Back on 2/21/15, Leesa and I did an XC ski trip in the Essex Chain Lakes Tract where we did a loop ski of Fifth Lake through Eighth Lake. At that time, we did not know about the new Upper Hudson Ski Loop, which starts practically in sight distance from where we started on 2/21.
After learning about the new loop I added it to my list of places to visit. Today turned out to be the day. My son Zack had the day off from work, so he and his dog Lulu joined me. Zack was on snowshoes and I chose to ski. Zack recently got Lulu and this was going to be her maiden hike.
|View of Chain Lakes Road from the start of the trail. The Goodnow Lake outlet is under the truss bridge.|
We started from the designated parking area at around 10:15. It was 28 degrees and warming up, so I put some glide wax on my skis.
|A designated ski trail!|
At 0.85 miles we passed a small vly. At 1.25 miles we came to the biggest hill on the counter-closckwise loop and it was not difficult. I went first so I wouldn't run over Lulu with my skis.
|A vly offshoot from the Goodnow River|
At the bottom of the small hill, we entered some pines and soon found ourselves alongside the Goodnow River. We took a short detour off the trail to get a better look at the river.
|The Goodnow River|
|A better look at the Goodnow River|
At 2.4 miles, we could see the Hudson River on our right. I wanted to get a look so we left the trail to go the short distance to the water's edge. We had gotten quite warm by this point, but there was a nice breeze flowing down by the river and it felt nice. (Spring must be coming if a breeze feel nice!).
|Our 1st look at the Hudson River|
|Looking south along the Hudson|
|Zack and Lulu|
After the Hudson River we returned to the trail and followed it as it climbed away from the water. At 3.3 miles, the trail intersects with another logging road the the marked trail goes left. If you go right, the logging road descends 0.1 miles to a small bridge over a creek. We went to this point, but then turned around and returned to the trail which continued to climb and began to turn in an easterly direction to close the loop.
|The trail turns left. A foot bridge over a creek is 0.1 miles to the right|
Prior to closing the loop we reached the height of land along the trail and then began a gentle descent which returned us to the head of the loop. It was now 35 degrees as we finished off the last 0.65 miles back to the car. The snow had been a little sticky and it made the uphill sections easy to climb and I managed to kick the snow off to glide relatively well on the downhill sections. This trail can be done by someone that is a high beginner or low intermediate level skier. There is nothing too difficult under good snow conditions. Best of all for us, Lulu did great on her first hike!
Ski Distance (including side trips): 5 miles
Ski Time: 2 hours at snowshoe pace
Total Vertical Gain: ~700'
|The Route (click image to enlarge) Spurs off the loop are not marked portions of the trail|
After having lunch with Zack and his fiancee' Hannah, I went back to Newcomb to ski a few runs on the Newcomb town ski hill. It was untracked with fresh powder on top and I couldn't resist taking 3 runs down. The hill is just 0.5 miles south of Route 28N. The T bar was not running but I was able to easily herringbone up the hill.
|The Newcomb town ski hill|
|My first track is visible on the hill|
|Looking down from the top|
|Santanoni Peak, Henderson Mountain and the MacIntyre Range can be seen from the top of the hill|
I also skied up the access road behind the top of the ski hill to the top of the hill behind. From there I skied back down to the ski hill and out.
|The structure on the hill up behind the ski hill|
|Dedication sign at the ski hill|
|Location of the Newcomb Ski Hill|