Frum Outdoorsman: Rare but Possible

The wanderings and adventures of an orthodox Jew

XC skiing in the lower Adirondacks

Posted by Frum Hiker on January 28, 2008

There is only about an inch or two of snow on the ground outside my house and the Hudson River is just starting to form ice, but from some extensive research done last night I had come to realization that the central part of this state is still getting hammered with lake effect snow squalls, and much of the state lies under a thick coating of snow. Luckily the lakes are also frozen to a fine thickness to support my poor self, and hundreds of snowmobiles.

I decided to cross country ski, even though it was a mild 30 degrees out today. I could have ridden my bike or done some hiking, but instead I drove about 80 miles northwest to a small town called Speculator, about 50 miles north of Amsterdam, in the lower Adirondack mountains. I have been to Speculator many times, usually going or coming from somewhere, but rarely stopping to do anything there. Lakes in the summer and lots of snowmobile trails in the winter is what they have to offer.

On the way up to Speculator, I passed by the Great Sacandaga Lake and noticed that it was frozen well enough to support several ice fishing huts, so I got on my skis and went for a bit. It was bright sunshine with no wind making for a bright and vast expanse of snow. The mountains to the north were lovely, as was the bright sky. Unfortunately the snow was rather wet, from being pounced on by the sun, and there was some sort of snowmobile meet, and they were making loads of noise. I spoke with these two ice fishermen about their catches and ice thickness. 8 inches was what it was, and they had caught Walleye for the day. Skiing Great Sacandaga Lake

After barely sliding back to my car, due to the stickiness of the snow, I began to drive north along the Sacandaga River to Speculator, I passed by the Lapland Lake XC ski center, but decided against paying to enjoy the woods, if I can do it free I will. The pine trees with the fresh snow along Route 30 were amazing as were the icicles hanging off the mall cliffs on the sides.

Speculator was really crowded and after finding my parking spot, I picked up this ski trail behind firehouse on Route 30. This was my first groomed trail experience and although the grooming was not very good, I had a great time. The trail followed a river for a bit and in the distance were some pretty tall snow capped hills. Then the trees closed up around me and I was in a silent forest of pine and birch. It was so silent and beautiful, it made me miss the outdoors and wonder why I haven’t been in the woods as much as possible in the past few months.

On the way back I caught a beautiful sunset.

2 Responses to “XC skiing in the lower Adirondacks”

  1. yankal said

    are you there now or are you writing about a past story (I guess because of the weather you must be)

  2. Frum Hiker said

    I was there last Sunday, but I am there frequently- its one of the only reasons I live in upstate NY- to be close to the mountains. Not close enough I’m afraid, but the closest size-able frum community.

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