Where to start for outdoor activities?
This past summer I moved to the Adirondacks, so this is my first winter in the Tupper Lake Region! I was warned by friends from the area that I might want to consider taking up a few outdoor activities during the winter. The cold-weather season can last for a long time, with lots of wonderful snow and low temperatures, and there's no reason to stay inside the whole time.
Last winter at this time I was in New Hampshire, and although I purchased snowshoes, I only used them once as it was a slushy year. Although it was only one outing, I had a great time. I can't wait to do it again! Also, I have never skied -- alpine or cross-country -- so I am eager to learn! So, this year I'm going to grab my partner and find as many places as possible to go snowshoeing, and some places to learn to ski as well.
I consider myself a fairly active person. I love to hike, swim, and dance, and I do aerobics and yoga. Even though I am active I feel it may be best to take on these new outdoor activities gradually. I plan to start off with short trails and work my way to larger trails by the end of the season.
In searching the Tupper Lake website I found a few snowshoeing trails that are great for all abilities from beginner to advanced. As with all Adirondack adventures, I'll need to remember is to sign in and out of the trail register and tell family or friends where I am headed and when I am finished.
The Fernow Plantation Loop
The one that stood out for me to try first is the Fernow Plantation Loop. It's described as a great family-friendly snowshoeing loop that should only take about an hour. It is a 1.1 mile loop -- a perfect distance for the first time out this winter season. If I find that I still have energy, I could simply do the same loop again.
Continuing my search for trails I came across the Moore Trail. At about 2 to 2.5 hours, the trail is near the Oswegatchie riverside in Wanakena, NY. This trail brings you to a boat launch, after which you turn around and head back to your car. After the first short 1-hour trek, this trail will definitely get my stamina up for the next few that I have in mind.
St. Regis Mountain
The next trail I'd consider is St. Regis Mountain. This trail is about 4 to 5 hours and comes in at a distance of 6.8 miles. Some information that I found said that you walk for a short distance to the foot trail, then put your snowshoes on. This trail intrigued me - especially after hearing friends describe the amazing views from the top and the placement of an old fire tower.
As winter continues, I'm hoping I will be able to concur the Mount Emmons. This trail is not for beginners and is not recommended for kids. It is expected to take 10+ hours! That is amazing. If I can snowshoe Mount Emmons by the end of the winter season I will have accomplished a big goal!
Now for cross-country skiing -- this I am going to have to try out before I invest in skis. I don't know much about the sport but I do know that well-fitted equipment is important. Luckily we have great shops and professional guides in the area that can help out!
Tupper Lake Groomed XC Ski Center
The first spot I thought about trying out was the Tupper Lake Groomed XC Ski Center located on Country Club Road. The Tupper Lake Golf Course is transformed during the winter to accommodate cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The trails are free and dog friendly -- an added bonus since I have a boxer who loves the snow, she'll be thrilled!
Grass Pond Cross-Country Ski Trail
Another trail to consider is the Grass Pond Cross Country Ski Trail, just outside of Malone, NY. This 2.6 mile trail should take about about 2.5 to 3 hours. It will take a short drive, and the info says it can be tricky to find the trail the first time out, but it's popular, so the evidence of use should make it a bit easier to find. I like challenges, so I am up for this trail.
Skiing with the Stars
Recently I found out about a really interesting activity -- skiing at night! During select dark winter nights, usually during a new moon, you can experience a unique event as the Adirondack Public Observatory (APO) teams up with the trail crew at the Tupper Lake Groomed Cross-Country Ski Center for a night of stargazing on the trails. On the trail to Cranberry Pond telescopes are set up for free stargazing. Hopefully I will have an opportunity to try Skiing with the Stars this winter. Be sure to keep your eyes on the events calendar for more information on when the this season's events will be hosted. Maybe I will see you there!
Come to Tupper Lake and Enjoy the Outdoor Winter Activities
Consider trying a new outdoor winter activity this year -- or brush up on an old favorite -- there are so many great options to discover in the Tupper Lake area. Be sure to explore our many delicious restaurants and cozy lodging options during your next Adirondack vacation.