DEC Warning: Warm Temps Could be Dangerous for ADK Hikers
This week's spring warm-up is a welcome change from the weather we endured over the last 6 months, and many of us in Upstate NY plan to soak up every ray of sunshine Mother Nature is willing to give.
It's a great week to get out and explore the Adirondacks, but hiking comes with a warning from the NYS DEC about the dangers of exploring some of the higher elevations, especially with the latest shift in the weather.
On Monday, the NYS DEC urged hikers to postpone hikes on Adirondack trails above 2,500 feet until high-elevation trails have dried and hardened.
Because of that, hikers are advised to avoid high-elevation trails for the duration of the muddy trail advisory for several reasons, some are for the concern of the hiker, and other warnings are to protect the trails.
"Sliding boots destroy trail tread, can damage surrounding vegetation, and erode thin soils causing washouts; rotten snow and monorails are a safety hazard even with proper equipment; and high elevation and alpine vegetation are extremely fragile in spring months as they start their regrowth after winter," the NYS DEC said on their Facebook page.
The NYS DEC wants you to avoid these high-elevation trails until the conditions are better:
- High Peaks Wilderness - all trails above 2,500 feet specifically Algonquin, Colden, Feldspar, Gothics, Indian Pass, Lake Arnold Cross-Over, Marcy, Marcy Dam - Avalanche - Lake Colden, which is extremely wet, Phelps Trail above Johns Brook Lodge, Range Trail, Skylight, Wright, all "trail-less" peaks, and all trails above Elk Lake and Round Pond in the former Dix Mountain Area
- Giant Mountain Wilderness - all trails above Giant's Washbowl, "the Cobbles," and Owl Head Lookout
- McKenzie Mountain Wilderness - all trails above 2,500 feet, specifically Whiteface, Esther, Moose, and McKenzie Mountains
- Sentinel Range Wilderness - all trails above 2,500 feet, specifically Pitchoff Mountain
- Jay Mountain Wilderness - specifically Jay Mountain.
Despite the warm weather, the NYS DEC warns about the dangers of much lower temps as you cascade the mountain, leading to even more complications telling hikers that "water temperatures are freezing and falling (water) can lead to immediate hypothermia," adding, "hikers are advised to never attempt to cross high, fast-moving water, especially following rain or significant snowmelt."