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This weekend in the Adirondacks

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John Warren, of the Adirondack Almanack, joins us Friday mornings with information about local outdoor and back-country conditions.

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John Warren
Adirondack Correspondent

This is John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack with your look at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks for this weekend.

We have spring conditions throughout the region. Trails are a patchy mixture of snow, ice, and mud. Lake ice, and snow and ice bridges at water crossings have melted. Although waters are lower than what is typical for this time of year in other areas, low water stream crossings in High Peaks still may not be passable.

Low to mid elevation trails have a mix of ice, hard pack snow, and mud. Higher elevation trails and wooded mid-elevation trails are generally hard packed snow and ice.

Backcountry users should continue to be prepared for cold weather by wearing a waterproof outer shell, and appropriate layered clothing, along with waterproof footwear and gaiters and carry crampons.

And a reminder that everyone in boats under 21 feet in length, regardless of age, are required by state law to wear a personal flotation device through May 1st.

The levels of rivers and streams at lower elevations throughout the region are generally below normal or well below normal for this time of year, however waters that drain the High Peaks and central Adirondacks are running higher, including the Raquette, Ausable and Saranac Rivers, the Indian River, and the upper reaches of the Hudson and Sacandaga rivers.

There are mixed reports about whether the low water crossing below Marcy Dam is passable, so use the Marcy Dam Truck Trail from the South Meadows Trailhead to access the trails on the east side of Marcy Brook to be on the safe side.

Many trails, especially at lower elevations in the Central Adirondacks, remain muddy and wet, so wear waterproof footwear and gaiters, and remember to walk through - not around - mud and water on trails. Now is a good time to choose drier trails at lower elevation outside the High Peaks.

The gates have been closed on roads that are typically closed during mud season including in the Jessup River, Moose River Plains, and Saranac Lakes Wild Forests, the Lake Lila Road in the Whitney Wilderness, those in the Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Lands, and in the Lake George Wild Forest, including Shelving Rock Road.

The Jay Mountain Road between Jay Mountain Wilderness and the Hurricane Mountain Wilderness is reported impassable due to mud.

DEC has closed a number of climbing routes to protect peregrine falcon nest sites. Those include all routes at Moss Cliff, on Upper and Lower Washbowl Cliffs in the Chapel Pond area, and most routes on the Main Face of Poke-o-Moonshine.

And a wildlife reminder. With the arrival of warmer weather, the black bear population will be on the move and will take advantage of readily available food sources, including bird feeders and garbage. To prevent encounters with bears, you should never intentionally feed them, and you should discourage them from seeking food from sources near your home or camp. The use of bear canisters is required by campers in the Eastern High Peaks from April 1st to November 30th and recommended throughout the Adirondacks. Pack all food, toiletries and garbage in bear proof canisters.

Finally, this past week, the National Weather Service and DEC have issued fire danger warnings due to the potential for the spread of wildfires. At least 9 fires have burned 42 acres so far this year in DEC Region 5. Five fires began as a result of debris burning. The annual statewide spring ban on open burning is in effect until May 15 and rangers have already issued more than a dozen tickets and warnings.

The fire danger is elevated - use fire safely, and be sure campfires are out by drowning them thoroughly with water.

Those are the local outdoor conditions in the Adirondacks for this weekend, for North Country Public Radio, this is John Warren from the Adirondack Explorer’s Adirondack Almanack, online at

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