Apr 26, 2013 — This is John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack with your look at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks for this weekend.
Chilly, unsettled spring weather continued this week in the mountains, although the weekend promises to be warmer. Downhill skiing have ended for the season, but temperatures remain near or below freezing at night, rising into the 50s and 60s during the day.
Late winter conditions continue at higher elevations, where there is a mixture of snow and ice, and snowshoes may still be necessary especially in summit areas where deep soft snow may make going difficult, even in snowshoes.
Lower and middle elevations trails are clear of snow and generally muddy throughout the central Adirondacks. Because it’s Mud Season, DEC has shut the gates to roads typically closed at this time of year. They should mostly reopen within a few weeks. It’s still as good time to seek recreation opportunities in drier areas of the Adirondack Park such as the Lake George and Lake Champlain basins. Remember to walk through, not around, muddy areas to avoid further damaging trails.
Waters continue to run seasonally high, but at normal levels for this time of year. The Lake Champlain water temperature has risen to about 41 degrees and the temperature at Warner Bay on Lake George remains at about 49. Except for some higher elevation ponds, ice is out around the region.
Because waters remain cold, early season paddlers should use caution. Personal floatation devices should always be worn, and are required by law through this weekend for boats less than 21 feet in length.
Adirondac Loj remains closed for renovations this weekend, and road work begins Wednesday along Route 73 in Cascade Pass between Lake Placid and Keene.
At the beginning of May, traffic will be restricted to one lane and occasionally closed for up to a half-hour at a time. The road is expected to be closed for one full weekend, when a detour will take traffic along Routes 9N and 86, Springfield Road and Fox Farm Road. The work is expected to be completed by Memorial Day weekend.
During the roadwork there will be limited parking at the very popular Cascade Mountain trailhead and the parking areas at the western trailhead for Pitchoff Mountain, and Stagecoach Rock will be closed. If you were planning to visit Cascade Pass in May, you may want to consider other areas of the Park such as the new trail on nearby Jay Mountain, which was completed last year
Finally this week, this is a dangerous time of year for wildfires. Two small wildfires reported in Saranac Lake this week are among several small fires that have already burned in the region this spring. The northeastern corner of the park in particular is still categorized as abnormally dry by the US Drought Monitor, and until the green growth of spring comes, conditions can quickly dry out, even with occasional rain. Remember the state’s temporary ban on open burning remains effect until May 14.
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.