The snowstorm that was supposed to hit the north country did not make it to the Lake George area, at least by this morning; we had nothing but rain. Fortunately, areas north and west did get some snow. I left the house this morning with my dog Rev to go in search of a good area to cross country ski.
First I traveled to Blue Mountain Lake thinking I'd do a piece of the Northville-Placid Trail. Unfortunately, when I got there, I found only about 6 inches of snow and that was not enough to had out into the woods. I drove north to Long Lake and found the same problem. I continued north to Tupper Lake and still there was only 7" on the ground. Apparently the 12-18" forecast for Hamilton County was wrong.
Since skiing in the woods wasn't going to work out, I called my son and planned to meet him for lunch in Tupper Lake. He suggested I try skiing over at the Tupper Lake Golf Course before lunch, so I headed over there to check it out.
When I arrived, only 1 car was there. A woman and her dog were just getting back to her car after a doing a ski loop. It turns out she is a Kindergarten teacher and schools were closed today so she had a chance to get out in the snow with her dog. My dog Rev played with her dog for 5 minutes while we talked and then we hit the trails.
The Golf Course provides lots of open terrain, but their are also jeep trails on the property that go through the woods. When I arrived, a person affiliated with the golf course had just gone around all the trails with a snowmobile to provide a skiable track.
|Information at one of the trail junctions|
It was a little windy out in the open, so I followed the snowmobile track off into the woods. This ended up taking me to Cranberry Pond (called Tupper Lake Reservoir on the topo map). As I got partway around, I saw the trail map indicating where I was and where the trail loops go.
|Here is a good map showing the trail loop options|
There was about 7 inches of snow on the ground and it was enough for the golf course and the jeep roads. The snow was a little moist so my glide wasn't very fast but that was OK. I had my backcountry skis with me anyway, so speed wasn't going to happen. At one point I most have gone through an area that was a little too wet and snow got stuck to the bottom of my skis. I had forgotten to bring a scraper, so I cleaned the skis as best I could with my ski poles.
|Cranberry Pond on the right|
I didn't stay too long to ski, since I now had a plan to meet my son for lunch. Rev and I got to do one of the loops plus part of the golf course.
This is a nice area to go for a ski; especially if snow cover is not significant. I imagine lots of people take advantage of coming here to get a couple hours of exercise.
Below are a few pictures from the loop.
|Par of Big Tupper downhill ski area in the distance|
|Heading back to the car on the golf course|
After my lunch in Tupper Lake, I headed towards Lake Placid to go home. Soon I found out where all the snow landed! Saranac Lake and Lake Placid got hammered with over a foot of new snow. It looked quite different than Tupper Lake with only 7". Then as I turned south and passed through Keene, the snow depth dropped off again. Keene had perhaps 8-10".
I had intended to ski a portion of the Jackrabbit Trail while passing though Lake Placid, but the snow was beginning to pick up again. I decided I had better get home so I didn't have to fight my way home on snowy roads. I had to go about 35 mph on Route 73 and 45 mph on I87 as it was.
In the end, I drove most of the day and only skied for an hour and a half. At least I got ot have lunch with my son. I've got tomorrow off also, so I'll try to come up with a better plan and less driving.
If you are in the Tupper Lake area, be sure to check this area out. Access is easy. They plow the road and parking lot very well and there is a nice choice of terrain to chose from for skiing.
Ski Distance: 2.8 miles
Ski Time: 1 hour
|The route shown on a satellite map. You can see where the golf course is.|
|Topo map with the route shown|