The fire danger remains moderate, and a 90-day ban on open burning remains in effect.
Although conditions remain abnormally dry throughout the region and a moderate drought has been declared for the Western and Southwestern edges of the Adirondack Park, occasional localized rains have kept most waters at or just below normal. Water levels are low in the Saranac Lakes Chain system, so be cautious, especially between the Lower Locks and Second Pond as large boats run the risk of becoming grounded.
Rivers and streams in the Western Adirondacks, including the Beaver, Oswegatchie and St. Regis rivers, and along the Northern Forest Canoe Route are also below normal. Be watchful for navigation hazards that may be exposed or lying just beneath the water surface.
Moderate to heavy rains are forecasted for the next several days, so be aware of weather conditions before heading out. Trails may be muddy and wet and water levels may rise in streams and rivers. Plan accordingly and remember to walk through wet and muddy areas to prevent the widening and eroding of trails.
Local water temperatures in most lakes, river and streams are in upper-70s. Lake Champlain is about 72 degrees, and the water temperature at Warner Bay on Lake George is about 83 degrees.
Repaving of the Route 86 between Lake Placid and Wilmington has begun and is expected to continue into mid-September. Motorists should expect delays and consider alternate routes.
Darling Ford Road and the Buttermilk Road Extension in Hudson River Recreation Area, part of the Lake George Wild Forest, remain closed as is the road that provides access to the Santa Clara Tract Conservation Easement Lands and the Madwaska Flow/Quebec Brook Primitive Area.
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.
The bridge over the West Canada Creek on the Northville-Placid Trail at the outlet of Mud Lake has been rebuilt by the Adirondack Mountain Club Professional Trail Crew. The south of Spruce Lake has been also been repaired, along with two 10-foot bog bridges nearby. That work was done by the Student Conservation Association’s Adirondack Program.
The Mud Lake Lean-to on the Northville Placid Trail has been destroyed by a large white pine that toppled on it during a recent storm. DEC is working to have a replacement built in the near future.
In the Vanderwhacker Mountain Wild Forest a new 2.5 mile foot trail has been built from the trailhead on 14th Road about 2 miles west of the intersection of 14th Road and Route 28N in the town of Minerva.
Finally this week, in the Jessup River Wild Forest, DEC has completed a number of changes to the campsites around Mason Lake and along the Perkins Clearing Road. The first waterside campsite on the shore of Mason Lake has been converted into a picnic area. Some campsites have been closed and ten new campsites have been designated. Three campsites along Mason Lake Road have been combined into a group campsite that is available by permit.
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.