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May afternoon on Norman Ridge, looking toward Whiteface. Archive Photo of the Day 5/11/10: Chris Covert, Saranac Lake NY.
May afternoon on Norman Ridge, looking toward Whiteface. Archive Photo of the Day 5/11/10: Chris Covert, Saranac Lake NY.

This weekend in the Adirondacks

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John Warren from the Adirondack Almanack looks at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks for the Memorial Day Weekend.

Scattered showers and the possibility of an afternoon thunderstorm this weekend will keep trails wet and muddy and may raise the levels of rivers and streams after rain events so that some crossings may not be accessible.

Expect to encounter increased visitors to trails and trail head parking areas, campgrounds, and on the region's waters, so seek backcountry recreation opportunities in less-visited areas of the Adirondack Park.

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Reported by

John Warren
Adirondack Correspondent

There is still some snow and ice on some trails above about 4,000 feet, including some deep snow in shaded areas on the popular Phelps Trail to Mount Marcy.

DEC is continuing to ask 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 where steep trails with thin soils can be heavily eroded and sensitive vegetation easily damaged.

Rivers and streams are running seasonably high with fixed docks on some lakes currently underwater. 

 The streamgage at North Creek is about 5 and a quarter feet. The Lake Champlain gage at Whitehall is just over 99 feet.

Water temperatures rose slowly this week. The water temperature of the AuSable River at Wilmington is about 55 degrees; Lake Champlain is about 48 degrees; and the water temperature at Warner Bay on Lake George is about 59 degrees.

Most gates have been opened on roads typically closed for mud season, although watch for muddy areas and rough spots. High axle or four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended. A few roads remain closed including South Meadow Lane off the Adirondack Loj Road; The Cornell/Deer Pond Roads in the Essex Chain; Piseco-Powley Road through the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest; and in the Black River Forest, West Creek Road is closed at Big Brook Bridge and the Wolf Lake Landing Road is also closed.

The main Moose River Plains Road is open but Otter Brook Road, Indian Lake Road and Rock Dam Road remain closed.

Some news for climbers this week. All routes on the Lower Washbowl Cliffs have reopened, although peregrine falcons are nesting on the Upper Washbowl Cliffs so climbing routes there remain closed. Peregrine falcons are also nesting on The Nose on the Main Face of Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain so some routes are also marked closed there. Climbers on the Diagonal Area of Wall Face in Indian Pass in the High Peaks Wilderness are reporting the presence of peregrine falcons so DEC is asking climbers to avoid that area for the time being.

And finally this week, a remainder that the use of bear-resistant canisters is now required in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness. All food, toiletries and garbage must be stored in the bear resistant canisters at all times.  Bear canisters are also recommended throughout the Adirondack Park.

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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