The fire danger is low.
The return of cold weather means there may be some ice and snow on summits and at higher elevations, and night-time and morning temperatures in the teens and 20s or colder can be expected.
The level of the region’s rivers and streams have returned to normal, and the trails have generally dried out.
Hunting and trapping seasons have begun so hikers may want to wear bright colors and keep pets leased and on the trail as an extra precaution.
And remember that this is the peak period for vehicle collisions with deer and moose, especially in the early morning and early evening hours, so be on the alert on the region’s roadways.
Taking a look at some local conditions, the Southside trail to the Johns Brook Interior Outpost in the Johns Brook Valley remains closed as is the Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass. Those trails sustained a lot of damage during Tropical Storm Irene and are expected to remain closed through the winter.
The Elk Lake Trailhead and the trails accessed from it are closed during the regular big game hunting season, but will reopen on Monday, December 5th. Also closed are the Santa Clara Tract Easement Lands – that area will also reopen when hunting season is over.
The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that does not plan to rebuild the wooden dam at Duck Hole, source of the Cold River in the High Peaks. The dam was breached by Tropical Storm Irene flooding in late August, draining the pond behind the dam. The Roaring Brook Bridge near Duck Hole is out and the bridge over the dam itself had been previously removed due to its deteriorating condition. A low water crossing has been marked below the dam near the lean-to site. You’ll want to note that this affects the Bradley Pond Trail and not the Northville Placid Trail which is passable at Duck Hole.
The two trails up Buck Mountain in the Eastern Lake George Wild Forest have been marked with blue and yellow markers to avoid confusion.The trail from Shelving Rock Road to the summit of Buck Mountain has been marked with blue trail markers. The trail from Pilot Knob to Buck Mountain is marked with yellow markers.
The north access to Crane Mountain, by way of Crane Mountain Road, is washed out and remains inaccessible. The southern Crane Mountain Trail Head IS accessible by using Putnam Cross Road to bypass the washed out section of Ski Hi Road.
Finally this week, a reminder to learn and practice the Leave No Trace Philosophy.