This is John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack with your look at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks for this weekend.
Recent hot and dry weather has left conditions around the region very dry and the fire danger has been raised to HIGH, a condition that allows wildfires to start easily and spread quickly with devastating effects. Use extreme caution with campfires. Three fires in the Adirondacks, one of which was started by an unattended campfire, have already burned eight acres of wild lands.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is also reporting abnormally dry conditions in Clinton, Franklin, Northern Essex, Western Hamilton, Lewis and Oneida counties.
The levels of rivers and streams throughout the region are below normal, especially in the north western Adirondacks where the waters are running well-below normal including the St. Regis, Raquette, Oswegatchie, Independence, Black, Beaver, and Moose rivers and West Canada Creek.
Water levels on lakes and ponds are also below normal. Motors boaters in particular should be aware that some normally navigatable shallow areas may no longer be safe to travel in larger motor boats.
Water temperatures continue to rise. The West Branch of the Ausable River at Wilmington and Mirror Lake are in the mid-70s, Lake Champlain has risen to 68 degrees. And the afternoon water temperature at Warner Bay on Lake George remains at about 80 degrees.
Conditions currently favor the growth of blue-green algae and localized algae blooms have been reported around Lake Champlain, including at Shelburne Bay, Red Rocks Point, the Burlington waterfront, and at Willsboro, Westport, and Essex. Denser blooms are being reported on the Vermont side of the lake especially in front of Ferrisburg and South Burlington. Remember to avoid all contact with algae. Do not swim, bathe, or drink the water, or use it in cooking or washing and do not allow pets in waters affected by algae blooms.
All rock climbing routes have reopened. DEC has tallied over 30 fledgling Peregrine falcons, a new record for the northern Adirondacks, and climbers are advised to retreat from climbing routes where they encounter defensive behavior from falcons.
Darling Ford Road and the Buttermilk Road Extension in Hudson River Recreation Area, part of the Lake George Wild Forest, remain closed due to erosion and washouts, but the Black Mountain gate on Pike Brook Road has been opened and that mile-long road is now accessible by motor vehicles.
The road that provides access to the Santa Clara Tract Conservation Easement Lands and the Madwaska Flow/Quebec Brook Primitive Area remains closed.
The project to repave Route 86 between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid continues so expect long delays there and plan accordingly by taking alternative routes.
In the High Peaks, the Southside Trail from the Garden Trailhead to John's Brook Outpost remains closed as does the Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass, and the low water route through the Deer Brook Flume on the trail to Snow Mountain remains impassable.
The bridge over West Canada Creek on the Northville-Placid Trail is expected to be replaced by the end of the summer, but until then, West Canada Creek requires careful crossing that may be intimidating to some hikers.
And finally this week groups across the region are hoping local residents and visitors alike will become familiar with invasive species during this 7th annual Adirondack Invasive Species Awareness Week. Look for events highlighting the threat of invasive plants and animals, ways to prevent their spread and management options. Activities geared to fun and education are planned throughout the Adirondacks.
Invasive species are a growing threat in the region, making their early detection increasingly important to combating their spread. Take time this week to learn to spot and manage invasive species.
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.