Cross Country Skis, Snowshoes, or Spikes
Recently, with over a foot of new snow in January, I finally had the chance to get out on my snowshoes and cross-country skis! I was looking for a variety of different trails so I could use both my skis and snowshoes. Luckily, Tupper Lake has a great range of trails from mountains to wooded loops, plus the great trail system at The Wild Center.
Deer Pond Loop
The first trail I decided to check out was the Deer Pond Loop. This is a relatively flat trail that is a popular cross country ski destination. It is not a groomed trail, so it is more like backcountry cross country skiing. Although it isn’t groomed, there is a good chance there will already be a packed ski track from others being out there.
This is a great trail to bring the family and beginner skiers because it is so flat. Although the whole loop is 7.3 miles long, if you are skiing with little ones or beginners, you can turn around at any point and head back to the car. If you do make it all the way you will see an intersection to the Lead Pond trail. Continue down this trail for a bit to a rocky overlook for the best view of Deer Pond.
Panther Mountain is one of my favorite hikes to do after work before heading home. Being only 0.6 miles one way, I can get to the top rather quickly. Although it is short, the terrain is steeper than other hikes in the area. In the winter this hike requires snowshoes if the snow is deep, or spikes for traction if it is icy. Panther Mountain is the best bang for your buck in the area. After a climb of under half an hour, you get a great view at the summit.
The trail starts climbing right away as you enter the woods. As you approach the open summit, you will see Panther Pond below and the Seward Range ahead. Getting there: Heading toward Saranac Lake, you will see the parking area on the right side of the road. Across the street, on the left hand side, you will see the trailhead sign and trail entrance into the woods.
The Wild Center
Visiting The Wild Center? It’s the perfect opportunity to get out and try out snowshoeing! At The Wild Center, snowshoes are free with your paid admission. After you are done exploring the grounds, strap on the snowshoes and head out to the trails.
My favorite trail at The Wild Center heads down to the Oxbow on the Raquette River. The trail is relatively easy and short. Once you get the the river, there are overlooks where you can look out over the Oxbow and take in the Adirondack beauty. The Wild Center’s trails are family friendly and the perfect opportunity to try snowshoeing for the first time.
While you're there, take out the new kicksleds! New this winter, kicksleds are available to take out on the trails. Popular in Sweden, Finland, and Norway, kicksleds are a great way to discover the trails. They don’t require any skills or experience, they are easy to hop onto and kick your way down the trails!
With all of our fresh snow, break out your cross-country skis and snowshoes and discover the trails in Tupper Lake. Discover the Tupper Lake Winter Triad while you're here! Find a place to stay, grab a hot meal and an adult beverage, and enjoy your stay in Tupper Lake.