The Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA) invites ski enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels to participate in the first-ever Jackrabbit Rally to celebrate ski touring, the 35th anniversary of the popular Jackrabbit Trail and founding of the Adirondack Ski Touring Council, which now operates as BETA. Founded in 1986, the Jackrabbit Ski Trail traverses a variety of terrain through Keene, Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Paul Smiths for a total of 42 miles.
This event supports the mission of the Barkeater Trails Alliance to build, maintain, and advocate for a system of community and backcountry trails for ski touring and mountain biking in the greater High Peaks region of the Adirondack Park.
“With our annual winter events cancelled due to COVID, this do-it-yourself event provides a way for us to join together in spirit and purpose to enjoy winter and support local trails,” said Josh Wilson, BETA executive director.
The Jackrabbit Trail is named in honor of Herman “Jack Rabbit” Johannsen, who was a legendary skiing pioneer both in the Adirondacks and Canada. Rally participants can register online at https://www.betatrails.org/jackrabbit-rally.html and will receive a “Ski Like Jack Rabbit” t-shirt with a graphic designed as an ode to Johannsen’s historic line of ski waxes.
To participate, register online anytime between now and March 21. The cost is $35 – $1 for every year of the Jackrabbit Trail. “Then all you have to do is go skiing at your own pace on a trail of your choice,” Wilson said. “Ski one mile or 100 miles, ski the Jackrabbit Trail, ski out your backdoor, or try somewhere new. Wherever you go – “Ski! Ski! Ski!” like the Jackrabbit.” Share your adventure with BETA and other skiers by tagging @betatrails in your social media and include the hashtag #jackrabbitrallyadk.
While living and vacationing in Lake Placid between 1916 and 1928, Johannsen pioneered some of the original routes used by today’s trail. He was also famous for his one-day ascents of Marcy starting from Lake Placid—a round-trip of over 30 miles. “Jack Rabbit” died in 1987 in his native Norway at age 111, skiing nearly to the time of his death.
“For more than three decades, we’ve been providing ski conditions reports – first on the radio and now online – to help people plan their ski touring adventures and know what to expect,” said Tony Goodwin, founder of the ski touring council, who continues to track and report winter trail conditions. Rally participants are encouraged to check these weekly reports on the BETA website – www.betatrails.org/conditions.
For more information, contact Josh Wilson, Executive Director, Barkeater Trails Alliance, [email protected]
Almanack/Explorer file photo