Avalanche Lake Trail To Close On Tuesday

The Trap Dike on Mount Colden as seen from Avalanche Lake. Photo by Phil Brown.

If you’ve been planning to climb the Trap Dike on Mount Colden, you might think about doing it this weekend. That’s because the state Department of Environmental Conservation plans to close the trail along Avalanche Lake from Tuesday, August 15, through Friday, August 25. Most climbers reach the Trap Dike by hiking to the lake from Adirondak Loj and then going around the lake to the base of the cleft. It will still be possible to reach the dike by approaching Avalanche Lake from Lake Colden, but this will entail a longer hike starting at the Upper Works in the town of Newcomb. In its weekly High Peaks Bulletin, DEC says it is closing the trail along Avalanche Lake to repair the plank bridges bolted to the side of the cliff beside the water. For more about what to expect in the High Peaks this weekend, read the DEC bulletin below.

Current Conditions in the High Peaks Region
Compiled on August 10, 2017

Backcountry Information for the High Peaks Region

Please be advised of the following conditions and prepare for them to ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor recreational experience.

Weather forecasts and conditions can and do change quickly. Check the current National Weather Service Forecast and be prepared for the forecasted conditions. Carry extra clothing, equipment, and supplies in case of an overnight stay.

Practice Leave No Trace: Please abide by the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace when recreating in the High Peaks Region of the Adirondacks.

High Bear Activity in Eastern High Peaks, Giant Mountain, and Dix Mountain Wildernesses: Bears have been approaching hikers and campers in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness, campers in the Roaring Brook Falls area and campers and climbers in the Chapel Pond area. All visitors to these areas are advised to practice proper management of food, trash, and toiletries to prevent negative encounters with bears and creating nuisance bears including:

  • Store ALL food, toiletries, and garbage in bear resistant canisters
  • Bear resistant canisters are required in the Eastern High Peaks and strongly encouraged in the Dix Mountain Wilderness
  • BEAR HANGS DO NOT WORK in this area
  • Cook and eat before dark
  • Cook away from your campsite
  • Don’t leave food unattended
  • Know what to do in a bear encounter
  • Consider carrying bear spray for close encounters with bears

Trail Conditions: It continues to be a wet summer, expect to encounter wet and muddy conditions in some locations, especially in low spots and along waterways. Walk through mud and water – not around it – to protect trailside vegetation and prevent further erosion of trails. Some steep sections of trails may have experienced additional erosion during recent heavy rains – rocks, gravel, and dirt in these sections may be unstable.

Biting Insects: Mosquitoes, deer flies and biting midges (no-see-ums) are present throughout the Adirondacks. Follow these steps to minimize the nuisance of biting insects: Wear light colored long sleeve shirts and long pants; Tuck shirts into pants, button or rubber band sleeves at the wrist, and tuck the bottom of pant legs into your socks; Pack a head net to wear when insects are abundant; and, Use an insect repellant with DEET, follow label directions.

Thunderstorm Safety: Avoid summits, water surfaces and other open areas during thunderstorms. As soon as you are first aware of an approaching thunderstorm move to lower elevations, head to shore or otherwise seek shelter. If caught outside in a thunderstorm find a low spot away from tall trees, seek an area of shorter trees and crouch down away from tree trunks.

Summits: Temperatures will be cooler and winds will be stronger. Check the National Weather Service Mountain Point Forecasts for selected summits.


Avalanche Lake Trail: The trail will be closed from August 15 through August 25 while DEC and Student Conservation Association Adirondack Programs replace the “Hitch-up Matildas” – the bridging on the cliff face along the lake.  Access thru Avalanche Pass to the head of the lake and from Lake Colden to the outlet will be possible, but through passage will be inaccessible. Plan alternate routes between Avalanche Camp and Lake Colden during this period. Be aware that the trail between Feldspar and Lake Arnold has some flooded sections which worsen during and after rains.

Mt. Adams Fire Tower: The top landing on the Mt. Adams Fire Tower has been repaired. The fire tower, including the cab, are open to public use.

Calamity Brook Trail: The high water bridge on the Calamity Trail is unsafe and unusable and should not be crossed. Crossing Calamity Brook without using the bridge will be difficult – especially with high water levels. After rain water levels in the brook will be higher. The East River Trail (aka the Opalescent River/Hanging Spear Falls Trail) can be used to access the Flowed Lands and Lake Colden. It is an additional 3.7 miles one-way to reach the Flowed Lands using this route. DEC will work to stabilize and repair the high water bridge later this season.

Lake Arnold/Feldspar Brook Trail: The trail is flooded and the bog bridging cannot be crossed. Alternate routes using other trails in the area can be used to avoid the trail. DEC is working to find a permanent solution to this section of trail in the near future.

Blueberry Horse Trail: The trail between the Calkins Creek Horse Trail and Ward Brook Horse Trail in the Western High Peaks contains extensive blowdown, is grown in with vegetation and is poorly marked. The trail is impassable to horses making it impossible to complete the Cold River Horse Trail Loop. DEC worked in the fall of 2016 to open up about 75% of the trail.  During the spring of 2017 work will continue to open the trail back up.

Phelps Trail: The high water bridge over Slide Mountain Brook between the Garden Trailhead Parking Area and Johns Brook Lodge broke in spring of 2016 and the remains were removed.  Materials were flown to the site so a new bridge can be built in 2017.

Bradley Pond Trail: The first and second foot bridges on the Bradley Pond Trail are damaged and unusable. The stream can be forded/rock hopped on the downstream side of the bridge sites.



About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *