Saturday, February 6, 2010

XC Skiing - Rockwood State Forest

We missed the monster east coast storm yesterday and today, the latest of several this season. With no snow near home, we set off again for Rockwood State Forest, less than an hour away, west of Johnstown, NY, and around 1100-1200 feet in elevation. There was plenty of snow here earlier in the week, and another inch or two had fallen since then. Now we had several inches of new snow on a very firm base, and the skiing was as good as it gets.

For a change, today we explored the trails north of NY29, a place we'd never skied before, and which few Rockwood skiers ever visit.

We started at the main parking area, walked across NY29, and headed northeast on the North Loop Road, hoping to do an E/W figure-8 loop ending at Rockwood Lake. But it seems that the northernmost sections of the "8" were not actually there, as shown on the map. The northeasterly-most end was overgrown, rough, and with thin cover. We took the two southern sections (nice hills!) of the "8" as far as the lake, but couldn't find that end of the supposed northern return loop at all, so we headed back the way we had started. Exploring the other spur trail that goes south from those sections to NY29, it also seemed overgrown and rough. On the way out, we also explored the southeasterly spur (B Road) toward NY10A. I continued on through, and Holly turned around and went straight back to the car, picking me up at the other end. Although this section is obviously not maintained, it was skiable, and even had one ski trail marker along the way.

Our hopes are high for some measurable snow Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, but the jury is still out. Meanwhile, this is some pretty good skiing reasonably close to home.

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