Hikers should exercise extreme caution, check ahead on road and trail conditions
The White Mountain National Forest will reopen on Tuesday. However, the U.S. Forest Service recommends visitors exercise extreme caution, as not all trails and roads have been inspected in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, and hazards exist. According to the Forest Service, “While the Forest will be open on Tuesday, August 29, certain areas, roads, sites, or trails will remain closed due to hazardous conditions, high water, wash outs, unsafe bridges or other impediments. Heed signing and check the website for updates. A list of areas and sites that are closed will be available in the morning. Visitors who choose to recreate in the next few days should expect to encounter hazardous conditions. Heavy rains have swollen rivers and streams. Some trails may be impassable due to high water. Never enter high water areas or approach fast moving water. Keep your distance. Turn back if necessary.”
Read the statement from the Forest Service here >>
Hikers and visitors should be aware that many roads in and out of the White Mountains are closed due to storm damage or flooding. These include US Route 302 in Crawford Notch between Willey Station Road and Lagoon Road, and the Kancamagus Highway (NH 112) between Lincoln and Conway. For current road conditions, visit http://www.nh.gov/readynh/ or http://www.nh.gov/dot/511/
Due to the US Route 302 closure, AMC Hiker Shuttle service between the Highland Center and North Conway is suspended until further notice.
AMC Huts and Lodges in the White Mountain region, including Joe Dodge Lodge, the Highland Center, and Cardigan Lodge, will reopen on Tuesday. Major trails to the huts are passable, but hikers may encounter erosion or bridges out, requiring minor stream crossings. Minor or connecting trails have not been inspected. Hikers and guests should be aware of the following restrictions:
AMC will update current major trail and road conditions into and out of its huts and lodges. You can view current hut and lodge conditions at: http://www.outdoors.org/recreation/tripplanner/go/index.cfm
- The Zealand Road is closed to vehicles, but may be traveled on foot. This adds 3.2 miles to the hike into Zealand Hut, so plan accordingly. People are asked NOT to park on the road as access is needed to repair a water line break. Guests may park in the winter lot on Route 302 at the bottom of the Zealand Road for now.
- The Tuckerman Ravine Trail out of Pinkham Notch is closed due to bridge damage.
The Forest Service recommends waiting several days before visiting the WMNF the Forest can continue assessing the condition of roads, trails, campsites, and backcountry areas.
For questions regarding conditions on the WMNF, visit http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/white_mountain/ or call (603) 536-6100.
For questions regarding the condition of trails leading to the huts, contact AMC’s Pinkham Notch Visitor Center at (603) 466-2721.
For questions regarding a hut or lodge reservation, contact AMC Reservations at (603) 466-2727.
AMC lodges in Maine, including Gorman Chairback Lodge and Cabins, Little Lyford, Medawisla, will also reopen on Tuesday.
UPDATE, 8/30, 10:04 AM: AMC caretakers will be returning to backcountry shelters in the Whites and Mahoosucs today. Shelters may be considered "open" but caretakers will be assessing conditions of trails and campsites as they return and will be reporting back. AMC will continue to post updates here as they come in.
UPDATE, 8/31, 8:42 AM: Fire Island Cabin is without phone service, but is otherwise open for business as of Wednesday with no damage sustained during the storm.
UPDATE, 8/31, 10:53 AM: Repairs have been made on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail and it is now open.
AMC caretakers returned yesterday to the nine staffed backcountry campsites/shelters in the Whites and Maine, and reported no significant trail damage en route, and no damage to the campsites. All backcountry campsite/shelter operations in the Whites and Mahoosucs are running as normal.
UPDATE, 8/31, 2:43 PM: Northwest Cabin is open for business.
UPDATE, 8/31, 5:54 PM: Beal Island and Knubble Bay are accessible to guests and open for business.
UPDATE, 9/2, 4:06 PM: Mohican Outdoor Center remains closed until further notice. The Delaware Water Gap National Park has been closed and the Center is also closed due to power outages and safety concerns post-Irene.
Also in the WMNF, Zealand Road is open from 302 to the Zealand trailhead just in time for the busy weekend. Rosebrook will stay open until all cars have left and then the gate will be closed by the USFS.
UPDATE, 9/3, 1:18 PM: Power has been restored to Mohican Outdoor Center. Mohican is now open for business.
Labels: AMC Destinations, Hurricane Irene