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SNOWSHOEING, Snowshoes, SNOWMOBILING
The premier guide to Adirondack Snowshoeing
featuring valuable tips and techniques as well as a wide variety of trails and
backcountry information.



The Adirondack Mountains offer an enourmous range of terrain for every snowshoer, whether it is your first time out, or your forty first. Up hill, across lakes, thru hardwood and pine forests, anywhere your heart desires. Snowshoeing allows you to experience the inner quiet of the forest where the ATV's, and snowmobiles don't venture.

 

Adirondacks, New York, Resource Guides


Snowshoe Techniques

Climbing

To ascend a slope, kick the front of your snowshoe into the snow and press down to compact it into a step. Make sure that each new step is sufficiently above the last one to avoid collapse.

Descending

Try to keep your knees bent slightly, lean back, and keep your weight on your heels in order to maintain control. Heel cleats are the key to an easy descent. Keep your knees slightly bent, lean back, and keep your weight on the heel cleats to maintain control.

Edging

For traversing a slope, kick the side of the shoe into the hillside. Swing the boot heel hard towards the uphill slope, then stomp down securing the snowshoe edge in the slope. The best way to traverse a slope. Kick the side of the snowshoe into the hillside, engaging the cleats. Swing your heel hard towards the uphill slope, then stomp down, securing the snowshoe edge in the slope. Poles are also helpful.

Breaking Trail

:When snowshoeing in a group, walk in a single line behind the leader who's breaking the trail. When it's your turn to lead, take consistent, even steps that are easy for everyone to follow.


Trails & Ski - Snowshoe Centers



Paul Smiths & Newcomb Adirondack Visitors Center
s
16 km groomed, some backcountry
Trail fees: Yes
website:humber.northnet.org/adirondackvic/
Tel: 518-327-3000
Nearest town: Paul Smiths, NY
Equipment rentals: No
Ski lessons: No
Other winter activities: Snowshoeing, walking on plowed trails
Facilities: Visitor center
Lodging on site: No
Lodging nearby: Saranac Lake
Location of trails: About 12 miles north of Saranac Lake



The Bark Eater Inn and Stables
P.O. Box 139 Alstead Hill Road, Keene, NY 12942
Phone: 518-576-2221 Fax 518-576-2071
Email: info@barkeater.com Originally a stagecoach stopover, The Bark Eater has been in operation since the early 1800's. The atmosphere still reflects these early times. The farmhouse, with its wide board floors, stone fireplaces, and rooms filled with antiques compliments its natural setting. Famous for its food, the inn's style is refreshing country gourmet. Included with the room is a hearty country breakfast hosted by Joe Pete Wilson, a former Olympic and World Competitor. Our stables offer horseback riding year round, and groomed cross country trails in the winter. Nestled in the heart of the Adirondacks and only minutes from Lake Placid's Olympic Region. The Bark Eater is a place to relax and enjoy your vacation.

Trails: 20 km groomed at the eastern end of the Jackrabbit TrailTrail fees: Yes
Tel: 518-576-2221
Nearest town: Keene, NY
Web site: www.barkeater.com
Equipment rentals: Yes
Ski lessons: Yes
Other winter activities: Skating, snowshoeing, telemark
Facilities: Day lodge, waxing room
Lodging on site: 19 rooms in a 150-year-old farmhouse
Lodging nearby: Keene and Lake Placid
Location of trails: About 1 mile west of Keene.

Lake Placid Resort/Holiday Inn -
1 Olympic Drive
Lake Placid, NY
518-523-2556 or 800-874-1980
Center of the village, overlooking lake. All rooms have a coffee maker and refrigerator. Rooms and suites with Jacuzzis, fireplaces. Ten tennis courts. Private beach, our forty-five holes of championship golf. Boat tours and golf packages. Laundry facilities. Children under 19 free.
Lake Placid Resort
Trails: 10 km groomed on golf course
Trail fees: Yes
website:www.lakeplacidresort.com
Tel: 518-523-2556
Equipment rentals: No
Ski lessons: No
Facilities: Restaurant, bar
Lodging on site: 200 rooms in Holiday Inn, 1-800-874-1980
Lodging nearby: Lake Placid
Location of trails: On east side of Lake Placid

The Ausable Chasm
PO Box 390 Ausable Chasm, New York Phone: (518)834-7454 Toll Free: 1-800-537-1211 Toll Free (Camping): 1-866-RV-CHASM(1-866-782-4276) Fax: (518)834-1104 (Summer) Fax: (518)834-9990 (Winter)
email: ausable@westelcom.com
Step back in time as you walk the nature trail through primeval Adirondack Forest. Stroll past Rainbow Falls, Elephant Head, Column Rock, Hyde's Cave and the eerie quiet of Mystic Gorge. Decend hundreds of feeet on natural stone walkways and gaze upon centuries of geologic history etched in stone. Board a raft and float the crystal waters of the Ausable Chasm River through a maze of breath taking rock formations sculpted across eons by the river's currents

