Thursday, January 3, 2013

XC Skiing - Huyck Preserve, Rensselaerville, NY

Two skiers.  Under three miles.  Over two hours.  Beautiful new trail.  Over a foot of unbroken powder.  Exhausted.

Our route in green, starting at the upper left corner
Friend Roy and I arrived at the Huyck Preserve Visitor Center a little after 12:30 today, hoping to ski several of the loops north of Lake Myosotis.  But we really wanted to get to the brand new northernmost loop, which we'd heard was the best of the bunch.  The Building and Grounds Supervisor, Adam, suggested that we follow him in his truck up a couple of local roads to the far end of that loop, and he would plow out a parking space for us.  Thanks, Adam!  As it turned out, it was the only way we ever could have reached that loop this afternoon.

We parked at the corner of Peasley and Wood Roads where Adam had plowed us out a space.  Heading downhill from there along unplowed Wood Road, we reached the trailhead shortly after crossing a stream, and set off CCW around the loop.  Climbing steadily at first through a pristine 12+ inches of new snow, it soon became apparent that my waxless skis  were getting no grip whatsoever when climbing through this fluffy stuff.  That left it to Roy to break trail whenever we were going uphill.

When we reached the top, I headed down first, at least giving Roy a nice ride in my tracks.  Reaching the stream at the bottom, we followed it as it meandered through a shallow rocky gorge.  This was the prettiest part of the loop.

Reaching a bridge, we entertained thoughts about skiing over to Loop #2 and seeing if the trail there had been broken.  But starting up the 0.1-mile uphill connector, we quickly changed our minds and turned back across the bridge.  Now we had a choice.  Should we return in our tracks the way we'd come, and actually enjoy some skiing?  Or should we continue on around the loop so we'd get to see the whole thing?  Being gluttons for punishment, we chose the latter.  I tried to help out with the trailbreaking where the terrain and my slippery skis allowed it, but Roy was definitely doing the bulk of the work.

After a short steep climb and a gradual downhill to another stream, we turned to the west and followed the trail along the stream and back out to the road.  From there, it was a short uphill back to the car.

This trail is really a very nice loop, and would have been even more spectacular if the trail had already been broken.  And now it is.  So, fellow skiers, head out to the corner of Peasley and Wood Roads in Rensselaerville, and give this trail a try.  You'll definitely like it.

1 comment:

  1. Managed to cover your tracks on Saturday the 5th. It seemed as though no one had been there. A pair of snowshoers were crushing it clockwise as I went CCW. Sticky snow as it was almost 40 when I was there. A good new trail that I probably wouldn't have known about if not for your post. Thanks!