It’s that time of year again when unsettled weather means outdoor recreationists have to be prepared for anything.
You can expect rain and snow showers this weekend, along with nighttime temperatures in the low 20s and colder at higher elevations. Expect a mixed bag of trail conditions ranging from snow and ice to wet and muddy trails depending on exposure and elevation.
Plan to encounter some snow and ice in the higher elevations, so carry traction devices and use them when necessary. And of course you’re going to need full rain gear as well, extra layers of clothing and a winter hat and gloves.
Always check the weather forecast before entering the backcountry, and inform others of your itinerary.
Water temperatures are now cold – in the 40s around the region, and sheltered waters are colder, a few smaller ponds and backwaters at higher elevations have already had an early morning skim of ice.
Remember that cold water temperatures can quickly cause hypothermia and contribute to drowning. Now through the spring state law requires anyone in a boat less than 21 feet in length to wear a life preserver.
It’s that time of year when wildlife are on the move – it’s the peak period for collisions with deer on the roads – so drive with caution, especially at dawn and dusk.
Bears continue to be active. In the High Peaks, bear canisters are required for a couple more weeks.
Also in the High Peaks, DEC has temporarily closed the East River Trail (that’s the trail off the east side of the Tahawus Road, south of Upper Works – the one used to access Mount Adams, the Flowed Lands and Hanging Spear Falls. The bridge over the Hudson River has been replaced there, but is not yet secured and is considered unsafe by DEC.
Since the water is cold and fairly deep there, fording the river is probably not an option either.
DEC says they will reopen the trail and the bridge in within a few weeks.
There is happier news for users of the Old Mountain Road section of the Jackrabbit Trail. Volunteers installed 250 feet of bog bridge, re-decked an 18-foot bridge, rebuilt a 4-foot bridge and dug 160 feet of new drainage.
Over in the Lake George Wild Forest, the Dacy Clearing Road has received some much-needed maintenance to fill holes, cover rocks, and rake and smooth the road.
Some forecasters are saying there is a potential for a major snow event next week – that fair warning enough to get ready for the white stuff.
Those are the local outdoor conditions in the Adirondacks for this weekend, for North Country Public Radio, this is John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack, online at www.AdirondackAlmanack.com.