Great March skiing in Lake Clear!

A whole winter world to explore

Alan Belford

From frustration to elation

A few weeks ago, the ground outside my window was brown, muddy, and rather ugly; my skis were suffering from neglect, and my friend was emailing me to express his frustration with what had been a troubling winter for anyone interested in enjoying the snowy outdoors. But all of that has changed.

Our temperatures dropped to seasonable levels. Our skies clouded with snow day after snow day, and the piles of white powder have been building ever since. Ski centers like the Tupper Lake Groomed X-C Ski Trails have been singing songs of joy. It has been a beautiful thing.

Wren eyes a hill along the Fish Pond Trail.
Wren eyes a hill along the Fish Pond Trail.

On the ski trail

I’ve been out on skis as often as possible since the snow began to build up. And Wren has been loving digging in the snow in the front yard, and trotting around everywhere with one of her favorite tennis balls. We’ve also been heading out together – often to the trails in Lake Clear which begin along Fish Hatchery Road. After all, even in lean times there is often snow in Lake Clear.

When the snow first began to fall we headed to Lake Clear and there was just enough coverage for a nice ski. As usual we took the trail which loops Little Green Pond and then headed out for a stint on the Fish Pond Trail, eventually turning back.

The spring skiing temperatures had brought out plenty of snow fleas which peppered the white ground, and I paused now and then to take photos of Wren in the snow and to listen to Pine Siskins call from overhead. I’ve also been hearing Red Crossbills on the Lake Clear trails throughout the winter. And on this trip Wren also met a little girl who shares her name!

Pine Siskins have been everywhere this winter. Image courtesy of
Pine Siskins have been everywhere this winter. Image courtesy of

The snow kept coming each day, I kept shoveling, and we kept skiing. A few days later we were back for a similar experience. On this occasion, it was clear that many other folks had the same idea – they too were out with their dogs and kids, and Wren met a number of friendly pooches.

More snow and more skiing

Then came even more snow and we returned again to the trails – on each visit the snow on the trees seemed to pile up even more as we set out into a quintessential winter wonderland. And this time the glide felt good on my skis — the previous time had been a bit sticky. Once again we skirted Little Green Pond and Bone Pond, and we began to wind out along the trail to Fish Pond. But we soon found that our recent snow hadn’t yet been kicked in along Fish Pond Trail, so I began to push through the top layer while Wren stayed on my ski tails, allowing me to do most of the work. She’s smart like that.

But the trail conditions were perfect and I found I was enjoying working hard. We both paused here and there for a short break while enjoying a snow snack. Perhaps it is the kid in each of us, but both Wren and I like eating snow!

Wren wades off trail into the snow - often her technique for scooping up and eating snow!
Wren wades off trail into the snow - often her technique for scooping up and eating snow!

We continued on toward the bottom of the big hill which dominates a good portion of the Fish Pond Trail. But I could see that the soft snow was starting to tire Wren out, and I didn’t want to have her racing me down the hill and completely wearing herself out or possibly getting injured. The hill is fun for me but she has to work hard to run down it in deep snow. So having kicked in the track that far, we turned and retraced our steps back out. Once again we paused for photos, Pine Siskins, and snow cones before reaching the car. It was time for a good dinner and we had earned it. After all, eating snow only satisfies you so much.

While some folks are looking forward to spring, winter is still well in place right now in the Adirondacks. Take a spring break ski trip and explore the woods, trails, and powder! Check out our lodging and dining pages to help round out your adventure.


This week's ADK stories:

Snowshoe quest: tallest tree in the ADK

Waterfalls and whitewater

Schroon Lake for a break

Libby’s: get a shot of local cuisine

John Brown Farm: walk through history

Snowshoe hikes: which ADK animal are you?

Where to drop a line