trails remain closed.
State Route 73 is now open between Lake Placid and Keene Valley but remains closed between Keene Valley and Route 9.
Hazardous conditions continue and back country travel is difficult, and in some places impossible, throughout much of the Eastern High Peaks.
Hikers and campers there should expect to encounter flooding, damaged or washed out bridges and trails blocked by landslides and blowdown.
A number of trails have been rerouted to avoid heavily damaged sections and newly eroded drainages can be mistaken for trails so users should be able to navigate with a map and compass. Plan accordingly and be prepared to turn back when conditions warrant.
This week's steady rains raised the level of the region's rivers and streams to near flood stage so some crossings may be impassable.
Boaters and paddlers should be aware that high waters may contain logs, limbs and other debris and conceal navigation hazards that are normally easily seen and avoided.
The Adirondack Mountain Club has reopened the Adirondak Loj and the Heart Lake campground and the Johns Brook Lodge in the Johns Brook Valley.
Access roads to both facilities were washed out in the storm, the Adirondack Loj Road has reopened, but the bridge on the road to the Garden Trailhead – the main access to Johns Brook Lodge – is open to foot traffic only. The Town of Keene will be operating a shuttle bus from Marcy Field to the corner of Market Street and Adirondack Road about a mile and a quarter from the Garden Trailhead this weekend.
If you are headed to the Johns Brook Valley, you should also know that the Southside Trail from the Garden Trailhead to Johns Brook Lodge is closed due to landslides. All other trails from the Garden are open.
All trails from the Adirondak Loj are also open, are those from the Cascade Mountain trailhead, the Rooster Comb trailhead, the Upper Works trailhead and the East River trailhead. The trails from trailheads on Route 9 and Route 9N into the Giant Mountain Wilderness are also open.
The Van Hoevenberg Trail has been rerouted to a low-water crossing below the Marcy Dam Bridge that was washed out, but the water is currently high there and crossing reported impassable, so hikers should use the Marcy Dam Truck Trail to reach Marcy Dam.
Other notable trails that remain closed include the Deer Brook Trail from Route 73 to Rooster Comb; the Orebed Trail from John's Brook Valley to the Range Trail (between Saddleback and Gothics); The Wolfjaw Trail from John's Brook Valley to the Range Trail (between Lower and Upper Wolfjaws); the Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass and the Elk Lake Trail between the Elk Lake Trailhead and Panther Gorge.
West Canada Creek is near flood stage this morning and the bridge on the Northville-Placid Trail there is reported impassable. Other streams on the Northville-Placid Trail, which normally can be rock-hopped or crossed with minimal difficulty are reported to be flooded to knee or waist height.
The section of the trail from Shattuck Clearing north is in fair condition with some blowdown and washouts, with the exception of the bridge over Roaring Brook at the junction with Preston Ponds trail - which has been washed out.
The good news is that the leantos and bridges along the Cold River downstream from the Duck Hole Dam which went out in the storm, were not seriously damaged.
The Marcy Dam Flowed Land Corridor is in rough shape, but passable by the hearty and cautious.
Marcy Brook jumped its banks along the Avalanche Pass Trail causing widespread damage to the trail and a mud slide before Avalanche Lake is quite deep in spots.
The boardwalks along the shore of Avalanche Lake are now reported passable, but there is a debris pile at the south end of Avalanche Lake and the bog bridges have dislodged and moved there and around Lake Colden.
Elsewhere, the Jessup River Road in the Perkins Clearing Conservation Easement Lands north of the Village of Speculator, Hamilton County, is now open after the replacement of bridges of the Jessup and Miami rivers.
Since the Southern, Central, Western and Northern Adirondacks were generally minimally impacted this would be a good time to explore the rest of the Adirondack Park.