Behind the Lens: The Jackrabbit Trail

When writing recreation stories, there are places we tend to find ourselves returning to time after time because they are natural draws.

We’ve written countless stories about hiking in Keene and the nearby area and paddling in the St. Regis Canoe Area. When it comes to skiing, the Jackrabbit Trail comes to mind as a place we can’t get enough of.

If you look through our web archives, you can find numerous blogs and stories about trips on the Jackrabbit. There’s even some news articles about land use issues related to the Old Mountain Road section between Lake Placid and Keene.

This 42-mile Jackrabbit Trail connects Paul Smiths to Keene, passing through Saranac Lake and Lake Placid on the way. It was maintained by the Adirondack Ski Touring Council, which transformed into the Barkeater Trail Alliance in 2014.

The trail was founded in 1986, which means it is celebrating its 35 anniversary this year.  It is named after Herman “Jack Rabbit” Johannsen, a legendary skiing pioneer in both in the Adirondacks and Canada. While living in Lake Placid in the early 20th century, Johannsen pioneered some of the original routes still used by today’s trail.

Below are some photos of the trail we’ve taken over the years, with links to stories about the different sections. The articles date back close to 20 years, so they’ll give you glimpse of history of the trail.

Paul Smiths to Lake Clear

Lake Placid to Saranac Lake

Near Lake Placid

Old Mountain Road


Behinds the Lens is a regular column by multimedia reporter Mike Lynch about photography and his assignments. It appears the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month.

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