Oct 25, 2013 — John Warren of the Adirondack Almanack checks in each Friday morning with a look at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks for the weekend.
The first snow of the season was reported across the region on Thursday, with most falling in lake effect snow areas and the higher elevations, especially along the western and southern slopes, but also in the summit areas of the High Peaks. It was mostly a very light accumulation if any, but Old Forge got about three inches, as did the summit of Whiteface, which has announced an opening day – weather permitting – of November 29th.
If you are headed out this weekend, be prepared to encounter cold temperatures, wind, snow and rain. Pack and wear a waterproof outer shell, extra layers of clothing and winter hat and gloves.
Expect summits to be obscured by clouds this weekend. Winds from 30 to 45 miles per hour will drop the windchill values into the upper teens during the day and lower teens at night. Some snow and ice is already present above 3,000 feet, so carry traction devices and use them when necessary.
With the exception of those areas that did get some accumulations of snow on Thursday, trails at lower elevations elsewhere are mostly dry.
Abnormally dry conditions continue through most of Essex, Warren, Hamilton and Herkimer counties, and waters remain at seasonably low levels. The fire danger remains low to the west of the Hudson River, but to the east conditions are drier and the fire danger has been raised to moderate.
Water temperature fell this week. The water temperature of the AuSable River in Wilmington is now in the 40s. The Lake Champlain water temperature has fallen to about 55 degrees; Warner Bay on Lake George is about 59 degrees, and the water near Scout Island on Great Sacandaga Lake is about 51 degrees.
Remember, cold water temperatures can quickly cause hypothermia and contribute to drowning, so beginning next weekend, state law requires anyone in a boat less than 21 feet in length to wear a life preserver.
Also, docks at businesses, marinas, and boat launches, along with danger and channel marker buoys, are being pulled from lakes around the region. Late season boaters should know the areas in which they travel and give a wide berth to potentially unmarked underwater hazards.
In the Saranac Lake Wild Forest, the traditional roadside parking area used to access the McKenzie Pond Boulder Field has been posted with no parking signs by the Essex County Highway Department. A location a short distance away on the other side of the road is now designated with signs for roadside parking. DEC plans to develop a parking area for the McKenzie Pond Boulder Field after the Saranac Lake Wild Forest Unit Management Plan is finalized, until then users should park at the designated roadside parking.
Finally this week, Saturday is the beginning of the regular big game hunting season and hikers should be aware that they may meet hunters on the trails. Hunting accidents involving non-hunters are rare, but hikers may want to wear bright colors as an extra precaution and keep pets leased and on the trail.
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.