DEC clears 130 miles of trails

Trails in green have been cleared. Those in red remain closed. DEC map. .
Trails in green have been cleared. Those in red remain closed. DEC map.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation and its volunteers have cleared about 130 miles of trails since Irene blew through the High Peaks region two and a half weeks ago.

DEC spokesman David Winchell said crews are still working on trails in the High Peaks Wilderness and Dix Mountain Wilderness that remain closed. The Adirondack Mountain Club, Adirondack Forty-Sixers, and Student Conservation Association have all provided volunteer.

“DEC has more than thirty staff working on five crews clearing blowdown, rerouting trails, repairing and rebuilding bridges, and other work to rehabilitate the trails,” Winchell said.

In the above map, trails that have been cleared are shown in green. Trails that are open but have not been cleared are in black. Those that remain closed are in red. Sections of the closed trails also have been cleared, but this is not indicated on the map.

Trails that have not been cleared are considered passable, but hikers may encounter blowdown or erosion. Many footbridges and puncheons were washed away or disturbed by Irene.

In the High Peaks Wilderness, the routes still closed are the Cold Brook Pass Trail, the Southside Trail along Johns Brook, the Orebed Brook Trail to the col between Gothics and Saddleback Mountain, the trail from Elk Lake to Panther Gorge, and the Great Range trails originating on the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (the Ausable Club).

The Wolf Jaws Trail was disturbed a landslide. So were the Southside and Orebed Brook trails. The photo below shows the debris deposited on the Orebed trail.

In the Dix Mountain Wilderness, the trails to the summits of Dial, Nippletop, Colvin, and Blake—all High Peaks—remain closed. All originate in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve. Most other trails in the reserve are also still closed. The exceptions are the trails to Noonmark and Round mountains.

In the Giant Mountain Wilderness, all trails are open, but the parking lot for the Roaring Brook Trail will remain closed until the state can remove highway equipment used to repair Route 73.

The bridge on the road to the Garden parking lot in Keene Valley is restricted to vehicles weighing less than six thousand pounds. The Garden is a popular starting point for hikes in the High Peaks Wilderness. The weekend shuttle bus will pick up hikers at Marcy Field and drop them at the corner of Market and Adirondack streets in Keene Valley. From there they will have to walk 1.2 miles to the Garden.

Note: I enlarged the green dots on the map to make them more visible. I also enlarged the black dots in the eastern High Peaks. I did not enlarge the black dots for trails in the western High Peaks, because those trails were never closed.

Note2: I deleted paragraph about the Wolf Jaws Trail. There was some confusion about whether it is open or not. I am now assured that it is open.

A landslide buried a section of the Orebed Brook Trail. Photo by Brendan Wiltse.
A landslide buried a section of the Orebed Brook Trail. Photo by Brendan Wiltse.


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


  1. Mer says

    I think it’s amazing all of the work that DEC and volunteers are doing. This is great news for those of us who enjoy the High Peaks Wilderness area. I do have a question about the suspension bridge on the Calamity Brook Trail which is damaged. Is this trail still considered usable? I can’t remember if there is an easy (and obvious) way to get over the river there if the bridge is unsafe to use, but I see that the trail is considered open. Thanks.

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