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Old 01-05-2017, 12:34 PM   #1
rdl
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Looking for tame ski outings in LP/Keene area

I'll be staying outside of Lake Placid in a few weeks with my wife and another couple. My wife and the other women are decent and willing x-country skiers but don't like too much adventure or screaming downhill runs.

I'm looking for suggestions on relatively flat ski outings that have somewhat of a wilderness feel to them.

I'm thinking of the jackrabbit trail near Alstead Hill Rd, Marcy Dam truck trail, maybe Henry's Woods(although I seem to remember a downhill run there?).

Any other suggestions ?
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Old 01-05-2017, 03:33 PM   #2
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cascade xc center
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:33 PM   #3
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A mile or two further down Bear Cub Lane from Henry's Woods is a newer preserve called Heaven Hill. Not really a "wilderness" feel, but there are some expansive views of the High Peaks and relatively flat as I recall.
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:43 AM   #4
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Looking for tame ski outings in LP/Keene area

Connery Pond to Whiteface Landing, on Rt 86.
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Old 01-06-2017, 08:51 AM   #5
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The Heaven Hill trails are definitely scenic without any significant hills. Connery Pond to Whiteface Landing has a new start to avoid private camps. It goes up over a ridge and back down to the level of the pond. There is therefore a short but somewhat steep downhill both going to and on the return. If those short hills are too much, you can always carefully walk down the side of the trail as the rest of the trail to Whiteface Landing is relatively gentle.

The Jackrabbit Trail up from Rock and River also has some hills, but obviously I don't know what's the "threshold" for being too steep.
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Old 01-06-2017, 09:08 AM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'd prefer to avoid Cascade and Mt Van Ho. Heaven Hills sounds ideal, I had not heard of that area yet. Whiteface Landing sounds good as well.

Quote:
I don't know what's the "threshold" for being too steep
Sometimes I don't know the threshold either until it's too late
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Old 01-06-2017, 09:27 AM   #7
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For a great wilderness feel and relatively flat adventure, try Grassy Pond and/or the Sheep Meadow. The trail head is located a few miles north of Paul Smiths just off RT. 30. Look for a sign for the Hayes Brook parking area. Both locations have a lean to at the turn around.

In the same area is the VIC at Paul Smiths. They have some great ski trails also. I believe there is a reasonable day use fee at the VIC.
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Old 01-17-2017, 03:14 PM   #8
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Grass Pond and Sheep's Meadow are great for skiing. Both are easily accessed on old roads that are generally flat. The area gets relatively little use.

I think the fee to ski at the PSC VIC is something like $5. Not at all unreasonable considering they groom the trails there and the trail network is fairly extensive.
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Old 01-17-2017, 03:25 PM   #9
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5, if you convince them you're under 18...
http://www.paulsmiths.edu/vic/ski/#2
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Old 01-17-2017, 05:10 PM   #10
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It's a relatively short trip, but a nice ski into the Gulf Brook LT behind Hurricane. The trail is flat (a little over a mile in to the lean to), great wilderness feel, and you can have a fire and lunch at the LT before sliding back out. The steepest skiing is from the winter parking up the road to the trailhead, a moderate hill.
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Old 01-17-2017, 05:27 PM   #11
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I second Cascade Ski Center, if you're not looking for wilderness. The Jackrabbit trail runs through it. On Saturday, 1/14/17, I was going to ski the Jackrabbit but it was very icy. Cascade had groomed their trails, breaking up the crust.
If you pay an extra $5, you can connect to the Van Hovenberg ski center, where there some great trails. Cascade is all beginner or intermediate.
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Old 01-19-2017, 12:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timberghost View Post
5, if you convince them you're under 18...
http://www.paulsmiths.edu/vic/ski/#2
Interesting- it definitely wasn't always that high. Still relatively cheap. Thanks for the clarification.

Marcy Dam Truck Trail isn't too bad but there's a couple of hills that temporarily elevate the difficulty from "easy" to "moderate," IMO.

