Friday, December 24, 2010

Easy Adirondack Hikes/ Cross-Country Ski for Kids: A Portion of the Deer Pond Loop (Saranac Lake/Tupper Lake)

* Please note at the end, comments regarding blow down and conditions on the rest of the Deer Pond Loop!

So many sweets have found the way into my home lately that if I didn’t know better I would think it was some evil plan of my dentist to keep himself in business. Plates of homemade treats line the counters and bowls are filled with brightly wrapped candies. I look at the bounty and rub my hands together with glee. I am the willing recipient of homemade goods. Since I have no shut off valve and devour the treats with wild abandon, I also need an outlet to work off my sugar overload.

One way to work off those holiday treats is to go for a ski or snowshoe. There are many options and guidebooks available to venture outside and enjoy the snow. One cross-country ski my husband continually informs me I “have to” do is finally complete the 7.3-mile Deer Pond loop. There are two entrances for the Deer Pond area and I have always taken the less popular path near Bull Point on Route 30.



 From the parking lot the path is relatively smooth with a few challenging downhill areas for the novice skier. It does not take long to get to the first intersection. There is a small footbridge that crosses a marsh but its a good landmark. I still have not managed to go beyond the bridge. That is where I always turn around and head back.

Deer Pond is part of 67,000 acres of the Saranac Lakes Wild Forest. The trail to the footbridge only tackles 0.7 miles of it. Cross the bridge and turn right at the fork for the most direct route to Deer Pond. It is another 2.4-miles to the pond while the complete loop is just over seven miles. There are other trails that branch off from there but would require more planning.

The other access Deer Pond is located 0.5-mile west from the Route 3/30 junction on Route 30. The parking area is clear and to enter the trails one must ski around a yellow gate.

It seems I am stymied by time or a meltdown of some sort or another. I always need a goal and this will remain one while I search out other ways to rid myself of those sweets. No, throwing out any homemade goodies is not an option though I have been known to share on occasion. I hope you all are enjoying your holiday treats and find your own way of working them off!

To take the 0.7-mile excursion to the footbridge drive on Rt. 30 north for two miles from the NY3/ NY30 junction. The parking area is on the left. 




*To: Adirondack Daily Enterprise/ 12/21/2010
From: Jim Jenks, Saranac Lake
I enjoyed reading Diane Chase's column in today's Adirondack Daily Enterprise regarding the Deer Pond trail. I found it very timely as my wife and I skied the 7.3 mile loop today. We entered the trail from the parking lot located a half mile west from the route 3/30 junction on state route 3. 

We proceeded around the loop in a counterclockwise direction. It was our first time on the trail so I can't speak to previous conditions but there is now a significant amount of blowdown on the first half of the loop. Some trees were small enough that we could ski over them. 

Others were larger requiring us to climb over them or go off trail to ski around them. There is one particularly bad spot where the trail is nearly unrecognizable and impossible to negotiate on skis. I believe this was between the junction with the trail spur from route 30 and Deer Pond. 

Once past the pond the blowdown was not a problem. We did have a little difficulty with exposed water and rocks near the pond but with a little more snow that part of the trail should be fine. The latter half of the loop we found to generally be clear. 

The home stretch along an old state road was a breeze. I would encourage anyone planning to ski the entire loop at this time of year when daylight hours are short to start early, plan extra time to deal with trees in the trail, and take along some headlamps and extra batteries... just in case.

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