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DEC: Expect bears and busy trails this weekend

August 31, 2018
By JUSTIN A. LEVINE - Outdoors Writer ( , Lake Placid News

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is warning Adirondack hikers and backcountry users of busy trails this Labor Day weekend and a nuisance bear in the High Peaks Wilderness that is approaching hikers during the day.

"Due to the Labor Day Holiday Weekend expect to encounter many people on the trails and waters this weekend," the DEC said in its weekly Outdoor Recreation Bulletin. "Trailhead parking lots and interior campsites in popular areas will fill early. Plan accordingly and seek backcountry recreation opportunities in other areas of the Adirondack[s]."

The department also said that a nuisance bear in the High Peaks Wilderness has shifted from taking food from campsites to a more dangerous behavior.

"A nuisance bear with an ear tag continues to be active in Eastern High Peaks," the bulletin says. "The bear has changed its pattern of behavior and is now approaching hikers and campers during the middle of day in attempt to obtain food."

Bear-resistant canisters are required for any overnight excursion in Eastern High Peaks, and the DEC recommends the devices be used around the Adirondacks.

Last week, DEC officers euthanized a bear that had been raiding campsites at the Saranac Lake Islands Campground, and the DEC said that well over 300 nuisance bear complaints have been received in Region 5, which covers much of the Adirondacks.

There is also an active nuisance bear in the area of Bushnell Falls and the nearby campsites and lean-tos.

Student Conservation Association trail crews will install bridges and foot bridges along Avalanche Lake through the weekend, and hikers should expect delays in that area.

In Wilmington, there will be a mountain bike festival all weekend, and hikers and bicyclists in the area should expect many riders on the Flume and Hardy Road trail systems as well as the Poor Man's Downhill trail.

The western portion of the Essex Chain Lakes complex has been closed due to road work, but the DEC said three bridges have been replaced and access is back open.

To read the full bulletin, go to



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