ALBANY - Most trails and campgrounds have been reopened in the Adirondack and Catskill regions as the state Department of Environmental Conservation continues to review and update trail and campground closures in the wake of tropical storms Irene and Lee.
Twenty-one of the DEC's 41 Adirondack campgrounds have closed for the season, as regularly scheduled. Fall camping is available through Columbus Day at the following 20 Adirondack DEC campgrounds (with phone numbers):
Essex County: Crown Point (518-597-3603), Paradox Lake (518-532-7451), Wilmington Notch (518-946-7172)
Franklin County: Fish Creek (518-891-4560), Meacham Lake (518-483-5116), Saranac Lake Islands (518-891-3170)
Clinton County: AuSable Point (518-561-7080)
Fulton County: Northampton Beach (518-863-6000)
Hamilton County: Eighth Lake (315-354-4120), Indian Lake Islands (518-648-5300), Lake Durant (518-352-7797), Lewey Lake (518-648-5266), Moffitt Beach (518-548-7102), Sacandaga (518-924-4121)
Warren County: Lake George Battleground (518-668-3348), Lake George Islands (Glen Island, 518-644-9696; Long Island, 518-656-9426; Narrow Island, 518-499-1288), Rogers Rock (518-585-6746)
Herkimer County: Nicks Lake (315-369-3314)
Due to the possibility of damage and dangerous conditions at campgrounds, the DEC suggests on its website that you phone either the campground or the DEC regional office (518-897-1309 in Ray Brook) to confirm whether the facility is open.
Eastern High Peaks Wilderness
Wind damage to trails was relatively minor, the DEC reports, and while users should expect to encounter some blowdown on most trails, no trails will need to remain closed due to wind damage. However, the following trails remain closed due to erosion and/or the loss of bridges:
-All trails out of the Adirondack Mountain Reserve (AuSable Club)
-The Deer Brook Trail from state Route 73 to Rooster Comb
-The Southside Trail from the Garden trailhead to the John's Brook outpost
-The Orebed Trail from John's Brook valley to the Range Trail (between Saddleback and Gothics)
-The Cold Brook Trail between Lake Colden and Indian Pass
-The Elk Lake Trail between the Elk Lake trailhead and Panther Gorge.
Trails that are not closed are not necessarily in good condition and may have heavy erosion and cobble, bridges washed out, blowdown and flooding. They may not look like they did before the storm. Many trails have been rerouted to avoid heavily damaged sections, and eroded drainages can be mistaken for trails. The ability to navigate with a map and compass is important, the DEC says.
Both newly developed and previous low-water crossings may not be passable due to high-water conditions.
The bridge on the road to the Garden trailhead in Keene Valley is restricted to 6,000 pounds. The town of Keene will operate a shuttle bus from the Marcy Field parking area to the corner of Market Street and Adirondack Road (approximately 1.25 miles from the Garden) on Saturdays and Sundays.
Dix Mountain Wilderness
The main Adirondack Mountain Reserve trailhead at the AuSable Club is open, as are both trails that lead to the summit of Nippletop (the Henry Goddard Leach and Gill Brook/Elk Pass trails). However, trails to the Colvin Range (Mount Colvin, Blake Peak and Pinnacle) remain closed.
Giant Mountain Wilderness
The Roaring Brook Falls trailhead is open.
Hikers and campers in both the Catskill and Adirondack areas could still encounter flooding, bridge washouts, trail washouts and blowdown, according to the DEC. Hikers are advised to plan accordingly and be prepared to turn back when conditions warrant.