SARATOGA SPA STATE PARK cross country skiing, walking..

Mar 14, 2020 - Hike, no snow. Tufa.(calcium carbonate formations).

Feb 19, 2020 - 3" of new wet snow, 10" total in open areas, the temperature stayed above freezing overnight & was in mid-30's when I was out - very good skiing in the woods, good in open areas. Explored KARNER BLUE BUTTERFLY AREA & the HEMLOCK TRAIL which are mostly flat outlying parcels E of Rt.9. Started at the dog park on Crescent St. & skied most trails but avoided the one closest to Rt. 9. Crossed Crescent Ave., explored an old 19th century cemetery then did a short bushwhack to the green trail in Hemlock - nice area once you get away from the road, on to green trail for a figure-8 loop - areas of hemlock, oak & beech; bridges over streams. Back to dog park then crossed Rt.9 & played on some bumps on the golf course. 2.4 hours. Map.

Feb 16, 2020 - Originally thought I would ski in the afternoon with temp ~40F softening up the ice but <1" of fresh powder fell overnight so I got out early, still slightly below freezing. Anticipating sticky snow, I wiped Maxiglide on my scales, bindings & ski tops - I already had hard glide wax on rest of ski bases, snow never sticks to that wax. Very good skiing in open areas like the golf course (the 8" base had a bit of give to it), mostly good skiing in wooded areas. Skied from the warming hut (no fire ~8:45am) all the way across the park; picked up the 5-Mile-Trail by Ferndell & went L clockwise, dropped down (a sharp switchback eases the grade) to Geyser Brook, up an unplowed road just N of Karista Pavillion to avoid a very steep section of the 5-Mile-Trail, past Peerless Pool & did the Wetland Trail (blue, & yellow 5-mile-trail markers, fairly flat) counterclockwise with short detour to Methane Mountain North (when the Wetland/5-Mile Trail takes a L at a 4-way junction, take a R) which has a nice view toward the wetlands around Geyser Brook & the Kayaderosseras Creek - got in a couple of turns going down, a little grabby but not too bad. Continued on Wetland thru nice oak/hickory woods, then back across golf course. 3.2 hours. Fire & lunch in the warming hut when I got back. Map.

Feb 10, 2020 - Snowing with the possibility of rain, so I got out early. Temp rising into the 30's - applied Maxiglide to avoid stickiness. Some golf course & some on the 5-mile trail down to Island Spouter. Spur to Ferndell Spring (pic). Icy base with 4" heavy wet powder. 2.4 hours.

Feb 8, 2020 - Fat bike rally going on around the warming hut but they all stayed close. I skied golf course on 1-2" powder on top of 3" of ice, quite good. Some pine branches had broken off - Avenue of the Pines was closed to traffic due to ice & blowdown. 2 hours.

Jan 25, 2020 - More SARATOGA SPA STATE PARK skiing, from Warming Hut. Needed to check out the non-golfcourse skiing. Passed Victoria Pool, crossed North South Rd & picked up the 5-Mile Trail (aka Geyser Trail) at the Ferndell Pavillion, the only well-marked trail I've seen in the park & it is most interesting with lots of sights along the way, more wooded than the golf course, intermediate skiing, some roots & rocks showing with 5" (should be fine if there is 10"+) - don't look for it on the ski trail map, look here https://parks.ny.gov/…/SaratogaSpa2015SaratogaSpaTrailMap.p… . Also did the Peerless Trail & some exploring. Attractions include Geyser Brook (the smell!) (which is a tributary of Kayaderosseras Creek), Island Spouter , Karista Spring, Peerless Pool, disc golf course, SPAC. Saw a red-bellied woodpecker & heard a pileated woodpecker. 3 hours.

Jan 24, 2020 - SARATOGA SPA STATE PARK ski. Got out early in colder snow - will get sticky in the pm when temp gets around & above the freezing mark. Quite a few others out skiing too. Still a nice 5"-6" of powder but expecting rain (arrrgh!!!) in 24 hours... Slowly learning my way around. Schenectady Muni & Albany's Capital Hills have much hillier terrain but Saratoga has the snow. Deer, snowfleas. 2.4 hours.

Jan 21, 2020 - SARATOGA SPA STATE PARK. 6" powder. Large parking area at the Warming Hut (NE corner of the park off Avenue of the Pines) which had a wood fire going + restrooms. No entry fee in winter. Easy trails around the golf course - the skiing is not too exciting but the park is interesting. Map: https://parks.ny.gov/…/attac…/SaratogaSpaWinterSportsMap.pdf

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