Over the past five years, the unprecedented addition of sixty-five thousand acres of former Finch, Pruyn lands to the Forest Preserve has opened up many new recreational opportunities. To date, the most publicized opportunities have been for paddling and, more controversially, snowmobiling and mountain biking. Opportunities for cross-country skiing have not been mentioned as often. Now that these acquisitions are complete, it seems to be a good time to take stock of what’s also now available for cross-country skiers.
The three main areas with new opportunities for skiing are the Hudson Gorge, Essex Chain Lakes, and Boreas Ponds tracts. The good news for skiers, especially after last winter’s non-winter, is that all of these areas typically have abundant (or at least some) snow. Furthermore, the Essex Chain and Boreas tracts have relatively smooth roads that don’t need all that much snow to be skiable. While not as exciting to ski as some of the popular routes in the High Peaks and elsewhere, the views at the destinations make up for any lack of outright skiing interest. » Continue Reading.
Highlighting fat biking, ice skating, sledding and hot chocolate consumption, Newcomb’s annual Winterfest will take place on Saturday, January 14. Events will be at various venues along the town’s stretch of Route 28N.
The 5-mile carriage road to the historic Santanoni Preserve will be open for skiers and snowshoersa where Adirondack Architectural Heritage will be holding an open house featuring tours of Great Camp Santanoni. ESF’s Adirondack Interpretive Center will also have skiing and snowshoeing, in addition to the High Peaks Golf Course’s slopes and snowy expanse. » Continue Reading.
The first of three Winter Weekends at Great Camp Santanoni in Newcomb is set for Martin Luther King Day weekend, January 14-16. Additional open house events will take place during the President’s Day holiday weekend, February 18-20, and the weekend of March 18-19.
In the community of Newcomb, WinterFest is being celebrated on January 14, coinciding with the first Santanoni Winter Weekend. » Continue Reading.
As the 2016-17 ski and boarding season begins, Gore Mountain has announced an expansion of its Nordic and snowshoe trail system at the North Creek Ski Bowl. The Nordic network is now 4.24K, and 3.19K of it features both snowmaking and lights.
Snowmaking at Gore and Whiteface resumed Sunday, with Whiteface planning to open on Thanksgiving Day, November 24th. Whiteface Mountain received over 15-inches of snow, and the staff has been preparing Excelsior, Summit Express, Upper Valley, Lower Valley, Fox and the Mixing Bowl for Thursday’s opening. Two lifts, as well as the Cloudsplitter Gondola, are expected to be available. North Creek received six inches of snow over the past few days and Gore Mountain is expected to open on Friday, November 25 with five trails: Foxlair, Sunway, Quicksilver, 3b and Jamboree, serviced by the Northwoods Gondola.
An all day event to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Adirondack Ski Touring Council (ASTC) and the establishment of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail will take place on November 12, 2016 at the Cascade XC Ski Center in Lake Placid.
Early in the day, Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA) will lead a hiking tour of the Jackrabbit Trail and a new ski and bike trail network under development on the site of the old Scott’s Cobble Ski Area in North Elba, followed by a gathering at Cascade XC Ski Center for the BETA annual meeting and a party with live music, food and drink, a bonfire, and surely a bit of story telling by ASTC and Jackrabbit Trail veterans. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) are holding a joint public comment period to solicit comments for a Draft Unit Management Plan (UMP) Amendment for the Mount Van Hoevenberg Winter Recreation Area Intensive Use Area, also known as the Olympic Sports Complex at Mount Van Hoevenberg.
The approximately 1,600 acre unit is located in the Town of North Elba, Essex County. The Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) provides facility management under a Memorandum of Understanding between ORDA and the DEC. » Continue Reading.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation is seeking public comments on a proposal to create new snowmobile, hiking, and ski trails in the Black River Wild Forest.
The main goal is to improve snowmobile connections between communities in the southwestern Adirondacks by building new trails and reclassifying existing trails. At the same time, DEC plans to close to snowmobiling some trails in the interior of the Forest Preserve.
Overall, the mileage of snowmobile trails in the Black River Wild Forest would decrease to 60.1 from 67.5 miles—a net loss of 7.4 miles. Yet DEC says the plan will make it easier and safer for snowmobilers to travel from Woodgate to Old Forge and from McKeever to Nobleboro.
The state attorney general is seeking dismissal of a lawsuit brought against the state Department of Environmental Conservation in a long-running feud over the status of Old Mountain Road in the towns of North Elba and Keene.
The state is also seeking to transfer the case from State Supreme Court in Essex County to the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court in Albany.
The Old Mountain Road is a dirt thoroughfare, often flooded by beavers, that runs through the Sentinel Range Wilderness. It is part of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail, which stretches from Keene to Saranac Lake. » Continue Reading.
Three Winter Weekend events will be held for the fifth consecutive year at Camp Santanoni. The events will take place during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend, January 16-18; President’s Day holiday weekend, February 13-15; and the weekend of March 12-13.
Cross-country skiers and snowshoers will have access to the historic camp properties located in the town of Newcomb in Essex County to rest and view interpretative displays. While people may visit Camp Santanoni 365 days a year, the buildings are not typically open to the public during the winter months. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Park Agency (APA) will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook, NY on Thursday, December 10, 2015. The Full Agency will come to order at 9:00 a.m. for Executive Director Terry Martino’s monthly report.
At 9:30 a.m., the State Land Committee will convene to deliberate the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for proposed amendments to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. If accepted, the committee will authorize public hearings to solicit comments regarding the proposed amendments. The committee will also consider authorizing a public comment period for proposed Primitive Tent Site Guidance. The committee meeting will conclude with an informational presentation on proposed amendments to the Wilmington Wild Forest Unit Management Plan. » Continue Reading.
The midsection of Lake George, known as the Narrows, is so tightly squeezed with steep mountainsides that there are no highways along its shorelines; without such access, most of that stretch of lake is bordered by state land. Roads connecting the north and south basins of the lake have to run well back from the shore.
The nineteenth-century throughway on the west side, called Wardsboro Road, was built several miles from the lake and had to climb and descend 1,300 feet to connect the towns of Bolton and Hague. The road is named for the early farming community at its southern end. » Continue Reading.
The Uihlein Foundation in Lake Placid has opened a four-mile trail system on the 940-acre Heaven Hill Farmhouse property on Bear Cub Lane.
The new Heaven Hill Trails augment the popular Henry’s Woods Trail System, about five miles of trails on the Heaven Hill property that opened in 2009. Both trail networks are open to walking, skiing, mountain biking, snowshoes, but not motorized nor equestrian use. » Continue Reading.
Wilmington is gaining a reputation as a mountain-bike mecca, but what’s less well known is that many of the biking trails in town make great ski trails.
Mike Lynch, a writer/photographer with the Adirondack Explorer, and I learned this firsthand when we skied a trail called Poor Man’s Downhill with Keith McKeever this week.
Keith happens to be the spokesman for the Adirondack Park Agency, but he also is active in the Barkeater Trail Alliance (BETA), a group of mountain bikers that has been creating and maintaining bike trails in Wilmington, Lake Placid, and Saranac Lake. As noted in an earlier article on Adirondack Almanack this week, BETA recently merged with the Adirondack Ski Touring Council. » Continue Reading.
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