Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Skiing Saratoga Spa State Park

see?  i'm not the only one who likes x-country!
Hi.  my name is Silvia and I'm a cross-country skiing addict.  Whew - that feels better.  Maybe not as good as being outside on a beautiful day with skis on my feet and the sun on back, but, good nonetheless.  The past few years have been  rough for those of us who are dependent upon mother nature for a good time, but she is really making up for the recent "dry" years with a season as good as any I can remember. 

My  love for Capital Hills has been well documented and I don't imagine there is a better free place within 5 minutes of my house, but variety is the spice of life and I'm all about mixing things up when I can.  That statement probably doesn't jibe with your librarian fantasy stereotype, but, believe it or not, not everything in my life is orderly.  Hello!  Have you been reading?  Anyway...
little geyser
Friday afternoon, after making a vat of soup, I drove up the Northway to Saratoga.  After checking into the Hilton Garden Inn, I got into my ski clothes and headed over to Saratoga Spa State Park to check out their trails and get some calorie credits prior to the evening's indulgence(s).

I've skied here a couple of times before in years past and love the southwest area of the park for its quiet hills and beautiful scenery, so that's where I headed.  The trails were a mixture of groomed and untouched, with the roads retaining enough snow cover to provide a decent enough trail for those less inclined to explore the wooded paths.  I had a great little run through, going past Peerless Pool and a number of the pavilions, before heading back to the hotel for a soak in the hot tub prior to dinner.

Friday's quick spin through the park was a mere precursor to the more extended run I took Saturday with a couple of friends.  I know that I've said this at least three times so far this winter, but I've sincerely meant it each time I've uttered the following words: The conditions were the best I've ever seen.  Really.  The skies were a brilliant blue, the sun shone brightly enough to convince me that I got a touch of tan on my face and there wasn't a hint of wind.  Absolutely ideal.  Period.  
a wooded path near the gideon
The loop we took was an extension of the path I had taken the previous day.  We started off downhill on the road and worked our way through a good portion of the southwest corner of the park, staying south of the Avenue of the Pines and west of Route 9.  The terrain had some mildly challenging spots but was better groomed than it had been a day earlier and we had a blast.  

It was the kind of day that, if we had unlimited time, we could have easily spent 5 or 6 hours tooling around the park with an occasional pit stop at either the warming hut or the Gideon Putnam's bar.  Or both.  But, alas, we all had places to go and responsibilities to resume, so after an hour and a half we packed it in and headed back to life, with a quick stop back at the hotel for a last dip in the hot tub.  Sublime.  Saratoga is not just for summer.

the epitome of saratoga in the winter

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for getting me to dust off the vintage equipment and hit the trails...cant wait to go again and again and again! Such a great escape, so close to home...ps...that picture of the gyser is stunning!