Posts Tagged ‘Cross-Country Skiing’

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pigeon Lake Wilderness:
A Ski Refuge in Snowmobiling Country

cascade lake near inlet map by Nancy BernsteinLast winter, a former colleague got in touch to see if I wanted to go skiing in the Inlet area. Not one to turn down a chance to ski or catch up with a friend, I suggested we do the loop around Cascade Lake in the Pigeon Lake Wilderness.

We agreed to meet for lunch at the Hard Times Café in Eagle Bay, a few miles west of downtown Inlet. When I arrived, just before noon, the restaurant was packed with snowmobilers. I felt a little out of place in my cross-country-ski boots. Tim, who lives south of Utica, walked in about ten minutes later. He couldn’t find a space in the lot, which was largely occupied by snow machines, so he had to park across the road. » Continue Reading.


Monday, October 7, 2013

More Access For Sable Highlands Easement Lands

sablelmapA number of new facilities and access opportunities on the Sable Highlands Conservation Easement Lands in Franklin and Clinton counties (former Domtar Industries lands near Lyon Mountain) are now available for public use, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. DEC and its partners have constructed new parking lots, opened some roads for motorized use, and installed informational kiosks. Roads and trails have been opened through private lease areas to provide access under sporting leases to areas open to public use.

The Sable Highlands easement lands include more than 28,000 acres of lands distributed over 14 public use areas, all of which are open and available for public access and recreation in accordance with the April 2009 Interim Recreation Management Plan. More than 56,000 acres of the Sable Highlands easement lands are leased by the landowner to hunting, fishing and recreation clubs for their exclusive private use. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 8, 2013

A Skier’s Plea to Hikers: Don’t Post-Hole

Marcy-in-winterOn Saturday I skied Mount Marcy and was surprised at how good the snow conditions were. I began at the start of South Meadow Road and had to take my skis off only once, on a fifty-yard stretch of the Marcy Dam Truck Trail.

To be sure, the trails were hard and sometimes icy on the approach to Marcy Dam and the first mile or so beyond, but above “50-Meter Bridge” (the second crossing of Phelps Brook), there was good snow: packed powder, with fluffier stuff outside the well-trodden track. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Peavine Swamp Trails: Skiing the Quiet Groves

peavineOn the Peavine Swamp trail system in the northwestern Adirondacks near Cranberry Lake I found a tranquil route through open forest, culminating on a knoll overlooking the Oswegatchie River. Removed from the more challenging terrain of the High Peaks backcountry, the trails allow the skier to settle into a soothing rhythm of kick and glide over level ground and rolling ridges. The occasional gully or steeper pitch is enough to rate the trail’s difficulty moderate or intermediate—but in a low-key way.

It’s a good trip for looking around and appreciating the forest, and on a clear day in early January, I was  accompanied by two skiers who were well qualified to be guides through these woods: Jamie Savage, professor at the Ranger School in Wanakena, and John Wood, senior forester for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Jamie uses these lands as an outdoor classroom for his students. And John, working with Jamie and other partners in the area, has been developing plans for increasing hiking and skiing routes near Cranberry Lake. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Backcountry Skiing: The Seven (or Eight) Carries

Google satelliteIf you know cross-country skiers, by now you’ve heard the complaints about the lack of snow. After last week’s thaw, the Adirondack Ski Touring Council reported that no part of the 24-mile Jackrabbit Trail between Saranac Lake and Keene could be recommended for skiing.

I’ve done a fair amount of the complaining myself, but I enjoyed perfect conditions this past weekend on the ponds in the St. Regis Canoe Area. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Paul Smiths VIC: A Sure Thing For Skiers

Heron Marsh at Paul Smith's VIC. Photo by Susan BibeauWinter started slowly, so after we received a few small snowfalls in late November, I jumped at the chance to go on my first ski of the season. Since we still had no base, I figured my best bet would be the Adirondack Visitor Interpretive Center in Paul Smiths.

The VIC is fun to ski anytime, but it’s a particularly good choice early in the season or in a low-snow winter. Its smooth trails don’t need a lot of snow to be skiable. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Skiing on Oseetah Marsh and the Jackrabbit Trail

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOseetah Marsh just outside Saranac Lake is the destination of one of my regular lunch-hour ski trips. It’s short, easy, and scenic, with views of the McKenzie Range, the Sawtooth Range, and nearby Scarface Mountain.

Yesterday I did the trip for the first time this winter. Why did I wait so long? To get to the marsh, I follow a snowmobile trail through a beautiful pine forest. Until this afternoon, every time I reached the edge of the marsh I found a small pool of black water, bordered by very thin ice. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

31st Lake Placid Loppet Set for Mt. Van Hoevenberg

LOPPETThe 31st Lake Placid Loppet cross-country ski races will be held Saturday, January 26, at the Olympic Sports Complex Cross Country Ski Center, in Lake Placid, N.Y. The race is being presented by High Peaks Cyclery.

