Winter Trails near Newcomb

A Taste of the Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing Trails in Newcomb NY, 

the Heart of the Adirondacks

Adirondack Interpretive Center 

Snowshoes
Distance: about 4.5 mi. loop
Elevation Gain: little elevation change 

With four trails leading through varied habitat (shoreline, old growth conifer, wetlands, and mixed northern forest), winter wildlife viewing opportunities abound. Snowshoes are a must and are available at the RW Sage Jr Memorial Trail. A 0.7 mi. connector trail to the Santanoni Preserve road joins the Sage trail. Ask for maps at the Visitor Center.

Mt Adams

Snowshoe or Ski
Distance: 4.6 mi. round trip
Elevation Gain: 1800 ft.

Start at the parking lot 0.15 mi. beyond the Old MacIntyre Blast Furnace on the Upper Works Road, and follow the DEC Yellow Trail. At 0.9 mi. you reach the old observer’s cabin. This cabin, the only one of its type left in the Adirondacks, is currently being preserved for posterity. The trail is now marked with new markers and branches off to the left (north) about 300 ft. from the cabin. The view from the tower is wonderful. The last part of the trail is very steep – crampons will be required in icy conditions.

Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake

Snowshoe or Ski
Distance Upper Works Parking Lot to:
Flowed Lands – 4.7 mi. Lake Colden Dam – 5.7 mi.
Adirondak Loj – 12.0 mi.

This trip is one of the premier ski trips in the Adirondacks. It starts from the Upper Works parking lot at Tahawus and it is an intermediate to advanced ski route. If you go through to the Loj, you can book a night there and return to the Upper Works the next day, or you can park a car at each end.

Reference: Ski and Snowshoe Trails in theAdirondacks by Tony Goodwin, 2006

Goodnow Mountain

Snowshoe or Ski
Distance: 3.8 mi. round trip
Elevation Gain: 1050 ft.

Part of the Huntington Wildlife Forest, which is managed by the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Goodnow Mt. is open to the public. A well-maintained trail leads to a restored fire tower at the summit, which has incredible view to the north of the High Peaks, Rich Lake and Lake Harris, and additional spectacular views to the south and east.

The trailhead is on the south side of State Route 28N, about 1.6 mi. east of the Adirondack Interpretive Center. The trail is considered moderate in difficulty, but many families with small children make this a destination with no difficulties. In the winter this is a good snowshoeing workout, and a challenging ski trip. Visitors are asked to stay on the trail.

Lake Harris

Snowshoe or Ski

Once the lake is frozen, you can ski or snowshoe almost anywhere. Access is from the town boat launch or the town beach.Areas of Caution – The inlet, on the western end of the lake, and the outlet, to the east (where the lake joins the Hudson River), are often not frozen. Caution should also be used at the rapids by the Santanoni Gate House.

High Peaks Golf Course

Snowshoe or Ski

Wonderful views of the High Peaks Wilderness Area and several of the High Peaks them-selves await you as you wind your way through the nine-hole golf course. Skiers and snowshoers are asked to use appropriate winter trail etiquette and stay off the greens (which are roped off).

 

 

Henderson Lake

Snowshoe or Ski
to Henderson Lake turnoff – 0.25 mi.
to Preston Ponds Trail turnoff – 1.5 mi.
to Upper Preston Pond – 1.75 mi.
to Duck Hole – 6 mi.

The trail starts at the Upper Works parking lot at the end of the Tahawus Road (about 8 mi. from State Route 28N, east of Newcomb). Henderson Lake is a gem that has only recently become open to the public. To ski just this lake is worth the trip. To ski all the way into Duck Hole takes at least four hours one way, with some bushwacks and climbing.

For a really good description of this route, get a copy of the Nov/Dec ’04 Adirondack Explorer.

Great Camp Santanoni

Snowshoe or Ski
Distance: Farm complex 2 mi. round trip
Great Camp 10 mi. round trip
Moose Pond 12 mi. round trip

The Santanoni Preserve is located to the north of State Route 28N in Newcomb, about 1/4 mi. west of the Town Hall. Signs lead to ample parking. The Great Camp is a good cross-country ski trip on a well-maintained dirt road that does not allow snowmobiles. The ski track is set by lots of skiers. The Farm Complex is a short 1 mi. from the Gate House and there is a lot of on-going restoration work on many of the remaining buildings. The dairy barn burned to the ground July 13, 2004. A 0.7mi. connector trail opened in 2007 leading to the trail system at the Adirondack Interpretive Center. Caution is advised on the connector as parts of it are narrow and rough. Winter trail etiquette asks that no one embark on any of these trails without skis or snowshoes.

 

 

Stony Pond

Snowshoe or Ski
Approx. 5 mi. round trip
Elevation Gain: minimal

Stony Pond is a large lake with an immense and irregular shoreline. A lean-to marks a convenient turn-around point for a day-trip to this jewel.

Note that there are two trailheads for Stony Poond, marking each end of the trail. The shortest route (described here) is the trailhead closer to Minerva than Newcomb. The trail follows an old woods road and a snowmobile trail, making this very skiable in the winter. Along the way you pass a large beaver dam. Note that the lean-to is in an open area that can be quite breezy.

Vanderwhacker Mt

Snowshoe
Distance: 5.8 mi. round trip
Elevation Gain: 1700 ft.

This is a very steep trail, particularly the last half; it is strenuous and you should plan a whole day to climb it. The view from the summit is dominated by Santanoni Mountain and the MacIntyre Range. Many of the other High Peaks are also visible. The town of Newcomb and most of Lake Harris are easily picked out. This is a strenuous snowshoe trip and because of the distance is not recommended for beginners.

Woodruff Pond

Snowshoe or Ski
Distance: approx. 1 mi. round trip
Elevation Gain: minimal

This is a delightful trek in the woods on a well-maintained trail that starts on the far left of the athletic field behind Newcomb Central School. The trail ends at a dock on Woodruff Pond. Caution is advised when skiing on the pond. There is a wonderful view of Goodnow Mountain to the north.