800px-Adirondacks_mountainsWary of damage to trails and vegetation, New York officials are asking hikers to stay under 3,000 feet until mid-June.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation announced today that it is asking hikers to postpone hikes on trails above 3,000 feet until mid-June, particularly high elevation trails in the Dix, Giant, and High Peaks Wilderness Areas in the northern Adirondacks, due to muddy conditions and the potential damage hiking can cause to vegetation and soft ground.

Hikers are advised to only use trails at lower elevations during the spring mud season to avoid damaging natural resources and to promote safety. Lower trails usually dry soon after snowmelt and are on less erosive soils than the higher peaks. DEC asks hikers to avoid the following trails:

  • High Peaks Wilderness Area – all trails above 3,000 feet; where wet, muddy, snow conditions still prevail, specifically: Algonquin, Colden, Feldspar, Gothics, Indian Pass, Lake Arnold Cross-Over, Marcy, Marcy Dam – Avalanche – Lake Colden which is extremely wet, Phelps Trail above John Brook Lodge, Range Trail, Skylight, Wright and all “trail-less” peaks.
  • Dix Mountain Wilderness Area – all trails above Elk Lake and Round Pond
  • Giant Mountain Wilderness Area – all trails above Giant’s Washbowl, “the Cobbles,” and Owls Head. 

DEC suggests the following alternative trails for hiking, subject to weather conditions:

  • High Peaks Wilderness:
    • Ampersand Mountain
    • Cascade Mountain
    • Porter Mountain from Cascade Mountain (avoid all other approaches)
    • Big Slide
    • The Brothers
  • Debar Mt. Wild Forest:
    • Azure Mountain
  • Giant Mt. Wilderness:
    • Giant’s Washbowl
    • Roaring Brook Falls
  • Hurricane Mountain Wilderness
    • The Crows
  • McKenzie Mt. Wilderness:
    • Baker Mountain
    • Haystack Mountain
  • Pharaoh Lake Wilderness Area:
    • Pharaoh Mountain
  • Saranac Lakes Wild Forest:
    • Panther Mountain
    • Scarface Mountain