Thursday, February 26, 2009

XC Skiing - Hopkins Memorial Forest, Williamstown, MA

With no local snow, we headed to Massachusetts to the Hopkins Memorial Forest, owned and managed for recreation and research by Williams College. We had read on a friend's blog that he had skied there a couple of days earlier, and found 8" of fresh powder on a firm base. So off we went, and it was only a 45-minute drive.

We parked at the entrance and walked past the Rosenberg Center (RC) at the lower right, where we put on our skis and started up the Lower Loop Trail (LL). It makes a figure-8 with the Upper Loop Trail (UL), and that's what we did, for a total of 4.1 miles. The interesting thing about this place is that the entire first half of the trip is almost all uphill, climbing toward the Taconic Ridge to the west.

At the top of the Upper Loop, we turned around and came downhill all the way back to the start.

It was a beautiful spring-like day, sunny with temps around 40, and the recent snow was soft and mushy. That definitely kept our speed down on the return, which was probably a good thing. Some of those downhills would have been a little "interesting" on faster snow.

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