Oct 14, 2011 — John Warren, of the Adirondack Almanack, joins us Friday mornings with information about local outdoor and backcountry conditions.
The level of the region's rivers and streams remain above normal, with the Raquette and Sacandaga currently running high.
Trails remain 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.
And 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.
Although some areas remain open all year, trout season will mostly come to an end on Saturday – the season was troubled by high spring waters, late stocking, and late floods that made for challenging stream conditions.
Hunting season has begun – muzzle loading season begins this weekend - so hikers may want to wear bright colors as an extra precaution.
Motorists should be on the alert for deer and moose on the region’s roadways. This is the peak period for vehicle collisions with deer and moose, especially in the early morning and early evening hours.
There have been a number of reports of nuisance 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.
Most DEC campgrounds have now closed for the season, with the exceptions of the Fish Creek and Cranberry Lake campgrounds, which will close October 23.
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 more than a half dozen lost hiking groups required search and rescue operations during last week’s busy holiday weekend. Be prepared to use a map and compass.
Adirondack Mountain Reserve trails that remain closed include the northernmost two cross over trails between the East River Trail and the West River Trail, 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 is also closed as is the Southside trail to the Johns Brook Interior Outpost in the Johns Brook Valley.
There is heavy blowdown on the trail between the Feldspar Lean-to and Lake Arnold.
The trail between the Elk Lake Trailhead and Panther Gorge has reopened but the Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass remains closed. The Wall Face Bridge on the Indian Pass Trail is out, and the Henderson Bridge is damaged.
The bridge is out over the Hudson River on the East River Trail to Mt Adams and Allen Mountain, but a reroute to a low water crossing has been marked there. And a reminder that the bridge over West Canada Creek on the Northville Placid Trail is out and West Canada Creek requires very careful crossing that may be intimidating to some hikers.
In the Wilmington Wild Forest the Flume Parking Area next to the Route 86 bridge over the West Branch of the Ausable River has reopened after repairs and upgrades to 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.
DEC has closed Eagle Cave, which is accessed from the Jessup River Wild Forest and the Siamese Pond Wilderness, until April 30th to protect hibernating bats.
There are still reports of plenty of blowdown, washed out bridges and roads, and flooding in the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest.
In the Taylor Pond Wild Forest, the road to the Catamount Mountain trailhead is washed out about a mile from the trailhead and the Forestdale Road has been closed by the Town of Black Brook.
There is still heavy blowdown reported in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness. DEC continues to seek volunteers to help clear the trails and repairs bridges, if you are a regular user of the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness consider contacting DEC Region 5 to help.
Finally this week, a large infestation of watermilfoil, an aquatic invasive plant, has been found in the South Bay of Lake Champlain. Boaters and anglers should take precautions to avoid transporting this and other invasive species to other waters or other parts of Lake Champlain. More information on the infestation and the responsibility of recreationists to limit its spread can be found online.