The Lake Placid Loppet has established itself as one of the best events of its kind in the country. Over the past 30 years, thousands of skiers have enjoyed skiing and racing on the Mt. Van Hoevenberg trails at the Olympic Sports Complex. As part of the American Ski Marathon Series, the event attracts hundreds of skiers from across the United States and Canada. It consists of a 50 kilometer Loppet (30.1 miles) and a 25-kilometer Kort Loppet (about 15 miles).
» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Adirondack Family Activities:
Events At The New Land Trust, Newcomb AIC

AdirondackInterpretiveCenter_newThe recent warm front didn’t do the snowshoe/cross-country ski trails any favors, but it also didn’t completely wipe out the snow. Though some area ski centers around the Adirondack Park have taken a significant hit, most are grooming their trails for business. It has been tricky to find the places that are shielded enough to maintain a significant base for those of us looking to snowshoe or cross-country ski.

New Land Trust in Saranac, along with Dion Snowshoes, is hosting Cock-A-Doodle-Shoe as a Northeast regional qualifier for the 2013 USSSA National Snowshoe Championships on January 20. The 10K snowshoe race with cover a varied terrain from flat ground to rolling hills among the New Land Trust’s 287-acres. The competition is open to all levels and participants will compete for a $150 cash prize » Continue Reading.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

CATS Protects 319 Acres in Willsboro

The owners of 319 acres of farmland and woods in the Champlain Valley have taken steps to protect the property in perpetuity and open it to the public for hiking and cross-country skiing.

Dick and Leanna DeNeale donated a conservation easement on their property to Champlain Area Trails (CATS), a nonprofit organization that has created twenty-three miles of hiking trails in the Champlain Valley since 2009. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Adirondack Backcountry Skiing Conditions

Since the big storm last week, I’ve been skiing a lot in the backcountry. Generally, I found the conditions very good, but skiers need to be mindful that we had little or no base before the snowfall. You may encounter exposed boulders on trails. If you’re skiing off trail, you must be wary of logs and rocks lurking within the powder.

On New Year’s Day, I skied from Adirondak Loj to Lake Colden. At the outset, I wondered if the cover would be adequate on the trail from the Loj to Marcy Dam, a section with a lot of large boulders. Although I did encounter some exposed rocks, they were easily avoided. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Adirondack Family Activities:
Schroon Lake’s Free Ski Center

We recently spent our New Year’s Eve with family and went exploring the Schroon Lake region of the Adirondack Park. The snow is here and my Adirondack family is going to enjoy every minute of it. My mother shares stories of my father’s early military career, which at some point involves a campground in Schroon Lake. Of course that means packing up the car and taking a ride along Route 9.

We ask at a local restaurant for campgrounds and are given the names of Scaroon Manor and Eagle Point. Though the road trip is inspired by my mother’s stories, we also want to find some fun trails to snowshoe or a pond to skate upon. We are surprised to find that most of Schroon Lake’s water in unfrozen. This rules out any lake ice-skating and we are not prepared to downhill ski at Gore. Continuing on Route 9 we pass a sign announcing that the free Schroon Lake skiing and sledding hill is open. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

How To Wax Backcountry Skis

Backcountry skiers on Mount MarcyEvidently, many backcountry skiers find waxing mystifying. Otherwise, why would waxless skis be so popular? But it needn’t be so.

“Waxing isn’t alchemy,” Paul Parker advises in his classic manual Free Heel Skiing. “It can be as simple or complex an art as you choose to make it,”

We choose simple. There are two types of wax: glide wax and kick wax. Glide wax keeps your skis running smoothly over the snow. Kick wax is applied to the midsection of your skis to bite into the snow, providing the purchase necessary to propel yourself forward. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dewey Mountain Gets New Signs, Trail Map

Volunteers helped Dewey Mountain Recreation Center begin the installation of new signs and introduce a new trail map Sunday. The signage and a loop-based trail system are designed to improve flow and clarity on 13 kilometers of cross-country ski trails. Dewey Mountain, a multi-season recreation facility owned by the Town of Harrietstown, also features 10 kilometers of in-town snowshoe, mountain-bike and walking trails.

The bold new signs were funded by a mini grant from North Country Healthy Heart Network’s Creating Healthy Places program, funded by the New York State Department of Health. One of the program’s goals is to increase opportunities for North Country residents to be physically active. The signs are designed to make trails more welcoming by clarifying routes and level of difficulty. The intent is to make it easier for visitors and newcomers to mountain sports to navigate trails safely. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dewey Mtn Launches New Lodge Plan With Summer Ski Jam

Two Saranac Lake institutions, Doty’s barbecue and the Dewey Mountain Ski Center, unite 3–8 p.m. Sunday, July 29 for a Summer Ski Jam & BBQ at Mount Pisgah. The idea of a Summer Ski Jam originated with some of the musicians who play Dewey Mountain Recreation Center’s little log cabin on winter Friday nights. They decided to get together in warm weather and put on an outdoor concert to benefit the campaign to build a new base lodge for Dewey Mountain. Performers include the Barn Cats, Big Slyde, Blind Owl Band, Celia Evans, Steve Langdon, and Roadside Mystic.

The Summer Ski Jam & BBQ also features Doty’s signature marinated beef and chicken with all the sides. Together with his parents and brothers, Derek Doty ran the popular Doty’s Country Road Beef butcher shop for 28 years, and he continues to barbecue on special occasions. The community-supper atmosphere will welcome families as well as summer guests.  » Continue Reading.