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Paul Smiths: at home on the trails

March 22, 2012
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

For more than 20 years, visitors and residents have been skiing and snowshoeing at the Paul

Smith's College VIC.

The state Adirondack Park Agency opened the VIC?in 1989 and owned and maintained it until January 2011, when Paul Smith's College took over operations.

The VIC features about 9.5 miles of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails for people of all abilities, not including the trail to the summit of Jenkins Mountain. The Shingle Mill Falls Loop is 0.7 miles, not including the 0.4 miles to get there via the Heron Marsh Trail. In all, the Shingle Mill Falls Loop from the VIC building is 1.5 miles. The Hemlock Trail and Heron Marsh Loop are both 0.8 miles, and the Tamarack Ski Trail is 2.1 miles. The longest is the Esker Ski Trail at 4 miles. Trails are groomed, and cross-country ski tracks are set by VIC staff throughout the ski season.

The western trailhead of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail is located at the VIC. This scenic trail travels through the woods from Paul Smiths to the hamlet of Lake Clear.

There are several snowshoe trails on the 2,885-acre property, including an 8.2-mile round-trip up scenic Jenkins Mountain. Skis or snowshoes are required on all trails, except the 0.8-mile Barnum Brook Trail, where walking is allowed during the winter. The Northwoods Snowshoe Trail is 2.2 miles roundtrip from the trailhead. The Boreal Life Snowshoe Trail is 1.3 miles. People may also ski on the snowshoe trails.

People are allowed to snowshoe on the VIC ski trails; however, snowshoers are asked to give skiers the right of way and stay to one side of the ski tracks.

The trails are open from dawn to dusk every day. Dogs are not allowed on the VIC trails in the winter season.

The Adirondack Park Institute, which has served as the VIC's not-for-profit friends group since 1989, is currently based at the Paul Smiths VIC and plans public programs and events in the future. For more information, visit the API online at www.adirondackparkinstitute.org.

The Paul Smith's College VIC is located 12 miles north of Saranac Lake on Route 30.

 
 
 

 

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