I’m Baaaack! Update 12/18/17

I was able to spring the 4-TEC from Lemon Tree today after its annual pre-season service.

Figured since I was trucking my sled, I might as well haul it to a place to ride. Perkins Clearing had groomers stationed at both ends. But Perkins Clearing Road appeared to have most of the snow plowed off, even the north end.

So I decided to truck it to the Brown’s Farm near the end of Cedar River Road to start my riding season. And the beast was ready to go!

There’s nothing like hearing your sled idling for the first ride of the season. I was feeling really pumped at this point.

On we go!

The three-quarter mile of road was pretty painful on the carbides, but the inch of fresh snow kept it friendly for the heat exchangers. Trail S88 from the end of Cedar River Road to Headquarters was flat, but quite scratchy.

Conditions improved past Cedar River Headquarters and I saw Indian Lake Park and Rec tag-teaming the trail on their way back home. There was still some carbide scratching until I scaled the long hill. Then it looked like this:

The base was at its best on top of the hill. But as I descended elevation into the S-turns and over to Silver Run, I was scratching carbide again.

Past Silver Run

It was mostly flat riding, but very scratchy at times…although there was better base through the flats enroute to the Big-T. At this point, I decided not to bother scratching carbide all the way to Inlet.

So I would hit the 6.2 mile Big-T dead-ender and call it good. That was a pretty good ride with not much carbide scratch.

On my way back to the Brown’s Farm, I overtook the Inlet groomer before Silver Run. So I can tell you that Moose River Plains was groomed from end to end today.

Bottom Line

It was a low-key 43 mile ride, just to get my riding legs underneath me. Dang, it felt great! 🙂

If you don’t mind sacrificing some carbide on the Altar of Dagon, this ride checks off most of the boxes for a good early season ride. But the base is really thin and would really benefit from a 6-12 inch dump of good packing snow. Unfortunately, that is not on the docket for this week.

Snow cover ranges from 6-12 inches in Indian Lake to over a foot into Moose River Plains, which is probably the only thing worth riding around Indian Lake at the moment.

Lakes are frozen over, but I would NOT recommend riding them yet. Read More…

Weekend Outlook: Update 12/15/17

Alright! Let’s kick off the first snowmobiling weekend of the season for ilsnow land!

Indian Lake

If you are riding in the Indian Lake area this weekend, just truck it over to the Brown’s Farm near the Cedar River Road and pay the old lady $5/sled to park. Then ride out to Moose River Plains from there. The Plains have been groomed this week and were reported to be good early-season riding. As per usual, get here Friday or early Saturday morning to maximize the best results before the weekend traffic tears it up.

If you try the other trails, you will encounter rocks, bumps and swampy spots. Simple as that until we freeze everything up and get another dump of white gold.

And for now, the Newcomb trail is still being plowed for logging. So it would be best to consider that trail closed for now….


I had an eyewitness report that Perkins Clearing has been groomed. Since the south end of Perkins Clearing Road is probably being plowed for logging and closed to snowmobiling, the best play call would be to park at the Mason Lake Parking Lot on Route 30 about 7 miles north of Speculator village and attack Perkins Clearing Road from the north end.

Be careful when riding the other trails, because they will probably have typical early season hazards to negotiate, like rocks, bumps and swampy spots.

The Speculator Tree Farm may offer some good riding if you can get in there. But I heard that Elm Lake Road and Fly Creek Road are being logged, so that unfortunately would eliminate a nice loop.

Bottom line

If you stick to the seasonal roads that aren’t being plowed, you can have a good time this weekend. If you venture elsewhere, you’ve got some tedious riding ahead. Also, stay off the lakes! We’ll get some snow late Friday night into Saturday morning to keep things fresh.

Be especially careful, because for most of us, this will be our first ride of the year.

You can keep up with incoming trail reports on the ilsnow.com bulletin board.

Next week?

Lots of mixed signals for next week are leaving some worry about a thaw.

Here is the 5-Day ECMWF ensemble temperature anomaly map for next week:

You can see the cold to our north and warmth to our south, suggesting we may be a battle zone next week.

We may skate by without much damage before next weekend. But there may be room for a 24-36 hour thaw that could spoil things. We’ll just have to keep an eye on it.

After that?

In the Christmas to New Year’s time frame, massive EPO- ridging will tap into the cross-polar connection:

The meat of the frigid cold would accumulate in south-central Canada and the Northern Plains States at first. But the jet stream could become pretty active with opportunities for snow events here.

For the ilsnow nation,


This report is brought to you by Progressive Motorsports, celebrating their 25th year. They live, eat and breathe snowmobiling. Stop in today and see for yourself! Be sure to tell Karen that Darrin @ ilsnow.com sent ya.

Got snow! Update 12/12/17

Tuesday’s Canadian Clipper on Steroids came through for us in a big way. I ended up with 8+ inches at the ilsnow storm center in Indian Lake.

Further south, amounts were generally clustered around a foot along the Route 8 corridor. Morehouse was the big winner with 15 inches.

Midweek Outlook

This dump of snow doesn’t put us in mid-season form by any stretch, but we have moved the needle in the right direction. When you go out riding, beware of the typical early season hazards like rocks, swampy areas and downed trees.

I can tell you that Moose River Plains is OPEN and the Town of Indian Lake has groomed our portion from the end of Cedar River Road to Silver Run.

As for Perkins Clearing, I’ve heard that the lower end of Perkins Clearing Road into Mud Lake Road will be plowed for logging and closed to snowmobiles for the season. That would require use of the “lower Perkins bypass” which was in place last season for the direct connect to Speculator. I haven’t been down to Perkins Clearing to see whether the gate is open at the north end. But I imagine it would be open soon, if not already.

The local “woods” trails need to get packed down to drive down the frost and freeze up the swampy areas. Any grooming on those trails would be on a limited scale until the swampy hazards freeze. The locals have been out today to start packing the Indian Lake trails, led by our own Cal Stanton:


You can check the ilsnow.com bulletin board for trail reports as they come in.


STAY – OFF – THE – LAKES! I don’t want to read about you falling through the ice on Facebook or the Hamilton County Express.

That’s it for 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 @ ilsnow.com sent you.