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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.

Spring conditions continue throughout the region, and the fire danger is elevated - use fire safely, and be sure campfires are out by drowning them thoroughly with water.

Many lower and mid-elevation trails in the central Adirondacks remain muddy and wet and some mid-elevation trails also are icy as result snow that was packed down over the winter and may require crampons. Higher elevation trails, especially on northern facing slopes and in heavily wooded areas still have areas of snow 1 to 2 feet deep where snowshoes may be necessary at times.

Be prepared for these conditions by carrying traction devices, dressing for winter conditions, and wearing waterproof footwear and gaiters. Remember to walk through - not around - mud and water on trails.

Mud season is a great time to choose lower elevation trails outside the central Adirondacks rather than adding to the damage caused by hiking on wet and muddy trails.

The levels of rivers and streams throughout the region are well below normal with the notable exception of the Indian River, the upper reaches of the Raquette River, and in the High Peaks where snow melt has kept some low water crossings impassible, especially in the afternoons.  

The low water crossing below Marcy Dam is not always passable, so use the Marcy Dam Truck Trail from the South Meadows Trailhead to access the trails on the east side of Marcy Brook.

Other stream crossings that remain difficult due to high water in the afternoons include those at Indian Falls, Uphill Brook, on the trail from Lake Colden to Algonquin.

The gates remain shut 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.

The Town of Fort Ann has reopened Shelving Rock Road to motor vehicle traffic, but the Jay Mountain Road between Jay Mountain Wilderness and the Hurricane Mountain Wilderness remains impassable due to mud.

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

Trout season has begun and anglers are concerned this year with the impact of last year’s flooding on local streams. The Ausable and Boquet River watersheds were most severely affected and anglers will find major changes in these areas, particularly in the East Branch of the Ausable.

And finally this week, 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. While daytime temperatures may reach into the 50s, waters temperatures remain in the mid to lower 30s and the danger of hypothermia and drowning from falling into cold water is elevated. Of New York's 25 fatalities associated with recreational boating in 2011, almost a third of those deaths involved small paddled boats, when water temperatures were cold.

Be safe on water – where a life preserver when waters are cold. Even strong swimmers can be overwhelmed by the effects of suddenly falling into frigid 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 http://www.AdirondackAlmanack.com

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