As an alternative to the above, you could also ski the Mr. Van Ski Trail from South Meadows to the Mr. Van Lean-to. This is a relatively flat trail (although at times it gets a bit overgrown).

It's a bit further west, but the truck trail to Raquette Falls is similar in character to the Marcy Dam Truck Trail. Not too bad if you're OK with a couple of moderately sloped hills along the way in (although the parking area at Stony Creek may not be accessible). There's a lean-to just past the ranger station (keep going south on the portage trail a few hundred feet) that would make for a good lunch spot.

Also a bit further west: the truck trail to Trombley Landing on the Raquette River would be a relatively easy ski. There's a lean-to on the river there that would make a nice spot to stop and eat lunch.

There's a 7 mile loop trail just west of Upper Saranac Lake that is maintained as a ski trail (the Deer Pond loop). I've not hiked or skied it so I'm not sure how difficult it is but I've heard it's nice. Perhaps someone who has skied it will chime in.

In the St. Regis Canoe Area, the Fish Pond Truck Trail is easy to moderate in difficulty for skiing. There's also a loop ski trail around Little Green Pond that is relatively easy for skiing (it's called the Bone Pond Ski Trail). Alternatively, if the lakes are reliably frozen, you could start at Little Clear Pond, and access the interior of the area via the portage trails to other ponds, most of which are fairly flat and would make for relatively easy skiing.

In addition to the PSC VIC trails, there's also a trail network across Route 30 in the vicinity of Church and Osgood Ponds (including a section of the Jackrabbit Trail).

The Jack Rabbit Trail from McKenzie Pond Road to McKenzie Pond (near Saranac Lake) is pretty flat and easy going, along an old woods road. Beyond McKenzie Pond it doesn't get much use (and starts to climb moderately uphill) but you could continue as far as you wanted.

I'll also second the recommendation for the trail to Whiteface Landing from Connery Pond. It's also on an old road bed with with gentle ups and downs. Beyond that point (north towards the Whiteface Brook Lean-to) it gets a bit more challenging on skis.

Depending on the conditions, Lake Road in the Ausable Club can also make for a nice ski. I'd rate this one as moderate in difficulty because it's very much downhill most of the way out, but the road is wide enough for easy maneuvering without ever having to make any sharp, sudden turns.
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Old 01-19-2017, 09:29 AM   #13
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All good suggestions -- thanks. Just hoping for some fresh snow now. We had about 2' in WNY that seemed to melt overnight.
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Old 01-27-2017, 09:34 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
Marcy Dam Truck Trail isn't too bad but there's a couple of hills that temporarily elevate the difficulty from "easy" to "moderate," IMO.
Can anyone comment on how hard and or easy it would be to walk down these hills if they look too intimidating? Could I bareboot thru the trees off to the side of these hills or would I need to pack snow shoes if I think I might need to walk these two hills?

This is my third season skiing and the snow conditions for my first two seasons were so bad that I didn't get much experience in. The "hardest" trip i've done is out to Santanoni preserve and that was a piece of cake. I'm looking to do something this weekend and was thinking maybe the marcy truck trail but I don't know how much I like the sound of the intermediate hills.
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Old 01-27-2017, 09:48 AM   #15
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If you thought the road to Camp Santanoni was a piece of cake, you should be fine on the Marcy Dam Truck Trail. But yes it is permissible to carefully walk down the edge of any hill that you find intimidating.
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:58 AM   #16
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If you thought the road to Camp Santanoni was a piece of cake, you should be fine on the Marcy Dam Truck Trail. But yes it is permissible to carefully walk down the edge of any hill that you find intimidating.
Thanks for the info! I can't wait to get out there, I should have taken up this sport before the winters stopped dumping snow consistently.
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Old 01-27-2017, 04:19 PM   #17
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Consider this trail:

http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/20...er-hudson.html

It's quite fun and will get you familiar with rolling terrain. None of the hills are hard, but it's quite a step up from Santanoni.

Ski it both ways if you have time, it's totally different one way than the other.
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