Tupper Lake offers plenty to do for everyone in the family, including a number of cross-country ski trips that vary from groomed to wilderness. And with a local brewery and a wide selection of restaurants, skiers can head out for a few hours or a day and still come back to some warm deliciousness.
James C. Frenette Sr. trails
The town-owned golf course isn’t just used during the summer months, it also becomes a haven for fat-bike riders, cross-country skiers, and snowshoers over the winter thanks to the energy of a group of dedicated volunteers.
With groomed trails, families can take on as much or as little skiing as they want — there are six trails totalling well over four miles, so loops can be made to fit every energy and ability level. The James C. Frenette Sr. trails cover fairways but venture into the woods as well. With groomed paths, conditions are likely to be excellent and there are regular events that draw in big crowds of both locals and visitors.
The golf course trails are free and open to the public, and are dog-friendly as well. Snowshoers and fat bikers are also welcome, but are asked to stay out of groomed ski lanes.
Paul Smith’s VIC
Just up the road from Tupper Lake is Paul Smith’s College, home of one of just two Visitor Interpretive Centers in the Adirondacks (the other is in Newcomb). The VIC boasts more than 20 miles of maintained trails with almost half of those groomed for skate and classic skiing.
Snowshoers are allowed on all trails, and there are even a few miles dedicated just for snowshoeing. The VIC also has ski and snowshoe rentals, and the main building is home to interpretive displays, a gift shop, and local arts and crafts. And the café often has hot food and sandwiches available to rewarm you after a day on the trails!
The VIC trails have a wide range of difficulty, and various loops can be put together so that families can get the exact experience they’re looking for.
If you and your family are looking for something a little more rugged and off the beaten path, then the Deer Pond loop just outside of the village is perfect for you! Located on state land, this trail is not groomed, but is popular enough that unless you’re getting first tracks then the trail is probably broken in.
Clocking in at 7.3 miles, this ski trip can be shortened by doing an out-and-back excursion to the pond, or lengthened by adding the spur trail to Lead Pond. Stop in town at one of the local eateries before heading out to stock up on food and drinks, and enjoy a fairly flat ski through the woods, far from the sounds of cars and the worries of home.
If ungroomed, remote skiing is more your style, then Tupper Lake has plenty to give! Head out of town on a short drive to Coreys Road and then dive into the deep woods with a ski out to Raquette Falls, which is located in the High Peaks Wilderness Area.
This trail is also on state land, and is not groomed but should be relatively clear of blowdown and trees blocking the way. But this is one of the most popular backcountry cross-country ski trips in the northern Adirondacks, and unless it just snowed, the trail will likely be broken.
At right around eight miles round-trip, this wide path along the Raquette River moves through different kinds of forests as you near the famous Raquette Falls. This route contains some small hills, so skiers should at least be able to snowplow if attempting this scenic traverse.
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