This story was written in 2018 and updated with new information, details, and photos in 2024.

Discover the James C. Frenette Recreational Trails

Recent gorgeous weather, including beautiful bluebird days, has made me so excited for cross-country ski season! From the moment the first snowflakes fell at the end of last fall, I started thinking about digging out my cross-country skis, trying to find my boots, and making sure everything was tuned up for the season. Although it takes much more snow than just a few flakes to have a base and be able to groom our trail system, it was time to start getting ready. 

Bring your skis to Tupper Lake this winter, and discover the James C. Frenette Sr. Recreational Trails, our groomed trail system at the Tupper Lake Golf Club. There is a variety of trails from beginner to expert, something for every member of the family in the middle of gorgeous scenery. You don't have to be a skier to have fun here; the trails are also open to snowshoers and fat tire bikers.

Welcome to cross-country skiing heaven.
Welcome to cross-country skiing heaven.

Beginner trail

If you aren’t super familiar with cross-country skiing, the groomed trail system is the best way to become more comfortable. The Golf Course Loop is a great trail for beginners. It is 1.5 miles of mostly flat terrain. There are a couple of easy and gentle hills, but eventually you need to learn how to tackle them anyway! This trail brings you around some of the upper 9 of the golf course. You will ski down hole #9 and up to hole #4. The trail is the perfect length — it doesn't take too much time out of your day, but you still get a good ski in! 

Cranberry Pond with Big Tupper in the distance.
Cranberry Pond with Big Tupper in the distance.

Trail with a view

The Cranberry Pond Loop is a 0.9-mile ski with great views. Along the way you'll go past Cranberry Pond. Stop here for a great picture, you'll have views of the frozen pond and of Big Tupper Ski Area in the distance. It is one of the best views on this trail network. This trail is fairly easy to ski, with a few gentle, rolling hills. There is an option to make it a longer, more challenging ski by connecting to the Little Logger Trail, which adds another 1.3 miles of skiing along terrain that's a bit more difficult.

A family cross-country skis past a snowy, frozen lake and mountains

Test your skills

Hull’s Brook is a trail that stems off of the beginning of the Golf Course Loop and heads into the woods. Hull’s Brook is known as an expert trail because of the abundance of large hills there. Even on the coldest day, you will be sweating after climbing a few of those hills. It is a great option if you are an avid skier and you like speed. You can really get going down a few of the hills!

Cruising down the hills.
Cruising down the hills.

Make it a date night

One of the recent additions at the trail system is lighting, making night skiing possible! The lights on the trail system are bright enough to ski by, but not so bright as to disturb our famous dark skies.

A lone cross-country skier glides down a lit trail at night.

Not into skiing?

If you aren’t into cross-country skiing, strap on snowshoes! All the trails are snowshoe friendly, but they ask that you stay to the side of the groomed trail. Want to burn off some of the kids' energy? There is a large sledding hill on hole 10 of the golf course. Right behind, to the right of the Burgundy Steakhouse Restaurant, you will find a groomed sledding hill that kids of all ages will love! After a few trips up and down this hill, everyone will be tired out.

Knobby tire enthusiasts, this is a great place for you, too! Fat tire biking is another fun activity that is welcomed on the trails here. Like our friends the snowshoers, please keep to the edge of the trail, so that everyone can share the groomed space.

And did we mention the trails are dog friendly? Bring your four-legged friend to run around too! 

Dogs love it here too!
Dogs love it here too!

Events galore

Winter in Tupper Lake is a hot time full of great fun, the ski trails are no exception, hosting regular special events. The annual BrewSki is a favorite event for many, combining skiing and snowshoeing with on the snow beer tastings from Adirondack brewers.

There is no rental shop in town so be sure to bring your cross-country skis, snowshoes, and sleds to Tupper Lake when you visit this winter! After a day in the snow, head back into town for some shopping, dining, and find a place to stay. We know you’ll be back!