Sunday, March 4, 2012

XC Skiing - BREIA trails, Boonville, NY

Yesterday, some friends and I travelled to the BREIA Ski Trails, near Boonville, NY, a place that most of us had never been, about 2 hours drive from home. These higher elevations east of Lake Ontario are famous for their prodigious snow amounts, and with a disappointing winter at home, it now seems less onerous to drive some distance for good skiing.

There are 3 separate trail systems at BREIA, and we chose the higher elevation Jackson Hill area, which also has a better selection of intermediate trails. Arriving in the parking lot, a rains shower let loose just as we were about to exit the car. Long drive for nothing? Nope. After about 10 minutes, the skies cleared to a deep blue, and we had sun for most of the rest of the day.

The trails were nicely groomed and tracked, and seemed pretty easy for their intermediate rating. The snow was soft and mushy with temps near 40 and bright sunshine.

We did a loop around the Sunfields area, which, despite high winds, was very nice with distant views and brilliant sun.

At midday, we headed back to the parking area and the nearby newly renovated warming hut. This was an amazing place to stop for lunch and enjoy the sun streaming in through the windows. Surprisingly, we had it to ourselves.

After lunch, we went back out for some more skiing, this time passing a nearby farm and winding through field and forest.

By the time we finished, we'd been on the skis for about 4½ hours and 10 miles, and were pretty worn out. We stopped at a Stewart's Shop in Boonville for some refreshments to recharge us before the long drive home after a spectacular winter day outside..

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