Friday, January 14, 2011

XC Skiing - Featherstonhaugh State Forest

I thought I might be going somewhere for a longer ski outing today, but had trouble getting moving this morning. So I waited until after lunch and headed to Featherstonhaugh State Forest, a mere 20 minutes away near Mariaville. The day turned unexpectedly sunny, making for a very nice, though brisk, afternoon.

Parts of the ski trails had been broken out, and others had not. They have now. I skied the entire network, and was pleased to find it in mostly good shape, despite the logging operations of the past few years. A few sections could use some trimming, and there are enough naturally occurring large logs down across the trail that a chainsaw trip would be a big help. But it's definitely skiable all the way, and the snow was delightfully deep and soft.

This is a great place close by to get out for something resembling backcountry skiing. Though the hills are few and modest, the trail twists and turns, dips and rises, requiring quick footwork once it's been skied in and speeds up a bit. Today was more of a slow, scenic slog, but about the amount of skiing that I seemed to be looking for, this being the 4th day in a row.

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