My family spends a fair bit of time at the Adirondack Mountain Club’s (ADK) Adirondack Loj High Peaks Information Center. With Heart Lake being a popular gateway into the High Peaks, we hike their trails, drop off groups and introduce guests to its range of outdoor activities.
Since the Adirondack Park is a multi-season playground, the ADK Heart Lake Center is offering a free day full of winter opportunities to showcase that the 700-acre Heart Lake property is more than just a parking lot for the High Peaks. In conjunction with the 19th Winter Trails Day, ADK has gathered volunteers and staff to host its first Winterfest on January 11.
This tricky weather may not allow all the scheduled events to run full force, but ADK Education Program Coordinator Seth Jones assures me that ADK Winterfest is happening no matter what Mother Nature produces.
Most of the events are free such as ice-skating on Heart Lake and clinics from High Peaks Cyclery’s professional instructors. Other activities such as a guided snowshoe hike to Avalanche Lake have a requested charitable donation to ADK’s conservation fund as well as required preregistration.
According to Jones, the focus of ADK Winterfest is to get people excited about being outside in the winter. With a wide range of recreational possibilities at Heart Lake and 15K of ski trails there are many opportunities that people don’t know about. With the introduction of this event, the staff at ADK wants to change that. Jones can’t predict the weather, but along with the rest us will be hoping for snow.
The event schedule reads like a Who’s Who of winter sports. It’s not everyday a ski clinic is being taught by author Tony Goodwin or the orienteering by the past advisor of the Canadian NATO’s Jacques Riberdy and other experts. This list of activities is a great chance for anyone to perfect a telemark turn or learn to curl. There is also to be a Kids Ice Camp with obstacle course and games for all ages.
For those just wishing to add some mountains to their Winter 46er list, parking is free for the whole festival. Stick around though; music starts at 4 pm with Annie in the Water and a buffet dinner by ADK Lodge (adults/$14, children (12 and under)/$7, children under 5/free, ADK members/10% discount) will be available for 5-7 pm. Think snow!