Henry’s Woods on the outskirts of Lake Placid is a popular destination for hikers even in winter. I stopped there Tuesday afternoon for a lunch-hour ski trip, figuring the trails would be well packed and slick. Indeed, since the big snowstorm last week, the trails have seen a lot of use from skiers, snowshoers, and bare-booters. Oh, and dogs.
As is my wont, I skied the Loop Trail counterclockwise, with a detour on the Plateau Trail. In all, the trip is roughly three miles.
The conditions were pretty good. The trail was packed, with room to snowplow, but it was not icy. On the sides, the snow was heavy and wet—and to be avoided. I imagine skiers will find similar conditions on other popular trails in the region.
My only complaint: dog crap. Signs at Henry’s Woods plead with pet owners to pick up after their animals. The managers even provide plastic bags for the business. Nevertheless, I passed a half-dozen piles of poop on the trail. Also known as brown klister.
How could some owners be so inconsiderate as to allow their pets to befoul a popular place like Henry’s Woods? How popular? On my short outing, on a gray Tuesday afternoon, I encountered three hikers (two with dogs).
I had an enjoyable ski regardless. From the parking area, I skied 0.3 miles to the start of the Loop Trail, turned right, and continued to the height of land on the loop. There, I turned left onto the Plateau Trail, which leads past two lookouts before returning to the Loop Trail. The Plateau Trail is narrower than the Loop Trail, but because it’s flat you should have no trouble on skis. If you skip the Plateau Trail, the tour is only 2.6 miles or so. After returning to the Loop Trail, you enjoy (it is hoped) a long downhill run back to the parking area. Be ready for a few sharp turns on the descent.
You can find more details about Henry’s Woods in my guidebook, 12 Short Hikes Near Lake Placid, published by the Adirondack Explorer. You can buy it in local stores or the Explorer website.