The first sign of winter has long been waking up to a sea of snow on that first morning. However, much like your first time sailing the sea, that initial jaunt into the snow each winter may feel a little unnatural. You might slip, slide, and grasp for anything you can to keep your feet on the ground instead of falling on your face. That's alright. With the help of Champlain Area Trails (CATS), we’ve got the perfect hikes to ease you into winter while you get your snow legs under you.
Little Ausable River Trail
For that first time out on snowshoes, we’ll keep it really mellow. This 3.6-mile (round trip) path is mostly flat so you won’t be out of breath while you figure out how to stop stepping on your other snowshoe, and why that strap keeps coming undone.
Just because it’s easy and low, doesn't mean it won’t be scenic. A really pretty stroll next to the Little Ausable River will keep the views rolling. This path also connects Heyworth/Mason Park and Sullivan Park in Peru, NY, opening up opportunities to keep exploring if your new fangled winter legs think they have some more in the tank.
McAuliffe Road Trail
Now that you’re warmed up, let’s show you something just a little harder. The McAuliffe Road Trail is an old town road in the forest overlooking the Boquet River. Though this hike is only 3-miles round trip, the terrain makes it slightly more challenging, particularly during winter conditions.
Without the leaves hanging around blocking the view, this trail between Jersey Street and Sunset Road makes for a great winter walk in the hills.
Broughton Ledges Trail
So you think you’re ready for the big leagues, eh? This 6-mile round trip trail climbs a series of switchbacks to the height of the land. From the trail, you can get some extraordinary views of the Broughton Ledges, a mammoth rock face emerging from the Adirondack-foothills around it.
When the time has come, and those footpaths and hills are no longer a challenge, batten down the hatches and hope your snow legs are prepared. This hike in winter conditions will surely provide an awesome adventure.
Trailhead: begin on Ensign Pond Road 7.7-miles west of Port Henry and 7.5-miles east of NYS Route 9.
Keep this list in mind as the snow starts to fall this season, so when it comes time to strap on the skis, snowshoes, or spikes, you’ll know just where to go. You can keep those snow legs happy and healthy by having a good meal and a good night rest. But most importantly, be prepared for lots of fun and legendary adventures!