Here is your look at outdoor recreation conditions around the Adirondacks for this weekend from John Warren of the Adirondack Almanack.
The leaves have mostly fallen around the region, cooler and wetter weather has turned attention toward the coming of winter, and a few die-hards made the season’s first ski tracks on the Whiteface Memorial Highway this week. A warmer and drier weekend is expected, but we’re nearing the last opportunities to get outside before the real snow flies. The wet weather yesterday and last night could mean some icy summits this morning. Folks headed to higher elevations should be prepared to encounter snow and ice, just in case, and everyone should always check the latest forecasts.
Winds are expected to be 5 to 10 miles per hour though Saturday and 10 to 15 miles per hour on Sunday afternoon when some unsettled weather blows in.
The colder weather has driven down temperatures into the 40s for most waters. Arbutus Lake in Newcomb is about 47 degrees; and Lake Champlain and Lake George are both about 55 degrees.
Trails will be wet and muddy this weekend, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear. Persistent rains this week have brought the levels of rivers and streams to just above normal for this time of year with higher waters in the western Adirondacks, though they should not impede travel.
The Hudson River at North Creek at just about 3 and ¾ feet and looks to be headed to 4 feet this weekend, and the Lake Champlain gage at Whitehall is now over 95 and a quarter feet.
Regular Big Game Hunting Season opens Saturday, and so the Clear Pond Gate on the Elk Lake Road will close until the end of mud season. The trails through the Elk Lake easement tract, including the trail to Panther Gorge in the High Peaks Wilderness and the southern approach to Dix Mountain will also close, but will reopen December 8th.
DEC has opened Camp Six Road off the Chain Lakes North Road from Newcomb for hunting season for about a mile to a new parking area that provides access to the Essex Chain Lakes Primitive Area and the Hudson Gorge Wilderness.
The gate at the Outer Gooley parking area on the Chain Lakes Road South has also been opened for hunting season, allowing motor vehicles to drive about a mile and half to a parking area. The road passes three campsites, and there are two more beyond the parking area, one further down the road and one at Pine Lake.
DEC has also opened O’Neill Flow Road, between Blue Mountain Lake and Indian Lake, to provide motor vehicle access to the Township 19 Tract - that's part of the Upper Hudson Woodlands Conservation Easement just to the north of the Blue Mountain Wild Forest. The road is open for about two miles, to a gate just beyond Barker Pond Road. Barker Pond Road will now take you about a half mile to a new parking area and primitive campsite near Barker Pond; another campsite has been designated on the west shore of the pond. O’Neill Flow Road is a snowmobile trail in season, and DEC plans to open another five miles of the road in the future.
In Franklin County, DEC has opened the 3.3-mile Mountain Pond Road to motor vehicles. The road provides access to the 18,000-acre Kushaqua Tract Conservation Easement Lands (owned by Lyme Timber) in the Franklin County towns of Franklin and Brighton.
Mountain Pond Road is located off North Branch Road near Onchiota. The road runs through several recent timber harvest areas and features scenic views of the Loon Lake Mountain range to the north and the High Peaks to the south. A parking area and information kiosk has been established on North Branch Road where it enters the Kushaqua Tract and several old log landings provide parking along Mountain Pond Road.
Listen to the audio version of The Adirondack Almanack's weekly Outdoor Recreation Conditions Report by visiting our friends at North Country Public Radio.