I've heard it from people who know: snowmobiling in the heart of the Adirondacks is amazing.
It's the little things, like the pleasant, uncrowded, Department of Motor Vehicles. Register your out of state sled with no lines, and no waiting. We suggest joining a local snowmobile club prior to registration. It knocks the registration fee from $100 down to $45. Joining a club is usually in the $30 range and you can register multiple sleds under one club membership!
It's also the big things, like the over 750 miles of groomed snowmobile trails. Whether you like tight turns or wide open spaces, there's a thrill for every sledder.
Inlet has a joint permit system with the Town of Webb for their trails. The permit fee is put right back into the system with professional grooming equipment and paid town employees who groom and maintain these trails all year long. Just one of the things that makes our trails great.
You can take advantage of a Pre-season Permit of $65 per snowmobile, or In-Season Permit of $80. Grab a Weekday Permit for $50 (good for the whole season, not valid between 5:00 p.m. on Friday - 5:00 p.m. Sunday), and a Weekly Permit for $45, which is good for 7 consecutive days starting on the date of purchase. Upgrade a Weekly Permit any time during the same season for $35, so you never have to pay more than $80.
Inlet is a gateway to the state land trails in the Moose River Plains Recreation Area. The Town of Inlet grooms for 15 miles of this trail and then the Town of Indian Lake takes over. The Inlet Barnstormers Snowmobile Club grooms some of the spur trails in "The Plains" including the connector trail that takes you to the Seventh Lake Boat Launch and many miles of trails off Uncas Road, around Eight Lake Campground and on to Raquette Lake.
For an iconic ride, your should definitely try Moose River Plains — you'll find wide, well-groomed trails, make a side trip to the "Big T" in the Moose River Plains. You can usually find deer hanging out at The Big T.
However, a permit is not required on any trails that are on state land and trails that run along county roads to access the trails.
Indian Lake is the home of a new favorite, the trail from Blue Mountain Lake to Newcomb. It's usually a great ride and opens up connections to Newcomb and Long Lake that didn't exist in the past.
Getting to the Blue Mountain-Newcomb trail can be a challenge if trail S84 leaving Indian Lake is in bad shape (it's been fondly called the 8 miles of hell, even though it's only 6.5 miles long). Even at its best, Trail S84 is twisty and narrow which keeps many novice snowmobilers from using it. If you ride mid-week, you will have much better luck with Trail S84 than the weekend warriors do.
Speculator has many a speedy ride. The most popular trails are Perkins Clearing (trail C4 and C8 ) in Lake Pleasant. From this trail you can head north to Indian Lake or Set to Piseco. Another popular speedy ride is the Powley Road in Piseco (trail C84) which takes you all the way to Stratford. They are both groomed dirt roads that are wide and you can really get out there and go. If you are looking for scenery, my favorites are the Cove trail between Oxbow Lake and Piseco Lake. The trail is hugged in spots by hemlock trees, and has that Currier and Ives feeling, especially after a new snow.
You get that same feeling with the Speculator Tree Farm trail and can start out from the ball field and ride along the Kunjamuk River. You'll discover very windy trails with pretty scenery and a cozy feeling. Both trails are lightly used and usually very smooth.
All trails are very easily accessed in any town.
Near Indian Lake, try the Bear Trap Inn for good burgers and pub fare. The Indian Lake Restaurant has terrific American restaurant fare. Route 30 One Stop has good soups and sandwiches, and if you are craving Italian head to Puterko's Family Pizzeria.
Near Speculator, look for the Oxbow Inn for great pizza, wings, and burgers. The Inn at Speculator has a wide variety of sandwiches, burgers, and pasta. Mountain Market offers Boar's Head meats, great deli choices, hot and cold sandwiches, chili, and soups. King of the Frosties is a favorite for all-American family fare, Sunrise Diner dishes up an awesome breakfast and lunch, and don't miss Logan's Bar and Grill for a little bit of everything.
All of Inlet's restaurants are accessible by the trails, with a trail running right by them, or right up to them. Why not try them all? Start early and plan to visit Drake's Inn, The Ole Barn, Red Dog Tavern, Screamen Eagle, Tamarack Cafe, and The Woods Inn. (Seventh Lake House will not be open this winter.)
This leaves only one question: where to park your trailer.
Indian Lake has Elva Brown's Farm near the end of Cedar River Road. It costs $5/sled to park and you can ride in to Moose River Plains from there. There's a cul-de-sac at end of Pelon Road (by old dump) with free parking. Also look between the ball field and Town Garage on Benton Road.
Speculator offers space at the ball field/pavilion, Route 30 near Mason Lake, Arietta Town Barn, and Brister Brook — and they're all free. Oak Mountain Ski Center is free and has fine eats! Inlet has free trailer parking at Arrowhead Park and Fern Park.
You can tell a lot by the number of clubs in the area, too. Look for Algonquin Sno-Blazers Inc, D.R.A.G of Speculator, Indian Lake Snowarriors, Inlet Barnstormers Snowmobile Club, Inc, Moonlighter Snowmobile Club, and the Pleasant Riders Snowmobile Club.
If you are saying to yourself, "Wow, I didn't know there was so much amazing snowmobiling in this part of the Adirondacks!"
Now you know.
New to sledding? So was one of our bloggers — here's her first-hand account of a day sledding through the region!
This week in related ADK news: