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This weekend in the Adirondacks

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John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack looks at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks each weekend.

Rain through Sunday morning will exacerbate our already wet and muddy trail conditions and raise the levels of rivers and streams so that some crossing may not be accessible and trails near waterways may be flooded on Sunday morning before skies clear and winds - which are expected to be 10-15 miles per hour Friday and Saturday - begin to calm. Rains are expected to be heaviest on south and southestern slopes.

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Reported by

John Warren
Adirondack Correspondent

It’s Victoria Day Weekend, a three-day holiday weekend for Canadians, so expect to encounter increased visitors to trails and trail head parking areas, campgrounds, and on the regions waters.  This would be a good weekend to seek backcountry recreation opportunities in less-visited areas of the Adirondack Park.

There remains some snow above about 4,000 feet, especially in sheltered areas and north facing slopes. DEC has issued an advisory asking hikers to avoid trails above 3,000 feet, especially the higher elevation trails in the Dix, Giant and High Peaks Wilderness Areas, because of muddy conditions.  Steep trails with thin soils can be heavily eroded at this time of year and sensitive vegetation is easily damaged when trampled. That’s another reason to avoid the High Peaks this weekend in favor of lower elevation destinations in other areas of the Adirondack Park.

The streamgage at North Creek is just under 5 feet and will continue to rise. The Lake Champlain gage at Whitehall is just under flood stage this morning.

Water temperatures have risen considerably this week into the upper-40s to mid-50s. The water temperature Mirror Lake in Lake Placid is about 57; the AuSable River at Wilmington is about 55; Lake Champlain is about 45 degrees. The water temperature at Warner Bay on Lake George has reached 56.

Lake George’s mandatory boat launch inspection and decontamination program has begun. All boaters should meet the clean, drained, and dry standard before launching in any Adirondack waters and cooperate with the lake stewards they meet at local launches.

A number of Adirondack Forest Preserve facilities have opened.  Although the Saranac Lake Islands Campground will not open this weekend. All other DEC campgrounds are open for the season and most boat launches are open, although the Second Pond Boat Launch accessing the Saranac Lakes Chain will also be closed.  The Saranac Lakes boat launch and campground are expected to open next Friday. 

In the High Peaks region, the Garden parking area is open and the Town of Keene is collecting parking fees.  South Meadow Lane off the Adirondack Loj Road remains closed, but the Raquette River Trailhead Gate and Corey's Road have reopened.

In the Moose River Plains the Cedar River Road has reopened to the Cedar River Gate. The Limekiln Lake Gate and the Cedar River Gates are closed and the Limekiln Lake/Cedar River Road (aka Moose River Plains Road) also remains closed but is expected to open by next weekend. 

In the Jessup River Wild Forest Old Military Road is open to the Pillsbury Mountain Trailhead. The Jessup River Road on the Perkins Clearing Tract is open to the intersection with Carpenter Hill Road, there’s a washout beyond there and so the Spruce Lake Trailhead is not accessible by motor vehicles.

All roads on the Speculator Tree Farm Tract are now open, although there are some moderate soft spots and washouts so high axle vehicles are recommended there.

Gates remain shut in the Western Lake George Wild Forest , with the exception of the Jabe Pond Road, which has reopened.

Over at the Essex Chain, the Chain Lakes Road to the parking area for the Iron Bridge (that’s the Polaris Club Bridge) is open, but the Cornell/Deer Pond Road remains closed due to washouts.

And finally this week, black fly season has begun, a sure sign that spring has finally arrived.

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.

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