New York State Closes Wilderness Areas in Aftermath of Irene

Landslides, bridge wash outs, flooding, and erosion make parts of the Adirondack backcountry dangerous.

Irene forces closing of Adirondack Eastern High Peaks As towns and villages throughout upstate New York continue the clean up from Tropical Storm Irene, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) rangers are hard at work in the backcountry.

According to DEC spokesperson Dave Winchell, “DEC continues to assess damage to the trails and other backcountry recreational infrastructure. We know the storm has created dangerous conditions across most of the Eastern High Peaks and we ask everyone to stay out of the backcountry for safety reasons.”

Winchell says assessment at the campgrounds are complete and clean up and repairs are underway. All but 19 of the 45 campgrounds in the Adirondacks are open or will be open tomorrow morning.  Officials expect to have most if not all of the campgrounds open by Labor Day Weekend, though some of it will depend on whether power can be restored to the campgrounds and public roads can be opened to access the campgrounds.

The following advisory and campground updates can be found at the NYSDEC Trail Information website.

TRAIL ADVISORY (8/29): Hurricane Irene has created dangerous conditions across most of the Eastern Adirondacks including flooding, bridge wash outs, trail wash outs and blow down of trees and other debris. Back country travel is difficult, if not impossible, throughout much of the backcountry of the Eastern Adirondacks. Hikers and campers should expect to encounter flooding, bridge wash outs, trail wash outs and blowdown when entering the backcountry. Plan accordingly and be prepared to turn back when conditions warrant.

TRAIL CLOSURES (8/29): ALL TRAILS in the EASTERN HIGH PEAKS WILDERNESS, GIANT MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS and DIX MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS have been CLOSED indefinitely due to extensive damage to trails and interior infrastructure. The trails will remain closed through Labor Day Weekend.

New Slides Sighted

New Slides in the Adirondacks

Irene turns Cascade Mountain's "T" slide into a "7."

Landslides have been reported throughout the Adirondack Mountains, including new slides on Wright Peak and Mount Colden. Irene expanded  the existing slide on Cascade Mountain, shown above.

Hurricane Irene trail damage in Lake Placid, New York.

Hurricane Irene trail damage in Lake Placid, New York.

Abiding the wishes of NYSDEC officials, I resisted the urge to hike in to Marcy Dam yesterday to see the remains of one of my favorite spots in the Adirondacks, the footbridge across Marcy Dam.  Instead I took a spin around the trails at Mount Van Hoevenverg in Lake Placid where, as expected,  I encountered significant trail damage from the remnants of Hurricane Irene.


  1. Chris and Laurie

    This makes me so sad!! We vacation in Lake Placid every year in the fall but won’t be able to go this year.

  2. Wayne & Laura Dewey

    We are 46rs and would like to help on trail crews if needed. We are retired and live in Schroon Lake.

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