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Old 03-26-2018, 12:26 PM   #1
Nairb
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Spring backpacking suggestions

Hello everyone, I am hoping to get some suggestions for a decent spring backpacking trip. It's looking like I won't be able to get out for another couple weeks so probably mid april at the earliest. Planning on 2 nights. I prefer to try to stay away from the crowds. My girlfriend is gonna be tagging along with me. She asked if I could take her somewhere "not too muddy" I told her that's probably not gonna happen this time of year. I'll be heading up from th Syracuse area so trying to keep the drive time within a couple hours. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-26-2018, 12:40 PM   #2
Bark Eater Too
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Mid-April is pretty early. Likely looking at snow, mud, or both, and difficult stream crossings. Potentially early to mid-May you might get in a lower elevation trip where things are starting to dry out and the black flies haven't yet hatched. All depends upon the spring we're about to have.
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Old 03-26-2018, 12:54 PM   #3
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April can fool you. There have been years (more than a few) when I have found myself in the middle of a 2 week stretch of warm dry sunny weather. But without prior knowledge and planning it was too late to take time off from work to enjoy much of it. However, given the season so far I wouldn't have a lot of hope for that to happen this year. You might try typically (relatively speaking) drier areas such as the Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness not too far from Syracuse. https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/91261.html
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Old 03-26-2018, 03:19 PM   #4
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April can fool you. There have been years (more than a few) when I have found myself in the middle of a 2 week stretch of warm dry sunny weather. But without prior knowledge and planning it was too late to take time off from work to enjoy much of it. However, given the season so far I wouldn't have a lot of hope for that to happen this year. You might try typically (relatively speaking) drier areas such as the Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness not too far from Syracuse. https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/91261.html
Thanks. I was actually thinking about middle settlement lake, and after talking to my boss it seems I would be lucky to get any time of before the end of April. So it probably will be early May.
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:27 AM   #5
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I am considering the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness in the second part of May. A bit longer of a drive from Syracuse but worth checking out maybe.
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Old 03-27-2018, 10:18 AM   #6
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I am leading a trip to West Canada Lakes for Niagara ADK chapter May 18-20th.
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Old 03-27-2018, 01:53 PM   #7
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I am leading a trip to West Canada Lakes for Niagara ADK chapter May 18-20th.
Not sure which way you plan on heading in but keep in mind many of the dirt roads donít open until around Memorial Day Weekend, sometimes even later than that if itís been a long winter & extended mud season.
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Old 03-27-2018, 02:03 PM   #8
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I backpacked the Tongue Range last year around that time. Usually stays pretty dry in that area so was only muddy down low. Not too sure how much snow they got this year. Also the rattle snakes are not a concern that time of year either.

The area isn't particularly secluded and does see its share of day hikers but I didn't see a single backpacker when I was there. For me it represented a good spring backpacking "shake out" trip.
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Old 03-27-2018, 07:27 PM   #9
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As others have stated, mid-April is a bit of a gamble with regards to conditions. At best, even if you luck out and get snow-free conditions (which doesn't seem super likely this year), you're still going to have to deal with a lot of mud and high stream crossings. At worst, you'll be dealing with full-on winter conditions.

The suggestions so far for greatest potential for snow-free hiking are good- Ha-De-Ron-Dah, Tongue Mountain Range, etc. Black River Wild Forest is a possibility as well.

Does it absolutely have to be in the Adirondacks? You've got some decent options to the south in Pennsylvania that are far more likely to be snow-free (and possibly even relatively dry) than points further north. Even central NY has some decent backpacking options along the Finger Lakes Trail (and associate spur trails) that have a better chance of being free of snow.

Last edited by DSettahr; 03-28-2018 at 09:25 AM..
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:57 AM   #10
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Does it absolutely have to be in the Adirondacks? You've got some decent options to the south in Pennsylvania that are far more likely to be snow-free (and possibly even relatively dry) than points further north. Even central NY has some decent backpacking options along the Finger Lakes Trail (and associate spur trails) that have a better chance of being snow.[/QUOTE]

I was also going to suggest a section of the Finger Lakes Trail. The last few years I have been exploring several areas outside the ADK park and have found lots of gems out there.
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:11 AM   #11
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When my children were still in school I found myself asking the same question as we would do a 4 day trip over the Easter Break. The funny thing is we did every trip suggested in this thread with mixed results. Middle Settlement, deep snow cold, The Tongue ditto. Pharaoh once snowshoes stayed strapped to the packs, following year mix of ice and snow along with rain. Add the Benson to Piseco section on the NTP with deep deep snow. Loop out of Upper Works to Duck Hole up over to Bradley Pond. Spring down low, winter returned by the time we reach the BP lean to.

These were all fun, but it got to the point that it was not enjoyable fighting the weather so we started go look south. FLT is a great suggestion PA to Red House in the ASP has the feel of the ADK,with leans tos and firetowers. Or... Pine Creek Gorge in PA. 30 mile hike easily done in 3 or 4 days. Pine creek Outfitters provide a really reasonable shuttle service. http://www.pinecrk.com/

Going south no guarantee for success either. We drove all the way to Assateague one spring to paddle the bayside. Nor easter arrived with us. Sat on the beach with the ponies, no paddling. Still had fun.

Winter is still hanging on up north there will be snow in the woods for a a while longer.

Good luck, have fun
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Old 04-22-2018, 11:19 PM   #12
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I backpacked the Tongue Range last year around that time. Usually stays pretty dry in that area so was only muddy down low. Not too sure how much snow they got this year. Also the rattle snakes are not a concern that time of year either
I live not that far from the Tongue Range and we got snowfall that was about 10% above average, for whatever that's worth. Haven't been there this year, though.
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