Colder weather and mixed precipitation is being forecast for this weekend, but is not expected to add much to our current lack of snow at lower elevations. Snow and ice remain at elevations above about 2,500 feet where trails get icy and you’ll need traction devices. Remember that conditions can change suddenly, so keep an eye on the weather and be prepared to plan spend an unplanned night in the backcountry.
Also, expect to encounter some blowdown. There is a large blowdown near the Seward Lean-To on the Northville-Placid Trail and a detour has been marked.
The continued snow-melt from high elevations, has kept rivers and streams at mostly normal levels for this time of year. Waters that drain the High Peaks and eastern Adirondacks have been running just above normal.
Ice is not yet safe to cross. There is less than an inch of ice on ponds, small lakes, bays and higher elevation waters. Ice is also forming on some backwaters and shorelines, and beginning to skim over on smaller, lower elevation lakes.
The Lower Locks on the Saranac Lakes Chain have closed for the winter and the gates have been shut on the Moose Pond Waterway Access road in St. Armand, the Clear Pond road at the Elk Lake Lodge Lands and the Lake Lila Road in the Whitney Wilderness. The road to Madawaska Flow / Quebec Brook Primitive area remains closed, and in the Moose River Plains the Limekiln Lake and Cedar River Road gates have been closed; but will be reopened for snowmobiling when there is enough snow.
DEC has completed its work and is no longer plowing or salting the Whiteface Memorial Highway, but there is currently not enough snow to ski there – that could change with the weather. There is not enough snow yet for backcountry or cross-country skiing elsewhere.
Downhill resorts with snow making have continued to make snow and will be given a boost by colder temperatures forecast for the coming week. Whiteface and Gore continue to report about 20% of their terrain open. Oak Mountain, McCauley, and Titus are hoping to open on Saturday. Oak Mountain and Titus opened last weekend, but be sure to call ahead there.
Finally this week, there have been some trail reroutes at the popular Lake George Land Conservancy’s Cat and Thomas Mountain Preserve in Bolton Landing. Two sections of the yellow trail to Cat Mountain have been re-routed and a third has been closed to avoid heavily eroded areas. New routes have been blazed and the Land Conservancy is asking that users stay on the marked trails and follow the signage. Additional work will be done on the trail to Thomas Mountain to reduce erosion there.
The Adirondack Explorer’s Adirondack Almanack is online at www.AdirondackAlmanack.com.