December 29, 2013

DEC advises backcountry visitors of winter conditions throughout Adirondacks

The recent snowstorms provided great conditions for winter outdoor recreation in the Adirondack backcountry, but visitors should be prepared with proper clothing and equipment for snow, ice and cold, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation warns.

“Now that snows have arrived in the Adirondacks, winter recreationists can take advantage of all that the Park has to offer during the upcoming holiday vacation period,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in a press release. “However, recreationists must be aware that winter can also present troublesome — even perilous — conditions to the unprepared. Visitors exploring the backcountry should dress for cold weather and use snowshoes and skis to navigate trails.”

Snow depths range from 8 to 20 inches or more. The deepest snows are in the western and southwestern Adirondacks and the thinner depths in the northeastern section. Snow depths are deeper in the higher elevations like the High Peaks and other mountains more than 3,000 feet.

Most designated snowmobile trails are open as well. Snowmobilers should check on local trail conditions before heading out. Skiers and snowshoers using designated snowmobiles trails should keep to the side to allow safe passage of snowmobiles. Snowmobiles should slow down when passing skiers and snowshoers.

The roadways on the Essex Chain Lakes Tract in the towns of Newcomb and Minerva in Essex County provide new cross-country skiing and snowshoeing opportunities. The Town of Newcomb will plow the Goodnow Road and parking areas along the road near the access points to the Essex Chain Tract. This is the first time the public will be able to access these lands in the winter in more than 100 years.

Visitors to the Eastern High Peaks are required to use snowshoes or cross-country skis for their safety and the safety of other backcountry users. It is strongly recommended that visitors to other parts of the Adirondacks do the same.

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