DEC backcountry advisory still in effect

The Halloween storm caused strong winds and flooding, closing many state and local roads in the Adirondacks. Route 8 in Hamilton County, pictured here, is now open after being closed for days. Check for the latest updates. Photo by Mike Lynch

The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced Tuesday that there is still a backcountry advisory as the DEC continues to asses damages from the recent Halloween storm.

The storm caused widespread flooding and wind damage in the Adirondacks.

The storm washed out many local and state roads and bridges. In addition, backcountry trails throughout the Adirondacks have infrastructure damage, including washed out bridges and downed trees, creating unsafe hiking conditions.

States of emergency were declared in a dozen counties statewide, including Essex, Hamilton, Herkimer, Saranac and Warren counties.

The public is encouraged to contact local agencies and DEC before they visit to verify if roads are passable and trails are safe. Please report any backcountry damage to DEC’s Region 5 office by emailing

Below is a list of current conditions and conditions released by the DEC on November 5.

Boreas Ponds Tract, Town of North Hudson

  • Gulf Brook Road is closed due to culvert damage and washout.

Crotched Pond, Indian Lake

  • Damage to roads and infrastructure.

Speculator Tree Farm and Perkins Clearing Conservation Easements

  • Damage to roads and infrastructure. Closed to the public until further notice.

West Canada Lakes Wilderness

  • Due to road closures in the Perkins Clearing Easement, West Canada Lake Wilderness is inaccessible from the Pillsbury Mountain Parking Area and the Spruce Lake Parking Lot.
  • Due to the closure of the Indian River Road at the Otter Brook Bridge, the unit is also inaccessible from the northern trailhead within Moose River Plains Wild Forest’s Brook Trout Lake Parking Area.
  • Those seeking to access the unit from Sucker Brook Trail from Indian Lake/Route 30 should be advised that the Sucker Brook Trail is not maintained beyond the Height of Ground (approximately 4.4 miles in).
  • The Northville Placid Trail trailhead on Haskell Road in Piseco is open. However, please be advised that an assessment of backcountry facility damage has yet to be conducted.
  • Given the level of damage on the periphery of the unit, it is likely backcountry facilities, notably stream crossings, will be impacted.

Ferris Lake Wild Forest, Towns of Stratford & Arietta

  • Powley Piseco Road has severe washouts on either end and is closed for the foreseeable future.
  • Edick Road is closed.

Silver Lake Wilderness, Town of Wells

  • West River Road is closed until further notice due to flooding and washouts.

Moose River Plains Wild Forest, Town of Inlet

  • Otter Brook road is closed at the gate at Otter Brook. Severe washout beyond the gate.

Shaker Mountain Wild Forest, Town of Mayfield

  • Tolmantown Road, which provides access to the Benson Tract, is closed from the Mayfield end. Bleecker end is still open to the Big T.

Black River Wild Forest

  • The Loop Road at North Lake is passable with high clearance 4WD vehicles. Most of the damage occurred at the section of the Loop Road that passes through private lands.
  • Loop Road continues to be closed past campsite #18 due to a washout at Golden Stair Creek.
  • The Wolf Lake Landing Road in McKeever is passable with high clearance 4WD vehicles. Access past the gate just before Woodhull Lake is limited to persons with disabilities who possess a valid Motorized Access Program for People with Disabilities (MAPPWD) permit.

Fulton Chain Wild Forest, Town of Webb

  • The Safford Pond Snowmobile Trail has experienced a large beaver dam failure approximately one-quarter mile north of Safford Pond Road, at the Safford Pond inlet. The trail is impassable.

Black Creek State Forest, Town of Norway

  • Stanley Road, which bisects the State Forest from east to west, has an impassable washout midway through the State Forest by the small wildlife pond. The public is advised not to drive onto the dike that retains the pond.

Wilcox Lake Wild Forest, Town of Hadley

  • Tower Hill Road is closed from the Eddy Road intersection to the Hadley Mountain Trailhead due to extensive washout. Hadley Mountain can be accessed from Hadley Hill Road.

Siamese Ponds Wilderness

  • The Cisco Brook Trailhead is not accessible due to impassable road washouts leading to the trailhead.
  • 13th Lake Road has been washed out. The public can still access 13th Lake Trailhead by detouring on Harvey Road and meeting back up with 13th Lake Road beyond the washout. The 13th Lake trailhead and accessible trails have also sustained damage. The public is advised to use caution at this location.
  • The seasonal road to Old Farm Parking Lot and Trailhead has washed out at a culvert. Temporary parking is being determined.
  • Barton Mines Rd to the Halfway Brook and Raymond Brook Trail parking is passable to 4WD vehicles only.
  • Route 8 has washed out in several places. The public is advised to use caution.

Jessup River Wild Forest

  • Watch Hill and Snowy Mountain trails are closed due to the closure of Route 30.

For current trail conditions, visit DEC’s Adirondack Backcountry Information webpage.


Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch

Mike Lynch is a multimedia reporter for the Adirondack Explorer. He can be reached at

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