Lower Dam/Big Trout Lake
Remote cross-country skiing at its finest is what you'll find here!
By the numbers
- Gain 30 feet to lake
- Distance Round Trip: 3 Miles for Lows Lower Dam 6 miles for Big Trout Lake Trailhead
From the intersection of Route 30 and Route 3 in Tupper Lake, follow Route 30 toward Long Lake. Continue for 9.1 miles to Route 421 on your right. Turn down 421 and continue for 4.9 miles to the winter parking area. This is a snowmobile staging area, please park out of the way.
Additional important Information: Route 421 is not plowed past a certain point and is designated a snowmobile trail. Vehicles are prohibited past this point. Lows Lower Dam also makes for a great destination location if the trip wanted to be shorter. This is a snowmobile trail so please use caution and yield to the snowmobilers.
Skiing over a frozen body of water is a cross-country skiing past time; it can access you to areas not seen by most in the summer. With that being said it is a dangerous activity to cross frozen water bodies and should be done with care and respect for your environment. Know the ice conditions and be prepared for anything including heavy winds, snow drifts, whiteouts, slushy conditions, and thin ice.
Once you arrive at the parking area, which is also considered a snowmobile staging area, you can start your ski. The entire route follows a snowmobile trail, but only certain areas get the heavy traffic, so the conditions can be a bit mixed.
Along the snowmobile trail expect hard packed condition and in some cases may be a bit icy. The road is very flat as it passes along Horseshoe Lake and quickly comes to the side road that leads to Lows Lower Dam. This section of road is ever so slightly downhill, not so much that you can get gain any speed, but the kick and glide is nice. You will be slightly lower than where you started. This is a good spot to turn around if you find that you have had enough, the trail gets a bit more aggressive as you continue on. The views out over the Bog River are very nice.
To get to Big Trout Lake you need to cross over the dam and gain the trail on the opposite side. The trail now is much narrower, even for a snowmobile trail. The trail remains moderate for a while but soon starts to climb to a ridgeline for an unnamed small hill to your left. Once on the ridge you will have a short distance on moderate before a modest hill is in front of you. The hill starts out fairly gentle but gets slightly steeper as you approach the shore of Big Trout Lake. The view out over the lake is very nice.