By guest blogger Elisabeth Marchbanks
The epitome of a winter workout
One of the greatest investments I ever made was about two years ago on a pair of used cross-country skis and ski boots. I had never cross-country skied prior to this purchase and truly had little desire to pick up the sport, but my boyfriend talked me into it. He explained that it's an excellent aerobic workout and that the movement exercises multiple muscle groups of the body, making it possible to ski for extensive durations without over-stressing a particular muscle group.
Not only is skiing an activity the two of us could enjoy on the many trails throughout the Adirondacks, it is more than ideal for our dogs during the winter months. Sometimes I forget that our pups love to explore the many desirable trails throughout the Adirondacks just as much, if not more, than we do. We have skied the trails of Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, but recently our favorite area to make tracks is right in Tupper Lake.
From freshly groomed to breaking trail
I've found that Tupper Lake has outdone itself when it comes to providing freshly groomed trails for their community to use and enjoy, and they're free to use and dog friendly! The James C. Frenette Sr. Recreational Trails at Tupper Lake Golf Course is a trail system with loops ideal for beginner, moderate, and intermediate skiers.
As much as we love groomed trails, on this adventure we decided to try something different -- the Deer Pond Trails. We wanted the challenge of breaking trail while enjoying the solitude and tranquility that results from being off of the beaten path. The dogs were able to go with us and we were able to take it all in; the light white flakes falling above us, the fresh powder like endless clouds under our skis, and the pine trees blanketed in snow that surrounded us from every angle. There are many moments that make me incredibly grateful for this simple yet magnificent life that I live, and this moment was definitely one of them.
Take the pups, too
We started off strong, as we usually do, but then decided to take a small break about a mile in. Our German shepherds, Zoey and Ayla, seemed to have tired themselves out from all of the fresh smells and their explorations off of the path and into the woods. I also think they know by now that every one of our cross-country skiing adventures includes multiple stops for bacon flavored treats. I assumed this pit stop was a combination of both their hunger and exhaustion.
After our break we continued skiing for about another mile or so, every glide feeling more rewarding than the last. I have never been one to truly enjoy a workout, but I just can't resist how great I feel when doing something I love that's also so beneficial for my health.
Tupper for supper
What would a fun filled day of cross-country skiing be if it didn't end with local beers and a homemade meal? We decided to drop off the dogs and let them get a nap in while we headed out to one of our favorite Italian spots, Little Italy. It's always difficult for us to choose where to eat in Tupper Lake because we have had so many great experiences at each of their local restaurants. However, it's hard for me to pass up a pasta dinner that tastes quite similar to my grandmas! Some of our favorite local beer is from Raquette River Brewing, especially their IPA. Little Italy has many of their beers on tap to choose from, plus much more. Of course when ordering, Mac went for the 22 ounce, and well, I wasn't going to complain.
The Tupper Lake ski trails did not disappoint. It's actually very impressive how prepared the town is for the numerous outdoor activities we can participate in during the winter months. Some days we choose to meet friends along the popular groomed trails, and others, we escape into the middle of the woods. Today called for solitude, but who knows what tomorrow will hold.
Head east on Route 30 from downtown Tupper Lake, toward Saranac Lake, and turn left at the intersection of Route 30 and 3 to stay on Route 30. Continue for just over 5 miles to the trailhead on the left.
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