Grim Reaper is Coming! Update 2/20/17

grim reaperYes… Dr. Death himself will be reaping the harvest left behind by last weekend’s thaw. But before he does, I wanted to ride before the trails completely go to seed.

After work, I took a quick 20 mile swirl around town to gauge the conditions. The base remains solid with a loose/wet granular riding surface with ice corners and some corners scuffed down to dirt.

Far from being a disaster, the trails were firmly ride-able with slight to modest studders and looked mostly like this:

sabael trail

With the warmth, water is eating away at the base from underneath and C8/Sabael trail was developing water hazards that can ruin your day if you let them take you by surprise. In a bit of irony, I met Crazy Cal on this stretch of trail with the same idea that I had: Ride it while it’s still decent.

S85/Ski Hut trail, S86/Little Canada and S87/42nd and Broadway offered the best riding. Adirondack Lake was full of ruts and not fun to ride at all.

Took S84/Blue Mountain trail out for a couple of miles. It was bumpier than what I had found in town, but still quite ride-able with some corner scuff before I got over the top.

The worst stretch of icy trail I encountered was on C8 between the former Arctic Cat dealership and the sewer plant. Didn’t bother going out C8 toward Cedar River headquarters, but I’m certain that remains ride-able as well.

Midweek Outlook

Grim… Reaper… Cometh… When afternoon temperatures get into the 50s like it probably will 3-4 days from Tuesday through Saturday, the snow melts like ice cream on a summer’s day. If you have designs on riding this week, the sooner the better…simple as that. Forget about whether they’re grooming, because those opportunities will be limited, if there are any.

Weekend Outlook

Ugh… Rain Friday and Saturday will accelerate the snow melt. Trails will probably be nothing but mush, water and ice by the weekend. Busy corners and exposed areas around town could be showing a lot of dirt by then. It will turn colder Saturday night and Sunday, but any snows will be minor.


Don’t bother asking me because I can’t tell you whether ice is “safe” or not. Use your best judgement and stay away from any inlets, outlets and river channels. If in doubt, stay off the ice.

Is Winter Over?

Believe it or not, I don’t think so…for the heart of the Adirondacks anyway. There may be a couple of opportunities for snow events in the February 28th – March 2nd window. There is still cold air to play with and the jet stream remains very active. It’s just a matter of the storm track moving far enough south and east for us to get snow instead of wintry mix/rain. I have absolutely no faith in cold air staying around for weeks at a time in March, but at least ilsnow land still have a chance to extend the snowmobiling season at least a few more weeks after we get done with this meltdown.

For the ilsnow nation,


This report is brought to you by Pilot Knob Marina in Lake George. Just get off Northway I-87 Exit 20, then follow NY Route 149 East until you hit the junction of NY Route 149 and Bay Road. Pilot Knob Marina features a wide selection of new and pre-owned Arctic Cat snowmobiles & ATVs. If you see Nick Barber, tell him that Darrin @ sent ya!

2/19/17 Holiday Update

Yesterday was quite the day. Went from 10*F to 51*F and spring fever.

Temperatures did dip below freezing late last night to staunch the bleeding. By far the busiest snowmobile Saturday I’ve seen in Indian Lake in a long time! They were all over the place like swarms of locusts. You can see a small sample of the Saturday horde by clicking here.

I’ve still got 2+ feet at the stick Sunday morning, so trails are certainly still rideable for the duration of the holiday weekend, but the mid-winter luster is just a memory…


Weather outlook for the upcoming week is NOT in our favor. Moral of the story, get out and ride it NOW!

For the ilsnow nation,


This report is brought to you by Adirondacks Speculator Region Chamber of Commerce. Speculator has long been one of my favorite places to ride! There are lots of options, whether you want to ride around Speculator for the day, or launch a 250 mile mega-miler. Speculator is loaded with businesses eager to cater to snowmobilers. Look them up at the Speculator Chamber and grab a copy of their snowmobile trail map. Be sure to tell them that Darrin @ sent you.

Mega-Miler! Ride 2/16/17

Today was the day that I was going to stretch the 4-TEC for some big miles and justify its purchase.

Mission accomplished, here’s the story:

Headed out of the compound just after 7am. I actually wanted to get out before the groomers so I can romp on the half-foot of new snow! C8 out to Cedar River Headquarters was a great ride all the way out.

Moose River Plains from Cedar River Headquarters to Silver Run turnaround had rollers and studders under the new snow. Inlet side past Silver Run was smoother, but needed a pass of the groomer to make it great. There were no icy corners, thin spots or corner scuff.

Here was the 4-TEC sitting fat and happy at the Silver Run turnaround:

moose river plains

Inlet trails were excellent. Their sidewalk trail had just been groomed. Trail 5 was rough, but the Old Forge trails got better the further away from Rondaxe Road I got.

Attempt at Brantingham…foiled!

Saw fresh groomer tracks on Trail 1, which made me feel good about my plan to make a Brantingham run. All was great until the groomer tracks split right onto Trail 2. The further on Trail 1 I traveled, the rougher it became. BT had sno-cross moguls and wasn’t fun. So I abandoned the Brantingham run and tracked back down to Old Forge for some fun.

Pipeline and Trail 7 were great. Of course, I can’t pass the Elsie Lookout with taking the run to the top:


The snow that fell today was perfect for riding: Enough to keep things nice and fresh, but not hard enough to blind you.

A New Place…FO-PO!

As I pressed down Trail 7 to Thendara, I decided to take a run down Trail 6 to McKeever, something I had never done before. That was freshly groomed and a nice ride all the way through.

I bounced onto C7/Railroad which was somewhat lumpy…but had TONS of snow on it. No problems with exposed rails or switches. After stopping for gas at Adirondack Grocery, I was really far from Indian Lake with already 100 miles for the day at noon. So I decided to go for broke and do the mega-loop.

Trail C7C and C7E through Woodgate and down to Forestport were exquisite riding. The snow was sticking to the trees like cotton:

fopo cotton

Trail C7 continued the excellent riding down through the Trackside Blazers Clubhouse. Trail C7 eventually dumped onto a paved road through downtown Forestport. Good thing it was snowing hard enough to keep the margins slushy or else that would have been a very painful ride.

From Alder Creek into the Penn Mountain system, Trail C7 was very rough at times. Trail C4 wasn’t much better until I crossed Route 12. Then it was like someone had flipped a switch with great riding on the open fields and seasonal roads all the way down to Route 365 in Remsen. Read More…


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