Ausable Chasm Trails
Trails: 14 km groomed
Trail fees: Yes
Tel: 518-834-9990
Nearest town: Ausable Chasm, NY
Web site: ausablechasm.com
Equipment rentals: No
Ski lessons: No
Other winter activities:
Lodging on site: Motel
Lodging nearby: Plattsburgh
Location of trails: About 12 miles south of Plattsburg


Jackrabbit Trail
Located between Saranac lake and Lake Placid - 4 miles
Trails: Six cross-country ski areas in the Lake Placid area are connected by the 55-km Jackrabbit Trail. The ungroomed trail runs from Dewey Mountain in Saranac Lake through Lake Placid to the Bark Eater in Keene. It is not groomed except where it crosses the ski areas
Trail fees: Yes
Tel: Lake Placid Visitors Bureau 1-800-447-5224
Nearest town: Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Keene
Equipment rentals: In Lake Placid



Whiteface Club
20 km groomed. The center is on the Jackrabbit Trail
Trail fees: Yes
website:
Tel: 518-523-2551
Nearest town: Lake Placid, NY
Equipment rentals: Yes
Ski lessons: Yes
Other winter activities: Snowshoeing, sliding, walking
Facilities: Day lodge, restaurant, bar
Lodging on site: Rooms, condos and cabins, 1-800-422-6757
Lodging nearby: Lake Placid
Location of trails: On the west side of town


Cascade Cross Country Center

Trails: 20 km groomed, connects with the Olympic Center. Backcountry trails on the Jackrabbit Trail
Tel: 518-523-9605
website:
Nearest town: Lake Placid, NY
Equipment rentals: Yes
Ski lessons: Yes
Other winter activities:
Facilities: Day lodge, restaurant, bar
Lodging on site: Dormitory
Lodging nearby: Lake Placid
Location of trails: About 5 miles southeast of Lake Placid


Olympic Sports Complex at Mt. Van Hoevenberg

Trails: 50 km groomed
Trail fees: Yes
website:
Tel: 518-523-2811, 800-4626236
Weather report: for Lake Placid
Nearest town: Lake Placid, NY
Web site: Mount Van Hoevenberg
Equipment rentals: Yes
Ski lessons: Yes
Other winter activities: Biathlon, snowshoeing
Facilities: Day lodge, waxing room, cafeteria
Lodging on site: No
Lodging nearby: Lake Placid
Location of trails: About 7 miles southeast of Lake Placid



Adirondack Loj
Trails: Backcountry trails, mainly of an advanced level
Trail fees: No
website:
Tel: 518-523-3441
Nearest town: Lake Placid, NY
Web site: Adirondack Mtn Club
Equipment rentals: No
Ski lessons: No
Other winter activities: Skating, snowshoeing
Lodging on site: Rooms and dorms in lodge and backcountry huts
Lodging nearby: Lake Placid
Location of trails: About 10 southeasst of Lake Placid



Adirondack Woodcraft Camp

Trails: 12 km groomed
Trail fees: Yes
Web site:
Tel: 315-369-6031
Nearest town: Old Forge, NY
Equipment rentals: No
Ski lessons: No
Facilities: Day lodge
Lodging on site: 6 cabins
Location of trails: About 5 miless north of Old Forge


McCauley Mountain Ski Area

Trails: 22 km groomed
Trail fees: Yes
Web site:
Tel: 315-369-3225
Nearest town: Old Forge, NY
Equipment rentals: Yes, call ahead
Ski lessons: Yes
Other winter activities: Alpine skiing
Facilities: Day lodge, restaurant
Location of trails: About 3 miles south of Old Forge


Fern Park Recreation Area

Trails: 22 km groomed
Trail fees: Yes
Web site:
Tel: 315-357-5501
Nearest town: Inlet, NY
Equipment rentals: No
Ski lessons: No
Other winter activities: Skating, snowshoeing
Facilities: Outhouse toilet, warming shelter
Lodging on site: No
Location of trails: Just south of the town of Inlet

Garnet Hill Lodge

Trails: 54 km groomed, 2 km lighted trail, some backcountry, shuttle service
Trail fees: Yes
Web site:
Tel: 518-251-2444
Snow report: 518-251-2821 (tape)
Nearest town: North River, NY
Equipment rentals: Yes
Ski lessons: Yes
Other winter activities: Snowshoeing, sliding, telemarking
Facilities: Day lodge, waxing room, cafeteria, bar, warming huts
Lodging on site: 16 rooms in the log lodge, 10 rooms in three other buildings
Lodging nearby: North River
Location of trails: About 5 miles north of North River.

