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Monday, September 12, 2011

The latest on Adirondack trail conditions

Marcy Summit Steward Seth Jones was on the job this weekend. Photo by Phil Brown.

Marcy Summit Steward Seth Jones was on the job this weekend. Photo by Phil Brown.

With the reopening of Route 73 and the Dix Mountain Wilderness, this seems like an appropriate time for an update on what’s open and what’s still closed.

High Peaks Wilderness. All trails are open except the Southside Trail, Orebed Brook Trail, Cold Brook Pass Trail, Deer Brook Trail, and the trail from Elk Lake to Panther Gorge. Also, the Great Range trails cannot be accessed via the Ausable Club’s Lake Road, which is closed.

The Southside and Orebed Brook trails were partly buried by landslides. “I can’t say for sure they’ll be open by the end of the week, but we do have people working on them,” said David Winchell, a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Conservation. The little-used Cold Brook Pass Trail, which was hit by heavy blowdown, is a lesser priority.

Dix Mountain Wilderness. All trails are open except those accessed via the Ausable Club’s Lake Road. The closed trails include routes to four High Peaks: Dial, Nippletop, Blake, and Colvin. “DEC staff will be working this week to clear blowdown from the loop trail to Bear Den Mountain, Dial Mountain, and Nippletop and assess the trails from Adirondack Mountain Reserve that access the [Great] Range trail,” Winchell said. The trails to Round and Noonmark mountains, which also begin on AMR (Ausable Club) land, are open. The Hunters Pass Trail that starts at Elk Lake also is open.

Giant Mountain Wilderness. Last week, DEC opened all trails that begin on Route 9 and Route 9N. Now that Route 73 has been reopened, hikers may again use the popular Roaring Brook Trail and Range Trail to climb Giant and access other trails in the Wildeness Area. However, Winchell said the Roaring Brook parking lot will remain closed for a short while until the state removes highway equipment used to fix the road. Meantime, hikers can park across the road in Ausable Club’s public lot.

The Garden. The road to the Garden, a popular trailhead for the High Peaks Wilderness, is open to all vehicles weighing less than six thousand pounds. Because of the weight restriction, the town shuttle bus will drop hikers off in town, at the corner of Market and Adirondack streets. Keene Supervisor Bill Ferebee said the bridge will be closed for about a month for repairs later in the fall. He hopes to postpone the work until after Columbus Day.

Adirondak Loj Road. The road to Adirondak Loj, the most popular trailhead for the High Peaks, reopened last week. The bridge over the West Branch of the Ausable is restricted to one lane. Traffic is controlled by stop signs on either end of the bridge.

Rock-climbing routes. The Route 73 corridor is home to some the Adirondack Park’s most popular rock-climbing routes, including Chapel Pond Slab and the Beer Walls. All cliffs are now open again.

Click the link below to read DEC’s news release (PDF) on the reopening of the Dix Mountain Wilderness.

Dix open

Click here to see a map of trails that have been cleard by DEC.

DEC updates on trail conditions can be found by clicking here.

Phil Brown

Contributor Phil Brown was editor of the Adirondack Explorer from 1999-2018. When he isn't at his desk, he's usually out hiking, paddling, skiing, or doing something else important.

5 Responses

  1. Lu and Lo says:

    Thanks, Phil! Excellent work, as usual!

  2. Bill says:

    Are there any plans/updates specifically regarding when the Ausable Club’s Lake Road will be reopened?

  3. Phil says:

    Thanks, L&L!

    Bill, no word yet on when Lake Road will reopen to public. DEC wants to clear the Dial-Nippletop trail first and assess conditions of the AMR trails up the Great Range.

  4. Yvon says:

    Thank you Phil for all those excellent reports and all those photos about ADK situation after Irene. I post several links on my personal website to inform my visitors. 🙂

  5. Phil says:

    Thanks, Yvon. I hope your readers found the reports useful.

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