Adirondack Cross Country Skiing
Ski Groomed & Wild Cross-Country Trails in the Adirondacks
Move swiftly and silently through snow-covered forests in the heart of Hamilton County and discover the solitude and quiet beauty of winter in the Adirondack Wild. Hamilton’s cross-country ski trails traverse mountain ridges, wind around pond banks and lakeshores and merge with the tracks of deer, fox, birds and even the occasional moose.
In winter, Adirondack backcountry hiking and birding trails are transformed into near perfect cross-country ski routes, traveling through some of the most unspoiled landscape in northern New York. Enjoy a variety of cross-country skiing opportunities – from groomed trails at ski touring centers, to the heart-pounding descents found in the backcountry. For Nordic backcountry skiing – the Adirondack Wild offers pristine terrain and flawless snow cover throughout the winter.
Nordic skiing is one of the easiest winter sports to learn, offering a unique avenue for exploration while providing ample opportunity for exercise in the great outdoors. After a day touring the region’s scenic routes, head into one of Hamilton County’s charming towns or villages for an evening of winter carnival events and enjoy all that the region has to offer!
Hamilton County Cross-Country Ski Centers
Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center is a nationally recognized cross-country ski center located in an Adirondack Wild snow basin. Visitors will find a wide variety of woodland terrain, with vigorous backcountry ski tours, climbs and curving descents perfect for gliding. Lapland Lake offers 50 kilometers of trails of varying difficulty and length. Twelve kilometers of un-groomed NY backcountry skiing routes provide a wilderness experience for guests looking to explore the woods privately. Owned and operated by Olympian Olavi Hirvonen and his family, Lapland offers an authentic, Finnish-style ski vacation destination. Book a winter ski and stay package and relax in your own Finnish cabin called a “Tupa,” try authentic cuisine at the Tuulen Tupa Grill, relax après ski in the sauna, go tubing and shop for new gear at the ski shop.
Also in the southern Adirondack Wild, the Inlet Ski Touring Center provides a classic cross-country experience with nearly six kilometers of free groomed trails. Rent equipment and skis and enjoy scenic, wooded trails with terrain for beginners just learning how to ski, and experts looking for beautiful trails in the heart of the Adirondacks.
Adirondack Backcountry Nordic Skiing Trails
Hamilton County’s popular wilderness hiking trails offer incredible vistas – from frozen lakeshores to distant mountain peaks – while providing ample backcountry skiing options throughout the winter across a variety of terrain. Popular routes include:
- Bullhead Pond – located in Indian Lake off of Route 28, this route offers a short climb with moderate elevation gain to a frozen lake. One mile round-trip.
- Cedar Lakes – located in Arietta on the Pillsbury Mountain trail, this 8.4 mile round-trip excursion travels along the French Louis Historic Trail, and runs parallel to the Miami River.
- Clockmill Pond – located in Arietta off of a snowmobile trail, this three-mile round-trip trek is perfect for beginners. Ski along a level path to a clearing that leads to Clockmill Pond.
- Colonel Peck’s Grave – located in Speculator, this short trail leads to an old cemetery containing the final resting place of Colonel Peck, the only known Revolutionary War officer from Hamilton County. The trail is located off of South Shore Road, and is an easy 1.2 mile round-trip.
- Frederica Mountain – Lake Lila – located in Long Lake, this 8.8 mile round-trip trek is consistently level with a moderate climb leading to a ledge that overlooks Lake Lila.
- Hamilton County Nature Trail – located in Lake Pleasant, this well maintained trail offers a one mile round-trip ski excursion.
- Hitchins Pond to Lows Ridge – located in Long Lake, this five-mile round-trip trek offers spectacular views of the Lows’ Lake Upper Dam, Bog River and the High Peaks.
- Johns Pond – located in Indian Lake, this 4.4 mile route offers easy backcountry skiing and a lean-to 2.2 miles in on the shores of Johns Pond.
- Old Kunjamuk Trail – located in Indian Lake, this trail follows an old lumber road for eight miles. Perfect for beginners looking for a longer ski trip, with scenery everyone can enjoy.
- Pine Orchard – located in Wells, this two mile trail travels along moderately easy terrain before ending at an isolated grove of enormous white pine trees that are more than 200 years old.
- Rock Lake – located in Indian Lake, this quick, level ski trail winds through a beautiful Adirondack forest. The 0.8 mile trek in ends at Rock Lake with views of distant mountains. Enjoy a plethora of bird watching opportunities along this trail.
- Sprague Pond – located in Indian Lake, this short trail is less than a mile long and leads to a beautiful, frozen pond.