Warrensburg, NY, Sep 23, 2011 — John Warren, of the Adirondack Almanack, joins us Friday mornings with information about local outdoor and backcountry conditions.
With an exception of a handful of trails that remain closed following Tropical Storm Irene, access to the Eastern High Peaks has mostly reopened and only two of the 46 High Peaks remain inaccessible - Mount Colvin and Blake Peak.
The level of the region's rivers and streams remain high, except those rivers on the western slopes of the Adirondacks such as the Beaver, Black, Independence, and Oswagatchie, which are at normal levels for this time of year.
Boaters and paddlers should be aware that high waters may contain logs, limbs and other debris and conceal navigation hazards that normally are easily seen and avoided.
Cooler temperatures have arrived in the mountains. Night-time and morning temperatures could dip into the 30s or colder, especially in higher elevations.
Be prepared by packing extra non-cotton clothes, including a hat, and remember the sun sets earlier this time of year. Plan trips accordingly and carry a flashlight or headlamp with fresh batteries.
Some hunting seasons have begun. Hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters while hiking on trails, and recognize that these are fellow outdoor recreationists.
Hunting accidents involving non-hunters are extremely rare, but hikers may want to wear bright colors as an extra precaution.
Taking a look at some local conditions, all trails are open in the Giant Mountain and Dix Mountain Wilderness Areas, with the exception of the trail to the Colvin Range in the Dix.
The Adirondack Mountain Reserve's Lake Road has reopened and hikers can now access trails to Nippletop and Dial Mountain but most other trails from the AMR, including those to the Colvin and Great Ranges, Indian Head and Fish Hawk Cliffs, and along the East Branch of the Ausable River, remain closed. Also closed is the Deer Brook Trail from Route 73.
In the Johns Brook Valley, the Southside Trail from the Garden Trailhead to Johns Brook Lodge is closed due to landslides, although all other trails from the Garden are open.
The Orebed Brook Trail from John's Brook Valley to the Range Trail are closed as is the Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass and the trail between the Elk Lake Trailhead and Panther Gorge.
Conditions on trails that ARE open in the Eastern High Peaks continue to make back country travel difficult.
The Indian Pass Trail is clear of blowdown to the Wall Face Bridge, but the bridge is out, as are all the bridges on the Indian Pass Trail from Upper Works although the trail has been rerouted to low water crossing in many locations.
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.
The work of clearing blowdown on the Northville Placid trail has been progressing but there are still reports of heavy blowdown between Upper Benson and Silver Lake and between Lake Durant and Long Lake. And a reminder that the bridge over West Canada Creek on the Northville-Placid Trail requires very careful crossing that may be intimidating to some hikers.
There is still heavy blowdown reported in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness on the trails along the northern and western sides of Pharaoh Lake.