DEC Reports Long, Cold Winter Delays Recreational Access in Adirondacks

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC Delivers - Information to keep you connected and informed from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
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Long, Cold Winter Delays Recreational Access in Adirondacks

People Encouraged to Seek Outdoor Recreational Opportunities Near Home This Weekend

Cold temperatures, late winter snows, and winter weather lasting through April has been a blessing for the ski areas but is delaying the ability for recreationists of all types to access the lands and waters of the Adirondacks. DEC is asking visitors to be patient and seek out recreational activities in the lower elevations on the periphery of the Adirondacks, and be aware of the following:

  • Snow and ice are present above 2,500 feet, and snow is deep above 3,000 feet. Be  prepared for winter conditions when hiking in the higher elevations.
  • The Lake Colden Caretaker reports 40 inches of snow at the stake at the Lake Colden Interior Cabin (2,750 feet elevation).
  • Lower elevation trails are muddy. All terrain bikers, including fat tire bikers, should wait until trails are dry and hard for safety and to avoid damaging trails.
  • All seasonal access roads are closed at this time for mud season. The roads will re-open once they have dried and hardened and when necessary repairs and maintenance have been completed. 
  • Expect seasonal access roads to open later than usual this year due to the lingering snow and ice. DEC will make every effort to have seasonal access roads open by Memorial Day, but some may not.
  • Due to rain and melting snow, water levels are high.
  • Stream crossings may be flooded and difficult or impossible to cross. 
  • Stream crossings in or near high elevation mountains may be passable in the morning but impossible to cross in the afternoon as the warmer temperatures increase snow melt.
  • Many ponds and lakes in elevations above 1,500 feet, including those in the St. Regis Canoe Area, are partially or fully covered in ice. Anglers should seek fishing opportunities in lower elevations or on impoundments and reservoirs with a significant flow and no ice.
  • Boat launches are open but docks have not been installed at most sites due to high water. DEC will install docks when the water levels recede.
  • Check the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages for weekly updates on conditions and status of recreational infrastructure.
    • Review DEC’s Places to Go or Great Spring Hikes web pages for outdoor recreational opportunities closer to home this weekend.