As Hurricane Irene barrels up the east coast, meteorologists are predicting locations inland will not be spared her impact. As a result, the Adirondacks are expected to experience heavy rain and high winds. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) has asked outdoor recreationists to stay out of the backcountry this weekend.
“Due to anticipated hazardous weather from Hurricane Irene we urge the public to not attempt to use hiking trails or backcountry camping areas throughout the Adirondacks from Sunday 8/28 through Monday 8/29. Hurricane Irene is expected to generate extremely high winds and heavy rainfalls which could result in flooding, heavy erosion of trails, falling trees and limbs and, possibly, landslides on steep slopes.”
The agency will also close and evacuate all Adirondack and Catskill campgrounds by noon on Saturday.
This might be a good time to remind readers how that cool slide was created on Mount Colden. In the fall of 1999, as the remnants of Hurricane Floyd moved up the east coast, the Adirondacks received 10% of usual annual rainfall for the region in a single day. Rain-soaked vegetation covering the side of the 11th highest Adirondack peak, Mount Colden, came loose and slid down the mountainside. This created a new slide for skiing and a massive pile-up of debris at the bottom of the mountain, blocking the hiking/ski trail. Fortunately no one was injured.
It is no fun to be in the Adirondack backcountry in any sort of storm, the least of which is a hurricane. If you are visiting the region this weekend working on your perfect Adirondack day, don’t despair. There are plenty of fun things to do in the Adirondacks that do not involve hiking or camping during a hurricane.