DEC reopens more routes to High Peaks

A landslide buried part of the Ore Bed Brook Trail. Photo by Brendan Wiltsie.
A landslide buried part of the Ore Bed Brook Trail. Photo by Brendan Wiltsie.

Just in time for the weekend, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has reopened a number of trails that will give hikers easier access to several High Peaks. All had been closed since August 29, the day after Tropical Storm Irene passed though the region.

The newly opened routes include the Ore Bed Brook Trail, which was partly buried by a landslide during the storm. The trail leads to the col between Saddleback and Gothics in the Great Range, providing the shortest route to Saddleback. It also allows hikers to travel in a loop starting at Johns Brook Lodge and going over Upper Wolf Jaw, Armstrong, and Gothics.

Most trails in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve also have reopened, including the shortest route to Sawteeth, another High Peak. Hikers also will be able, once again, to access Gothics, Armstrong, and both of the Wolf Jaws from the reserve.

DEC also reopened the trail over the Colvin Range as far as the summit of Blake Peak, enabling hikers to go to both Blake and Mount Colvin, two High Peaks that had been inaccessible after the storm.

With the latest announcement, all of the usual routes to the forty-six High Peaks are now open. Other popular destinations that are accessible again include Indian Head, Fish Hawk Cliffs, and the Ausable River trails in the Adirondack Mountain Reserve. (The first crossing from the East River Trail to the West River Trail is still closed.)

However, several trails remain closed:

  • All trails originating in the vicinity of Upper Ausable Lake in the reserve. These include alternate routes to Haystack, Sawteeth, and the Colvin Range. The carry trail between Lower and Upper Ausable Lakes also is closed.
  • The Southside Trail from the Garden in Keene Valley to the ranger’s outpost near Johns Brook Lodge.
  • The trail from Elk Lake to Panther Gorge.
  • The Deer Brook Trail from Route 73 to Snow Mountain.
  • The Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and the Indian Pass Trail.

DEC spokesman David Winchell said the department’s crews, with help from many volunteers, have checked and cleared about 185 miles of trails since Irene. He warns that hikers may still encounter blowdown, erosion, and flooding on trails that have been reopened.

Click the link below to read DEC’s latest news release.

trails update 092311

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. Marcia says

    I hiked Mt Adams on 9/27. The bridge over the Hudson is completely gone except for some twisted metal. An alternate stream crossing is marked and easy to traverse in low water. Lake Jimmy is more problematic: one of the sections of board bridge is detached and floating and under water. A little tricky there. Water shoes are a must for this trail.

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