May 31, 2013 — This is John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack with your look at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks for this weekend.
The weather this week, with some three feet of snow at higher elevations on Monday and temperatures forecasts in the 80s for today, should serve as an important reminder that Adirondack weather can change quickly and outdoor recreationists should always consult the latest weather forecasts before heading into the woods or onto the waters. Always be prepared to spend an unplanned night in the wild and always carry a flashlight, first aid kit, food, water, extra clothing, and map and compass and know how to use them.
Trails are a sloppy mix of snow and mud above about 3,000 feet. DEC continues to advise hikers to avoid those higher elevation trails to protect the trails and surrounding vegetation. Even at lower elevations, most trails around the region are wet after recent rains, so expect to encounter some muddy areas.
Rivers and streams are now running well-above normal for this time of year, and the added snowmelt in the High Peaks means that low water crossings may not be passable there. Paddlers should use caution this weekend, and be on the lookout for debris carried by freshets of recent rains and heavy snowmelt in the mountains.
Local water temperatures are holding steady. The water temperature of Mirror Lake remains is in the mid-60s; the Ausable River at Wilmington is in the upper 50s; the Lake Champlain water temperature remains at about 50 degrees; and the temperature at Warner Bay on Lake George continues to be about 55.
Nearly all roads typically closed during mud season have now reopened including Otter Brook Road in the Moose River Plains – that road system is now completely open. A couple roads are rough enough to warrant a warning. They include the Shelving Rock Road to Dacy Clearing on the East Side of Lake George, which is open, but vehicles with low clearance should use caution. Also, the Old Military Road from Sled Harbor to the Pillsbury Mountain Trailhead in the Perkins Clearing –Speculator Tree Farm Easement Lands is passable only by high clearance vehicles. All others should park at Sled Harbor and hike in from there.
After being postponed earlier this spring, road construction on Route 73 in Cascade Pass is expected to begin on Monday. Expect delays there through the end of June. Also, the two easternmost parking areas for Cascade and Pitchoff Mountains will be closed, the other three parking areas will be crowded, so users should probably avoid that area through June, especially on the weekends.
Finally this week, some news from the popular Tongue Mountain Range on the West Side of Lake George. The rattlesnakes are coming out of their dens now and are on the move. Be aware of the possibility of encountering rattlers, but rattler experts say that if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone.
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.