Outdoor Essays

Posted March 07, 2009, at 12:18 a.m.

Snowshoeing above Cold Stream Pond

Snowshoeing above Cold Stream Pond

The silence of the woods with fresh fallen snow – moving through a canopy of white branch-clouds overlaying the trail – a stand of birches stark against white and black forest – crystal twigs glistening with peeking sunlight – two bounding, smiling yellow Labs sniffing the lacy pattern of last evening’s visitor – two older- than- middle-aged ladies with softly whooshing snowshoes enjoying the daily walk.

By Ellen Woolley

Lowell

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Snowmobile trails different in New York

For something different we decided to go snowmobiling in the Adirondacks in upper New York State. After an Internet search we found a private camp for rent that seamed appropriate for our gang of guys who regularly go on a major trip each year.

We expected to find differences from our Maine trails and we did!

The country is very wooded with hundreds of small ponds. Lots of these ponds had lots of summer places on them but many were undeveloped. There was very little farm country. Good snowmobile country.

The majors trails, after a little snow to cover the rain-frozen snow, were well groomed but generally narrower than our typical northern trails. The side trails were not groomed at all. The trails were not well marked but the signs that were there were very nice looking, not as obtrusive as ours. The trail maps appeared to show all trails even if they were closed this year or had not been used for several years. Some major trails utilized back roads that were plowed. The trail map was color coded to show trails that used plowed roads as the trail. The trail system appeared to be designed for short days not long trippers. We saw very few sleds and no trippers.

The most dramatic thing we encountered was a major trail using a railroad bed and the rails had not been removed. With marginal snow conditions we were hitting the rails all the time. That was scary as you did not know what to expect. We came upon a rider who had been riding the trail bed and at an intersection switch, a track had folded in the suspension on his sled. He was not happy.

To sum up the New York trail system we saw I think they are where we were 20 years ago. We in Maine have a fantastic trail system.

By Larry Totten

West Bath

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Note to readers: The BDN reserves the right to edit Outdoor essays for libel, taste, clarity, and to fit available space. Outdoor essays should be 300 words or fewer and include a signature, full name, address, and daytime phone number. Outdoor essays may be mailed to: P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402, or e-mailed: bdnsports@bangordailynews.net

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