New York officials are asking hikers to temporarily avoid trails over 2,500 feet in the Adirondack High Peaks.
The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation issued its request today, hoping hikers will avoid muddy, high elevation trails to prevent damaging these sensitive trails until they’ve dried and hardened.
Spring conditions are present throughout the state and the lower elevations of the Adirondacks. However, backcountry trails in the highest elevations are still covered in slowly melting ice and snow. Steep trails with thin soils can become a mix of ice and mud as the ice melts and frost leaves the ground, making the trails slippery and vulnerable to erosion by hikers.
DEC officials are asking hikers to particularly avoid high elevation trails in the Dix, Giant, and High Peaks Wilderness areas in the northern Adirondacks. They are asking hikers to avoid the following trails until trail conditions improve:
- High Peaks Wilderness Area – all trails above 2,500 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.
Hikers are advised to only use trails at lower elevations as these trails usually dry soon after snowmelt and traverse deeper, less erosive soils. DEC suggests the following alternative trails for hiking, subject to weather conditions:
- High Peaks Wilderness:
- Ampersand Mountain
- Mt. VanHoevenberg
- Mt. Jo
- Giant Mt. Wilderness:
- Giant’s Washbowl
- Roaring Brook Falls
- Owl’s Head Lookout
- Hurricane Mountain Wilderness
- The Crows
- Hurricane Mountain from Rt 9N
- Jay Mountain Wilderness
- Jay Mountain
- McKenzie Mt. Wilderness:
- Baker Mountain
- Haystack Mountain
- McKenzie Mountain
- Saranac Lakes Wild Forest:
- Panther Mountain
- Scarface Mountain
- Floodwood Mountain