There are more than three million acres of Forest Preserve in the Adirondack and Catskill Parks today. Yet, the most consequential New York State Court decision restricting the ways we can develop and use the “forever wild” Preserve was all about a few acres of land below Mt. Van Hoevenberg, close to Lake Placid.
There, in 1929, the state planned a “bobsleigh run or slide on state lands in the forest preserve.” About 2500 trees would need cutting to create the bobsled course for the 1932 Olympics. The lower court, the Appellate Division, Third Department, ruled that this activity was unconstitutional on grounds that this was wild forest and therefore must be preserved in its wild state, stating that “we must preserve it in its wild nature, its trees, its rocks, its streams. It must always retain the character of a wilderness.” » Continue Reading.
It’s not every day that one gets to see a well-worn aphorism ring true. The philosopher George Santayana wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” In the Adirondacks this is now playing out at the Mt. Van Hoevenberg Recreation Area.
The Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) manages this area for a variety of winter Olympic sports – cross-country skiing, biathlon, bobsled, and luge, among others. It’s also a popular cross-country ski area for the public, and starting in 2018 it became the staging area for a new trail to Cascade Mountain, where the public can start hiking in a safe parking area. The facility is located partly on land owned by the Town of North Elba Park District and partly on the State Forest Preserve. The Forest Preserve lands are protected as forever wild by Article XIV of the State Constitution. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) is accepting comments on plans for new ski trails, snowmaking system enhancements, upgrades to the parking lots, and various other improvements at Mount Van Hoevenberg. Comments are due by June 9th. » Continue Reading.
Flush with success in the North Country Championships, taking first and second place, the Lagree Bobsled Club teams were off to St. Moritz, Switzerland, to practice and prepare for the upcoming world championships. In the end, the American squads were disappointed with their results in Europe, finishing fifteenth and twenty-third.
For Jack Lagree, it meant nothing more than getting back to work. He was already planning to prepare up to four sleds for the next Olympics. Despite growing competition from several large American corporations, the results coming out of Jack’s tiny garage were highly sought after by the best bobsledders in the country.
He made no secret of the process. Purchasing old sleds from Italy (machines that he claimed were the best in the world), he then stripped them down and rebuilt them based on his own designs and modifications. The results were indisputable. » Continue Reading.
The Mt. Van Hoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex sliding track, in Lake Placid, opened for the season today for U.S. sliding athletes. The U.S. luge team took to the ice at 8 am, followed by the skeleton squad at 10:30 am. American bobsled athletes slide for the first time at 2 pm.
In December, the mile-long, 20-curve course will play host to Viessmann Luge World Cup racing and Viessmann Bobsled and Skeleton World Cup action. Luge World Cup racing returns to Lake Placid for a second consecutive winter, when the world’s top sliders tackle the track, December 2-3, 2016. This marks the 15th time that Lake Placid has hosted a luge World Cup event. Action will be held in men and women’s singles, doubles and the fan favorite, team relay. » Continue Reading.
Though the annual Lake Placid Loppet has been a huge part of winter sports for over 30 years, this is the first year that the premier cross-country ski marathon has coincided with a weekend Nordic festival. According to High Peaks Cyclery owner Brian Delaney the hope of this first Lake Placid Nordic Fest is to celebrate all aspects of Nordic skiing.
“We want to celebrate Nordic skiing on all levels,” says Delaney. “The schedule has a variety of events like ski waxing clinics, beginning cross-country instructional clinics and ski orienteering. We want these events leading up to the Loppet to appeal to all ages.” » Continue Reading.
This season’s Lake Placid Loppet Cross Country Ski Race has been scheduled for March 1, 2015. This year the Loppet is being relaunched by ORDA as the marquee event of The Lake Placid Nordic Festival (February 27 – March 1).
Entry fees have skyrocketed. Early registration, (and you better sit down for this) is $99! After Jan 1st it increases to $125. There are discounts for season pass holders, local clubs, and junior entries. And there is a added slate of events, parties, free clinics, discounts on rentals, etc. You can read about it here on the Loppet Page. Last year’s entry fees started at $60. So the $99 fee is an increase of 65%! Why the huge increase? » Continue Reading.
