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Here is your look at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks for this weekend from the Adirondack Almanack.
What a weekend we have in store! Leaves are at or near the peak of change throughout most of the region, although they have gone past peak in the Central Adirondacks.
Our continued dry weather has kept trails dry, but the US Drought Monitor is reporting that abnormally dry conditions have returned through all of Essex, Warren, and Hamilton counties and Northern Herkimer County. As a result the fire danger is elevated and waters are running below normal, even for this time of year.
With the ground now littered with dry fallen leaves, use extreme care with open fires. Remember that campfires are prohibited in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, and elsewhere it’s illegal to leave a fire unattended until it’s fully extinguished.
Backcountry users should remember that black bears are active at the time of year and aggressive bears have been reported by hikers on the Northville-Placid Trail between Wakely Pond and Stephens Pond in the Blue Ridge Wilderness.
Harassment of humans by bears is a rarity in the Adirondacks, but if you expect to travel in bear country, learn and practice the principles of avoiding bear encounters.
Rivers and streams are now running below normal, even for this time of year. Late season boaters should beware of underwater hazards.
Water temperatures are holding fairly steady. The AuSable River in Wilmington remains in the upper-50s. Lake Champlain water temperature has risen a little this week to about 62 degrees, the water temperature at Warner Bay on Lake George remains about 70, and Great Sacandaga Lake is about 62 degrees.
It would be a great weekend for a paddle on the newly accessible Essex Chain Lakes. DEC has created an interim management plan for the lakes, which are part of the former Finch Pruyn lands recently acquired by New York State from the Nature Conservancy.
Currently, day use is permitted, but not overnight camping. The lakes can be accessed from Cornell Road, by way of Goodnow Flow Road and Woody’s Road. Those roads are rough, so a high-clearance vehicle is recommended.
There is a quarter mile portage to Deer Pond, and from there a half-mile portage to Third Lake which provides access by water to First, Second, Fourth, Fifth and Seventh Lakes.
Finally, next week will be Columbus Day and Canadian Thanksgiving holiday weekend, so this is a great time to visit areas like the Essex Chain and Eastern High Peaks that may be more crowded with visitors.
And speaking of visitors, it’s Garage Sale Weekend in Warrensburg, so expect major traffic delays, and if you’re headed through that area, you may want to avoid Route 9.
For more news and information about the Adirondacks, visit the Adirondack Almanack online at AdirondackAlmanack.com.
Listen to the audio version of The Adirondack Almanack's weekly Outdoor Recreation Conditions Report by visiting our friends at North Country Public Radio.