A bad week for skiers

Adirondack Visitor Interpretive Center ski trail
A ski trail at the Adirondack Visitor Interpretive Center last Friday.

Last Friday I went on my first ski of the season, a long loop around Heron Marsh and over an esker at the Adirondack Visitor Interpretive Center in Paul Smiths. Although Paul Smiths is only a dozen miles from our office in Saranac Lake, it usually receives noticeably more snow. And so it was on this day: there must have been at least six inches, enough to kick and glide over the VIC’s smooth trails. I snapped the photo above near the outlet of Heron Marsh.

A week later, thanks to rain and a few warm days, cross-country skiers are out of luck. I walked to Marcy Dam this morning and found only a dusting of snow long the trail and in the woods.

And the Adirondack Ski Touring Council reports that the forecast is not promising: “only a mix of precipitation is predicted for the weekend followed by temperatures near 40 and rain on Monday. After that it does cool off a bit, but still no season-starting storm in sight.”

I’m starting to fear that this could be a repeat of last winter, when many backcountry trails lacked sufficient snow until well into winter. The one bit of good news is that the trail to Marcy Dam was frozen, for the most part. That means if snow does come, more of it will stick around.

And as you can see from the photo below, Marcy Dam Pond is freezing over.

Marcy Dam Pond in winter
Marcy Dam Pond this morning. Photos by Phil Brown.

About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

Reader Interactions


  1. Janet Gordon says

    I’m not surprised. Global warming is a fact. I think its too late to change the direction its going. We (humankind) have sure messed up the natural balance, haven’t we?

  2. Wayno says

    Janet, no diagreement here on the cause of the lack of snow. I worry that while the ignorant minority stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the truth the worst case scenario starts to take hold.

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