Cunningham's Ski Barn

Trail fees: Yes
Tel: 518-251-3215, 800-888-7230
Nearest town: North Creek, NY
Web site:
Trail map: Available at the center and online
Equipment rentals: Yes
Ski lessons: Yes
Other winter activities: Skating
Facilities: Day lodge, snack bar
Location of trails: In North Creek

Friends Lake Inn

Trails: 32 km groomed for skating and classic, some backcountry
Trail fees: Yes
Web site:
Tel: 518-494-4751
Nearest town: Chestertown, NY
Trail map: Available at the ski center, or online (80 kB)
Equipment rentals: Yes
Ski lessons: Yes
Other winter activities: Snowshoeing
Facilities: Day lodge, cafeteria, restaurant, bar, ski shop
Lodging on site: 17 luxurious rooms
Lodging nearby: Chestertown
Location of trails: Exit 25 off I-87, then 3.5 miles west.

Caroline Fish Memorial Trail

Trails: 11 km groomed
Trail fees: Yes
Tel: Chestertown 518-494-2722
Nearest town: North Warren CoC, NY
Equipment rentals: No
Ski lessons: No
Map of local region: North Creek Area

Glens Falls International

Trails: 10 km groomed by volunteers, 5 km are lighted for night skiing
Trail fees: No charge
Web site:
Tel: Inside Edge Ski Store, Queensbury 518-793-5676
Nearest town: Glen Falls, NY
Equipment rentals: Available at Inside Edge Ski Store
Ski lessons: No
Facilities: No
Location of trails: At Crandall Park in Glen Falls

Lapland Lake

Trails: 38 km groomed for classic and skating. A 4 km trail is lighted for night skiing. The center is operated by a former Olympic skier.
Trail fees: Yes
Web site:
Tel: 518-863-4974
Snow report: 1-800-453-SNOW (tape), AMI ski report
Nearest town: Northville, NY
Trail map: Available at the center and online
Equipment rentals: Yes, including snowshoes, skates and tubes
Ski lessons: Yes
Other winter activities: Skating, sleigh rides, sliding, snowshoeing
Facilities: Day lodge, waxing room, restaurant, snack bar, bar, ski shop, sauna
Lodging on site: 30 Finnish tupas (cabins)
Lodging nearby: Northville
Location of trails: About 3 miles north of Northville, turn left and go 5 miles

Tree Haven Trails

Trails: 43 km groomed
Trail fees: Yes
Web site:
Tel: 518-882-9455
Nearest town: Hagaman, NY
Equipment rentals: No
Ski lessons: No

Saratoga Spa State Park

Trails: 25 km groomed
Trail fees: Yes
Web site:
Tel: 518-584-3116
Snow report:
Nearest town: Saratoga Springs, NY
Equipment rentals: No
Ski lessons: No

Pineridge Cross Country Ski Area

Trails: 35 km groomed with some skating trails
Trail fees: Yes
Tel: 518-283-3652
Nearest town: East Poestenkill, NY
Web site:
Equipment rentals: Ski and snowshoe
Ski lessons: Yes
Other winter activities: Snowshoeing
Facilities: Day lodge, cafeteria
Lodging on site: No
Lodging nearby: Troy has
Location of trails: About 10 miles east of Troy to Poestenkill, then 6 miles east of Postenkill on County Road 40 (Plank Road). See directions on their site.

Oak Hill Farms

Trails: 30 km groomed, mainly single-track, ranging from easy to difficult
Trail fees: Yes
Tel: 518-875-6700
Snow report: 518-875-6700
Nearest town: Esperance, NY
Web site:
Trail map: Available at the center
Equipment rentals: Yes, call to reserve
Ski lessons: Yes
Other winter activities:
Facilities: Day lodge and snack bar
Lodging on site: No
Location of trails: From I88 exit 23 take rte 7 east 4 miles. Take rte 30 north 0.6 miles and take a right on Oak Hill Road. Go 1 mile to Oak Hill Farms.
Map of local region: Postenkill Area

 




WINTER SURVIVAL ITEMS:

MULTI PURPOSE TOOL
Such as a swiss army knife or a Leatherman tool. You will need this to fix broken equipment, cut branches for a shelter, cut wood for a fire. This item will always be used and if you don't have at least a knife you might not make it.


STEEL WIRE
You will need this to suspend firewood in the air to have a fire to keep you warm. If the snow is deep you cannot make a fire directly on the snow. Bring at least 10 ft (or 3 meters) of wire, preferably stainless but regular will do fine too. If you are snowshoeing in an area that never has very deep snow you can skip this item.
Make a screen with the wire and make sure it's anchored well on the snow or to nearby vegetation or rocks and make you fire on top of it.


