A Whirlwind Season
At Trackers Skishoes, we try to get out on the snow as much as possible to demo skishoes and show people the beauty of skishoeing. Sometimes, it may be part of a large, formal event, while other times, we strike out on our own in unexplored areas and preach the skishoe gospel to anyone who asks about them. In doing this, we come across some interesting and fun locations, sometimes unexpectedly. Here are a few from last season (2017-18).
In the heart of New York’s Catskill Mountains, Tannersville lies in the shadow of Hunter Mountain, the well-known downhill ski resort. It comes after a drive from the east on Route 23A through spectacular, gorgeous terrain. A mere quarter mile west of town you find Mountain Trails Cross Country Ski Center with its dizzying array of trails. They encourage snowshoeing here, and you can go on the trails (staying out of the ski tracks, of course) or venture off trail through the woods. When the Panther Pass and Eagle Flight trails are open to the Upper Reservoir, it takes the fun to another level. And a school next door with a nice downhill bank leading to ball fields adds to it as well. A few hotels, including the Mansion Inn, line the main street, and be sure to hit Pancho Villa Mexican Restaurant.
Inlet has the unique distinction of having Fern Park, a network of trails, within its town limits, complete with a sledding hill and ice hockey rink. To generate interest in the trails and celebrate its history, the town holds its Frozen Fire & Lights Festival every winter. One of the main events is the cardboard sled race, and later, fireworks shower over Fourth Lake. The park’s trails cover the Fern Mountain Recreation Area, and you can venture on and off trail on skishoes all over it.
Hills Creek State Park, PA
Located near Wellsboro, the park holds its Winterfest every winter to get people out for some winter fun. The hub of activity seems to be the main area of the park on the northeast side of Hills Creek Lake. From here, you can do loops on Tauschers Trail, Yellow Birch Trail, and Lake Side Trail around the lake. While you’re at it, take in the sledding hill. Anything goes here – skis, snowshoes, or skishoes.
Greek Peak, NY
Having grown up in Greene, about 40 miles east, I learned to downhill ski at Greek Peak as a kid. Back then, it was a bare-bones day resort with nothing but ski slopes and a few restaurants. Now, it features a host of overnight lodging and even the Greek Peak Nordic Center wrapped around Hope Lake. The center features a host of wooded trails and open areas for skiing and skishoeing. When you’re done, you can take in the restaurants in Hope Lake Lodge next door or the main ski lodge close by.