This is John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack with your look at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks for this Memorial Day weekend.
Visitors to popular areas should be aware that trailhead parking lots, campsites and boat launches will reach capacity, so plan accordingly. This would be a good time to explore less popular areas of the Adirondack Park.
Bug season has begun, and recent rains have resulted in wet and muddy trails. Rivers and streams throughout the region are running at normal levels.
The docks have been installed at boat launch sites, and the water temperature of Mirror Lake reached 60 degrees this week. The Ausable River at Wilmington is in mid-60s. Lake Champlain rose almost 10 degrees this week to 56 and the water temperature at Warner Bay on Lake George is now 68 degrees.
The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for Lake Champlain through tonight. Winds are expected this to be as high as 25 knots with 1 to 3 foot waves which is a good reminder that this is Safe Boating Week - recreational boaters should know their risks, learn the rules, and be prepared while boating this summer. Every year in the Adirondacks serious boating accidents occur – play it safe.
Most backcountry roads have now reopened, but the gates remain shut for mud season on roads in the Jessup River Wild Forest, and in the Santa Clara Tract and Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands (with the exception the Fishhole Pond Access Road). In the Lake George Wild Forest, Darling Ford Road and Buttermilk Road Extension are remain closed.
In the Moose River Plains, the Limekiln and the Cedar River Gates are now open and the main Moose River Plains Road is open, although the Otter Brook Road is open only as far as the bridge over the South Branch of the Moose River.
Jay Mountain Road is now reported open to high clearance vehicles although the bridge on Carlott Road is closed.
Climbing routes remain closed to protect nesting peregrine falcons at Moss Cliff and the Labor Day Wall in the Wilmington Notch, most routes on the Main Face of Poke-O-Moonshine, and at Upper Washbowl Cliffs in the Chapel Pond area.
In the High Peaks, South Meadow Road has reopened, but a few trails remain closed, including the Southside Trail from the Garden Trailhead to John's Brook Outpost, the Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass, the Colvin Range Trail from the summit of Blake Peak south to Pinnacle and beyond, and in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve, the northernmost cross-over trail between the East River Trail and the West River Trail.
If you’re headed to Marcy Dam remember that the footbridge over Marcy Dam was washed away during Tropical Storm Irene. Those uncomfortable rock hopping across Marcy Brook can use the Marcy Dam Truck Trail from South Meadow Trailhead to access the trails on the east of the brook.
Last summer Tropical Storm Irene wreaked havoc in the backcountry of the Eastern High Peaks; trails may not look as they did last time you were there. Some bridges are missing and some trails rerouted. Bring a map and compass, and know how to use them.
And a final reminder this week that the bridge over West Canada Creek on the Northville-Placid Trail remains washed out. West Canada Creek now requires very careful crossing that may be intimidating to some hikers. It’s expected the bridge will be replaced this summer.
It looks like it’s going to be a great weekend – practice leave no trace, and enjoy it.
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 www.AdirondackAlmanack.com.