The Mt. Van Hoevenberg Olympic Sports Complex sliding track, in Lake Placid, N.Y. opens for the season, weather permitting, Saturday, Oct. 18, for U.S. luge athletes. American bobsled and skeleton athletes will wait two days, Monday, Oct. 20, until their first training runs down the track.
The 2014-’15 sliding season is setting up to be a very busy one for the famed track. In December, the mile-long, 20-curve course will play host to FIL luge World Cup racing and FIBT World Cup bobsled and skeleton action. » Continue Reading.
UPDATE: Due to the poor snow conditions the Lake Placid Loppet and Kort Loppet have been postponed until Saturday, March 8. This story has been updated to reflect the change.
The 32nd Lake Placid Loppet cross-country ski races will be held Saturday, March 8, at the Olympic Sports Complex Cross Country Ski Center, in Lake Placid.
Over the past 31 years, thousands of skiers have enjoyed skiing and racing on the Mt. Van Hoevenberg trails at the Olympic Sports Complex course. As a member of the American Ski Marathon Series, this 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.
State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli says his office will launch a full financial audit of the Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) after a report by his office found that financial issues persist at a time when its operations have been expanded to include the Catskills-based Belleayre Mountain Ski Center.
“ORDA’s venues have long been an essential part of the North Country economy, which heightens the need to ensure its stability and accountability to the public,” DiNapoli said in a statement issued to the press. “We will examine selected financial management practices related to payroll, procurement and other areas.”
DiNapoli’s “By the Numbers” ORDA report, released today, details operational losses and a reliance on a line of credit from a private bank, among other sources, to meet its spending needs. » Continue Reading.
The 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.
The sliding track at Mt. van Hoevenberg, in Lake Placid, N.Y., is getting set to open, Monday, Oct. 15, (weather permitting) for national team training.
Workers have begun the process of chilling the concrete and laying down the ice on the 20-curve, mile-long track at the Olympic Sports Complex. The U.S. luge team will open the season when they take to the ice first thing that Monday morning, 9 a.m.-noon, followed the U.S. skeleton squad, from 3-5 p.m. and the bobsled team from 6:30-9 p.m.
The sliding center has seen its share of capital improvements this summer. Work was completed on the Lamy Lodge, which currently houses the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation’s (USBSF) Hall of Fame, and the combined track’s spectator deck on curve 19 was also expanded for better spectator viewing. » Continue Reading.
Athletes from more than 20 nations vied for the crown at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, and the U.S. team has gained momentum towards the 2014 Winter Olympic Games by medaling on their home track in a big way. The U.S. claimed five medals, including four gold, to mark the most successful World Championships for the program.
Steven Holcomb (Park City, Utah) made history with his USA-1 push crew of Justin Olsen (San Antonio, Texas), Steve Langton (Melrose, Mass.) and Curt Tomasevicz (Shelby, Neb.) as the first U.S. pilot ever to sweep the two and four-man bobsled World Championship races held in Lake Placid. The U.S. also took gold in the team event during which women’s and men’s skeleton and women’s and men’s two-man bobsled athletes take one run each for a four-run combined time. Elana Meyers (Douglasville, Ga.) and Katie Eberling (Palos Hills, Ill.) claimed the 2012 World Championship bronze medal for women’s bobsled program on Friday. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Almanack is a public forum dedicated to promoting and discussing current events, history, arts, nature and outdoor recreation and other topics of interest to the Adirondacks and its communities
We publish commentary and opinion pieces from voluntary contributors, as well as news updates and event notices from area organizations. Contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The information, views and opinions expressed by these various authors are not necessarily those of the Adirondack Almanack or its publisher, the Adirondack Explorer.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to editor Melissa Hart.
To advertise on the Adirondack Almanack, or to receive information on rates and design, please click here.
Recent Almanack Comments