A few inches of fresh snow and the potential of more in the forecast have snowmobile enthusiasts anxiously awaiting good ground cover.
I spoke with the Schroon Lake and North Hudson Snowmobile Club to learn about the trails they operate and maintain. Steve Krupski, the club’s secretary, told me that the club maintains over 50 miles of trails in and around the village of Schroon Lake! He provided me with a good deal of information to share with you.
Lots of connections
Trails to the north connect to the town of North Hudson and its trail system, as well as the western legs of Ticonderoga’s trails. Trails going south enter into the Scaroon Manor campsite area with a connection to trails in northern Warren County. Connections are also available to the west for the trails to Minerva.
The Schroon Lake & North Hudson Club trails serve as a great hub no matter where you want to venture or what direction you may be headed. If you're planning on getting out on the frozen water for some ice fishing with your sled, there are several connections that let you get right out onto the lake.
The trails are centered around the town of Schroon Lake where gas, food, and lodging are readily available at a wide variety of establishments. Snowmobilers have numerous choices of where to grab a beverage or snack, or simply step inside for a chat and a chance to warm up. South of the hamlet of Schroon Lake, trails connect to two great restaurants for some fine dining — Sticks & Stones Wood Fired Bistro & Bar and Witherbee’s.
This club has produced a fantastic map loaded with pertinent snowmobiler information while providing an overview of all the trails and trail connections. It will guide you to the best parking areas, places to fuel up, and options for grabbing lunch, dinner, and refreshments.
A generous parking area is available at the town of Schroon Lake Highway Department garage on Hoffman Road. From there, Steve said, “Trail intersections are marked throughout the system to help snowmobilers track where they are in the system."
Pick up a printed copy of the map at the Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce, located on Main Street, at various establishments in town, or contact the club.
A wide variety of trail types exist; some have incredible scenic lake and mountain views so be sure to bring your camera. Some trails travel over seasonal roads, while others are groomed banks of active roads. Some cross the Schroon Lake Golf Course, but most travel through the woods. The majority of trails are on private property, so using them is a privilege. The club asks that you respect the landowners and stay on the designated trails to ensure the future of snowmobiling in and around Schroon Lake. The club has three full-sized groomers and one snowmobile groomer to keep all trails in top condition whenever snow levels permit.
Steve provided me with more in depth trail descriptions:
“Along with 10-plus miles of club-maintained local trails, forty miles of the Schroon Lake North Hudson system are what New York state classifies as “community connector trails.” These receive funding for maintenance and grooming from New York state, based on the money collected from snowmobile registrations. The Schroon portion of trail corridor C8 begins north of Paradox Lake near Flemings Pond. The trail follows the banks of Flemings Pond road to Lettsonville Road and then onto an unplowed section of Johnson Pond Road. A section on the road bank crosses NYS Route 9 in North Hudson and into the Jellystone Campground. The trail winds through the campground and onto the old Frontier Town property. Into a wooded area, the trail heads south roughly paralleling and sometimes crossing Route 9. As it approaches the Schroon Lake area, the trail uses the seasonal River Road to bring you to the eastern end of Paradox Lake. River Road is an unplowed trail along the river and passes a sometimes frozen waterfall, then crosses NYS Route 74 and heads into the woods again.
"A combination of woods and field riding brings you to the north end of Schroon Lake village. A woods trail between Rt 9 and the Adirondack Northway takes you into the village where food, gas, and lodging are available. The trail comes out of the woods at the Schroon Lake highway garage where it intersects trail S84. S84 runs south to Scaroon Manor. C8 continues into the woods again, heading mostly west. Mostly a woods trail, C8 also uses the seasonal Horseshoe Pond Road. It crosses Hoffman Road twice, then heads back into the woods. A scenic ride through the woods ultimately comes out to Charley Hollow Road. There it rides the banks again for a bit, then back to the woods until you reach Trout Brook Road. This is where the Schroon portion of the trail transitions to the Minerva Snowmobile Club — they maintain trails into Minerva and possibly beyond.
“S84 provides the connection of the Schroon Lake system with the trails of northern Warren county. S84 starts at the Schroon Highway Department garage and crosses onto the Schroon Lake golf course. From there you head across the golf course then left into the woods for the trip south. The trail crosses the Northway using a Charlie Hill Road bridge then continues south between the Northway and Rt 9; a few miles of woods riding again then travels along South Schroon Road. From there it’s back into the woods to cross over Rt 9 for the last time. Wooded trails again take you into, and through, the NYS Schroon Manor Campground. When you reach the campground main gate, the Schroon Lake trail system ends and the trail transitions into northern Warren County — the trails of the North Warren Trailblazers. These trails connect to Brant Lake, Chestertown, and into Warrensburg.”
“There are several areas in the village of Schroon where trails lead onto Schroon Lake itself. However, no part of the trail system utilizes the lake, and lake riding is always dependent upon ice conditions which can be inconsistent.”
Jim Robbins, club president, informed me that the Schroon Lake & North Hudson Snowmobile Club now has over 170 members. New memberships are always welcome and an application can be found on their website. As Steve explained, a portion of the club member’s NYS snowmobile registration fee is returned to the club to help in the maintenance and development of their trail system. In fact, as I understand it, some form of “discount” is given to club members who register more than one sled, but you can check with the club for more information on that.
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