Warrensburg, NY, Oct 07, 2011 — John Warren, of the Adirondack Almanack, joins us Friday mornings with information about local outdoor and backcountry conditions.
Due to the combination of the Columbus Day and Canadian Thanksgiving Holidays this weekend, and expected good weather, visitors to the High Peaks Region should be aware that trailhead parking lots and interior campsites may reach capacity by this afternoon. This would be a good weekend to explore other areas of the Adirondack Park.
The level of the region's rivers and streams remain above normal, except those rivers on the western slopes of the Adirondacks such as the Beaver, Black, Independence, Oswagatchie, and West Canada Creek which are at normal levels for this time of year. Rivers and streams east of West Canada Creek are generally running high.
Trails are generally wet and muddy, hikers should wear appropriate footwear and hike through, not around wet areas, to avoid widening the trails. Some low water crossings may not be accessible this weekend.
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 and remember the sun sets earlier this time of year so carry a flashlight with fresh batteries.
And hunting season has begun, so hikers may want to wear bright colors as an extra precaution.
Taking a look at some local conditions, just a few trails remain closed in the Eastern High Peaks, but some of those that are open have been rerouted and may be more difficult to follow. Be prepared to use a map and compass.
Trails accessed in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve that remain closed include the northernmost two crossover trails between the East River Trail and the West River Trail, although the other three crossovers are open. Also closed are the Carry Trail, the Colvin Range Trail, the trials from Warden's Camp to the Sawteeth and Haystack trails, and the Haystack Brook Trail.
The Deer Brook Trail from Route 73 also remains closed.
In the Johns Brook Valley, the Southside Trail from the Garden Trailhead to Johns Brook Interior Outpost remains closed.
The trail between the Elk Lake Trailhead and Panther Gorge is closed as is the Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass. The Wall Face Bridge on the Indian Pass Trail is also washed out.
There is heavy blowdown on the trail between Feldspar Lean-to and Lake Arnold but the blowdown on the Calamity Trail has been cleared as has the East River Trail/Hanging Spear Falls Trail. The bridge over the Hudson River on the East River Trail to Mt Adams and Allen Mountain is out, but a reroute to a low water crossing has been marked.
And a reminder that the bridge over West Canada Creek on the Northville Placid Trail requires very careful crossing and may be intimidating to some hikers.
In the Wilmington Wild Forest the Flume Parking Area nest to the Route 86 bridge over the West Branch of the Ausable River remains closed while the Town of Wilmington repairs and upgrades the parking area.
The road between the Jay Mountain Wilderness and the Hurricane Mountain Wilderness remains closed as is the Hurricane Mountain Road, except for local traffic, meaning the Crows Trailhead and O'Toole Road trailheads remain closed. Hurricane Mountain can be accessed from the Route 9N trailhead or the Hurricane Mountain Lane trailhead.
In the Taylor Pond Wild Forest, the road access to Catamount Mountain is washed out a mile from trailhead and the Forestdale Road has been closed by the Town of Black Brook. Both the Red Road and the Tower Road have reopened, however.
There is still heavy blowdown reported in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. DEC continues to seek volunteers to help clear the trails and repairs bridges, so contact DEC Region 5 if you can help.
Finally this week, there have been a number of reports of problem-bears getting into garbage and destroying bird feeds. Now is the time to take down bird feeders and secure garbage to prevent problems with bears. The use of bear-resistant canisters is required in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, and recommended throughout the Adirondacks, through the end of November.