Hikers are being asked to hold off on hitting the trails in the Adirondacks, especially in the higher elevations.

One of the warmest winters on record is causing unstable spring conditions on New York hiking trails. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is asking outdoor recreationists to postpone any high-elevation activities.

It's only the beginning of March but it feels more like late March to mid-April. The snowpack and ice on trails are thinner, making for a slipperier trek. The warmer-than-normal temperatures will melt even more creating extremely dangerous trails.

Forest Rangers have been busy the last few weeks responding to several rescues due to icy conditions.

READ MORE: Missing Hiker Found Dead in Icy Upstate New York Water

Credit - NYS DEC
Credit - NYS DEC

Two Rescues, One Day

30 Forest Rangers were called in for two separate rescues in the Johns Brook Valley area in Essex County.

One for a 61-year-old hiker from Pittsford who hurt his leg on an icy trail on Saddleback Mountain. The other was a 38-year-old from Maryland who injured his leg while sliding down the icy trail off Basin Mountain.

READ MORE: Forest Rangers Rescue 15 Missing College Students 

Mother Nature made it impossible to fly either hiker out of their location. Rangers had to carry out both on a long and icy hike.

forest rangers rescue injured hiker
Credit - NYS DEC

Fast Moving Streams

It's not just the trails that are dangerous. Streams in the backcountry may become high or even flood with all the melting snow and spring rain.

READ MORE: BY Land & Air - 2 Hikers Airlifted & Carried Out of Adirondack Mountains

Hikers should not try crossing high, fast-moving streams. If they fall, immediate hypothermia is possible.

Credit - Stormseeker/Unsplash
Credit - Stormseeker/Unsplash

Hike Lower & Hike Smart

Trails in the Adirondacks above 2,500 feet should be avoided until conditions improve. Hikers can explore lower-elevation trails.

Visit the DEC website for a list of alternative, low-elevation hikes.

READ MORE: Hiker Falls off Cliff Taking Selfie

Remember to Hike Smart and follow these safety guidelines from the DEC:

  • Check the weather before hitting the trails.
  • Be aware of changing weather conditions.
  • Dress in layers made of wool, fleece, and other materials that wick moisture (not cotton).
  • Pack hiking essentials.
  • Have plenty of food and water. Eat, drink, and rest often.
  • Know the terrain and your physical capabilities.
  • Never travel alone and always inform someone of your route.

Get weekly backcountry conditions on the Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages.

11 People Including Rangers, Climbers and a Helicopter Needed to Rescue Hiker

injured climber rescued by New York Forest Rangers, Assistants and Volunteer Climbers

Gallery Credit: Tad Pole

Hiker Comes Within 5 Feet Of Adirondack Male Moose

Gallery Credit: Credit - Dave Wheeler