DUCT TAPE
Perfect for fixing a broken snowshoe or to fix supports around a broken leg. Even if you don't break your legs or your snowshoes duct tape will still come in handy for fixing pretty much anything.


RICE
Perfect emergency food. Very light weight and full of energy. In an emergency you just need lots of energy, don't worry so much about vitamins. Bring about 3 cups of rice per person per day you think you will spend in worst case.

SMALL COOKING POT WITH LID
To boil water to keep you warm and to cook rice to eat. If your pot has a lid it will heat water more efficiently.

WOOD POWERED CAMP STOVE
You need to bring a stove, no question about it, your best source of heat will be drinking plenty of hot water and you need a stove to boil all that water, without a stove you're dead for sure. What ever you do, don't bring a propane stove or any type of stove that runs on gas or liquid fuel. Gas and liquid stoves work fast and efficiently but they have a number of problems that only show up in cold temperatures, propane stoves sometimes simply don't ignite if it gets too cold, they also have moving parts and complex nozzles that can get jammed or clogged by ice. Relying on a propane or liquid fuel stove in the winter is suicide. You need a very simple wood stove with absolutely no moving parts such as the Trailstove (click for website). These types of stoves are slower to cook on than propane stoves but they ALWAYS work.

LIGHTERS AND MATCHES
Bring plenty of lighters and matches. Lighters are very small and light so bringing extra ones in case one doesn't work is a very good idea. Without means to make fire you will freeze to death. You can try to make fire like a caveman by spinning a stick against a piece of wood but that is a skill that takes practice to learn and if you don't already have that skill you'll freeze to death before you have it figured out.

Hazards of Cold Weather Exposure
Frostbite, snow blindness and hypothermia

Precautions
Wrinkle face to stop stiff patches forming, pulling muscles in every direction. Exercise hands.
Watch yourself and others for patches of waxy, reddening or blackened skin, especially faces, ears and hands.
AVOID tight clothing which will reduce circulation.
Never go out without adequate clothing - however briefly. Avoid gettig clothing wet, through sweat or water. Dry it as soon as possible if this happens.
Knock snow off before entering shelter, or leave outer clothing at entrance. Snow will melt in warmth giving you more clothing to dry.
Wear gloves and keep them dry. NEVER touch metal with bare hands.
AVOID spilling gasoline on bare flesh. In sub-zero temperatures it will freeze almost at once and does even more damage than water because of its low melting point.
Be especially careful if you have been working hard and are fatigued. If you are sick - rest.



"Shoeing Away Winter"
by Welles Lobb

"Running on snowshoes is the best form of cross-training." - Tom Sobal, America's top snowshoe runner

Maybe it's an association thing: You know, snow, ice, cold, and darkness somehow adds up to ... bah! Or snow in the streets, slippery footing, windchill factors ... humbug! Whatever the scenario, winter and runners have always had trouble getting along.

To be sure, there are fringe folks in our ranks who turn absolutely animal when everything freezes over. But for most of us, once the 10 minutes of exhilaration of running in the first inch of snow of the season pass and drudgery sets in, all we think about is Arizona, Florida, or Tahiti.

... "Solutions" to the snow problem have included: sit it out on the sofa until spring; run megalaps on pint-sized indoor tracks; pack up and head for the tropics; run on a treadmill until your feet are raw; get Nordic, freeze your nostril hairs, and cross-country ski; or say, screw it, I'm running outside no matter what.

And while all of these tactics have their strong points and their swear-by-it devotees, none is necessarily a panacea for snowbound runners. Face it: As runners, we are happy when we can run, ornery when we cannot. We can watch bowl games A to Z, pound the treadmill until the motor quits, or ski hundreds of kilometers in the forest until the thaw, but many of us won't find real fulfillment in winter training until we snowshoe.

A Joy and Wonder

Yep, you heard right. Snowshoe. Today's high-performance "sport" snowshoes are light, stable, and comfortable - and popular with runners. You can run or walk in them, even compete in snowshoe 10Ks and marathons in some parts of the country.

"You have the freedom to go wherever you want, up and down any slope, at whatever pace you choose," write Sally Edwards and Melissa McKenzie in their book Snowshoeing (Human Kinetics, 1995). "For most runners, snowshoe running will be an absolute joy and wonder."

Best places to snowshoe

New York's Adirondack State Park. With 6 million acres, Adirondack is the largest state park in the continental United States. Write: Department of Environmental Conservation, 50 Wolf Rd., Room 412, Albany, NY 12233-4255; or phone (518) 457-7433.

These excerpts have been reprinted by permission of the Road Runners Club of America. The complete article originally appeared in FootNotes, the RRCA's quarterly publication. For more information about an RRCA club in your area, contact the RRCA national office at 703-836-0558.

 


 

 

 

 



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