Farewell to Winter! Update 4/2/17

The snow was melting quickly Sunday under the strong April sun, but I did sneak in a 20 mile ride after work. Lakes were slush pits, so I stayed off them.

I took the opportunity to ride some of the local “side trails” that I seem to miss all winter. Looks like nobody had run this one in quite a while before I tracked it:


Besides that, I ran S85/Ski Hut trail a few times and C8/Sabael Trail out to Furnells Field.

Much of the Sabael trail was good riding like this:


But, there were places where flowing water was destroying the trail from underneath. Here was the worst spot today:


The big holes don’t surprise you. The smaller holes where the trail begins to collapse are the ones that can get you; there were several spots on the Ski Hut trail and Sabael trail that could surprise you.

Once you get out into the open, the trail is totally at the “mercy” of the relentless sun. The Crow Hill Road shelf was still holding up Sunday afternoon, but the trail leading into town from there is getting skunked:


I made my way out C8 about a mile past the former Arctic Cat dealer. It was still in pretty good shape, but I didn’t venture out much further only because I just wanted to bop around town.

Then I found this spot on the banks of the Cedar River and hung out for a while in the 50*F warmth. Just a great place to hear the birds, see the deer dance and hear (and see through the trees) a few other sleds passing in the distance:


Not a high miler by any means, but this ride hit the spot perfectly for April 2nd. My last ride? Well, I’ve learned never to say never until ALL of the snow is gone. But if I’m done, I went out on a great note!

With deep snow remaining in the woods, the die-hards can get their fix this week. With a couple of significant rain events on the horizon for this week, I think the Fat Lady is warming up her vocal cords.

Summing up this winter

Except for the 3 week doughnut hole from late February until mid-March, I gotta say it was a pretty good year for snowmobiling in ilsnow land. I know some people have a different view because they had to trailer a lot to hit the places that had snow. But I live here, so I get to call it the way I see it. I logged nearly 2250 miles for the winter, which is on the plus side of par for me.

Lack of snowfall was certainly not a problem. March 14th brought the biggest snowstorm (23 inches) we had since the legendary Valentine’s Day Blizzard of 2007 dumped around 3 feet.  Our seasonal snowfall total of 127.5 inches to date is the biggest since the 132.9 inches set back in 2007-08. With the vast majority of April left, we could catch it.

Our biggest problem was that it never stayed cold for weeks at a time and a warm-up was almost always around the corner. But I can’t recall a winter that bounced back so many times and so quickly after warm spells like it did this winter.

Parting words

There are 3 reasons why ilsnow.com works:

1. I have something to say
2. You listen to what I say
3. Terrific businesses supporters who believe in ilsnow.com

Thank YOU for trusting my information to plan your snowmobile trips. My goal is always to maximize your ride time, because let’s face it: none of us snowmobile as much as we’d like to.

For the ilsnow nation,


This report is brought to you by Steet Ponte Auto Group. Many of the vehicles here in Indian Lake are bought from the Steet Ponte. Co-owner Joe Steet is a huge fan and booster of ilsnow.com. If you’re looking for a new truck, give Steet Ponte a good look.

April Fool if you think its over…

Early spring snows are usually a tricky beast. Thankfully, Indian Lake ended up with about six inches of snow/sleet mash to grease the skids again.

Didn’t make it out until after work. Indian Lake village trails were tracked up by late afternoon, but still in pretty decent shape; some slush here and there.

S84 out to Blue Mountain was getting ground down to dirt in the usual spots before I got up over the top. Overall, it was a somewhat lumpy ride. The smoothest section was along Rock Lake. There were a few spots where the water is eating away at the trail, but nothing insurmountable.

538/Newcomb trail was soft and lumpy, but still a half-way decent ride. There were occasional thin spots, but the shady nooks were still holding quite a bit of snow:

Newcomb trail

Newcomb trail

At the Newcomb-T, I hooked a left onto C7B toward Long Lake for giggles. For about a mile in, this was one of the smoothest stretches I rode on Saturday. But then it turned thin and bumpy with water hazards, so I turned around.

One back to town, I was able to find enough snow on Benton Road to make the connection to S87/42nd and Broadway, which was really nice. Adirondack Lake was turning into a slush pit, so I just pinned it-to-win it across.

S86/Little Canada was nice and flat! Only one or two other tracks on it all day. Snow was nice and deep toward the Lone Birch, but thinner near the Route 30 One Stop.

Section between Route 30 One Stop and Crow Hill Road was a fun slush pit in places. S85/Ski Hut trail was great!

C8/Sabael trail was really nice riding, but there were several water hazards opening back up. A lot of it looked like this:

C8/Sabael trail

C8/Sabael trail

Then I spun back to the compound with about 65 miles under my belt.

For Sunday…

Wish I could have gotten out Saturday morning before S84 & Newcomb trails got bumped up a bit. But then again, it was good to see people taking advantage of Old Man Winter’s parting gift. I spotted a dozen or more sleds in the time I was out. Even if you didn’t make it up on Saturday, it will be around for Sunday.

If you have already called it a winter, that’s fine too. But when I live here and we get a fresh blanket of snow, I’m going riding…as long at there is a base underneath it! Even April…

Despite Old Forge/Inlet closing their trails for the season at the end of April 1st, Moose River Plains should remain open through the weekend. Perkins Clearing is a good play call if you take it from the north end from Mason Lake parking lot.


I think I’ve got one more ride in the tank this weekend before calling it quits myself. We could be in for a couple of significant rain events during the first week of April that will finally start the spring break up in earnest. So, grab it now…or forever hold your peace!

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 @ ilsnow.com sent you.

Die hard special: Update 3/31/17

4/1/17 8AM Update: Snowing steady at Indian Lake this morning with a total of 5 inches snow/sleet. Snow will quit later Saturday morning as the storm pulls away.

Star Date 3.31.2017 19:00hours:

We have 2-3 inches of snow/sleet mash this evening and the sleet is pinging off my window pretty good right now. After a start of snow this morning, this event has become a true mixed bag.

As the storm system passes by, the atmospheric column will probably cool off a few degrees overnight and attempt a flip back to snow. This has happened with a number of similar events over the winter. If we’re fortunate, we get a few hours of heavy snow and have a nice treat for Saturday.

If not, at least we’ll have a decent covering of mash to keep the slides and heat exchangers quite happy. Temperatures will stay below 32*F tonight in the central Adirondacks, so we don’t have to worry about meltdown overnight.

Worth it this weekend?

Well, I snapped this picture at the start of S84/Blue Mountain trail. Doesn’t look bad and someone did ride in today:


Yeah, the exposed areas are getting thin, but we’ve still got 1-2+ feet of snow pack lurking in the woods. Grooming has stopped for the season, but the trails are certainly ride-able. Some of the riding is probably pretty smooth with the lack of traffic in recent days. I’ll certainly take a stab at it over the weekend.

I placed a call to DEC today, they told me that Moose River Plains will remain open through the weekend. I should have asked about Perkins Clearing, but I think that’s usually the Town of Lake Pleasant’s call. I would assume that Perkins Clearing Road would remain open, especially at the north end.


Well… I did ride on Indian Lake last Sunday. Since then, it hasn’t gotten very warm (only 2 days above 40*F) and we haven’t had any significant rain. But riding lakes this late in the season is clearly at your own risk, especially when the winter wasn’t tremendously cold to build up really thick ice.

Bottom line…

It won’t be mid-winter prime, but good enough to get around. You can do a whole lot worse for the first days of April. It’s there if you want it, and that’s NO April Fool’s joke. 😉

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 @ ilsnow.com sent ya!


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