Nordic Skiing New York

Oneonta, Utica, Cortland, Oswego and the Finger Lakes

Symbols for Trail Rating: N-novice, l-intermediate, E-expert

Southern Otsego County; Oneonta Vicinity

Milford State Forest (I)
USGS 7.5' Quads: Mt. Vision, Milford

The Milford State Forest is located four miles west of the Village of Milford and nine miles north of the City of Oneonta. The State Forest contains a number of unplowed access roads throughout; with a scenic, marked five mile loop.

The loop, suitable for intermediate use with a few more difficult sections, was built with cooperation from State and County land owners. Shorter trips are possible as the trail crosses a number of town and county roads.

At the traffic light in the Village of Milford, turn west onto County Route 44. Take the second right hand turn, County Route 46, two miles from the traffic light. Approximately, 1 3/4 miles, watch for yellow ski trail markers on either side of the road; at the start of the unplowed State truck trail on the right side. Parking is suggested on the next road, Joe Cornell Road, on the left where the trail crosses County Route 46 again.

South of Utica

The Brookfield Horse Trails (I) (E)
Madison County
USGS 7.5' Quad: Brookfield

The Brookfield Horse Trail system comprises about 130 miles of trail and is one of the most extensive systems of its kind in the northeast on 13,660 acres of State Forest. The main system is found southwest of the Village of Brookfield, about 30 miles south of Utica and 60 miles northeast of Binghamton. For a complete map of the area, contact DEC at Sherburne.

The terrain in this part of New York is quite hilly, consequently, the grades to be negotiated will be steeper than is typical elsewhere. This area is, therefore, recommended for intermediate and expert Nordic skiers. This area contains over 20 miles of unplowed forest roads which provide the skier with wide travel corridors.

From the intersection of U.S. Route 20 and N.Y. Route 12 in Sangerfield, proceed east on Route 20 for about 1 mile and make a right (south] turn on Oneida County Route 6A. A sign advertising the Brookfield Fair marks the intersection. Follow this for 10 miles to the Village of Brookfield.

The Rogers Environmental Education Center Sherburne (N)
The Rogers Environmental Education Center is dedicated toward developing an appreciation for our natural resources and the need for conserving them. The area contains a number of walking paths and trails suitable for novice Nordic skiing. The area is open at all times for outdoor use. The Center buildings are open for information and programs during the week and from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Trail maps and interpretive literature are available. For brochures and additional information on the Center's program, write Rogers Environmental Education Center, Box Q, Sherburne, N.Y. 1 3460.

Take N.Y. Route 12 to Sherburne. The Center is located on Route 80, 1 mile west of Sherburne.

Cortland Area

James B. Kennedy Memorial
USGS 7.5' Quad: Forest (I to E) Harford
Cortland County

About 8 miles south of Cortland, this area is at an elevation of approximately 2000 feet and consequently receives good snow conditions for most of the season. It contains about 10 miles of unplowed town roads and some trails which offer interesting Nordic skiing. In general, the hills in this area are of moderate steepness although some locally steep spots may be encountered. This area is directly south of the Greek Peak private downhill ski resort area.

Oswego County

Chateaugay State Forest
Cross-Country Ski Trail

The Chateaugay State Forest Nordic Ski Trail was constructed by a work crew from the Oswego County Conservation Corps under the direction of the Town of Orwell. The town has agreed to maintain this trail and its improvements under permit from the Department of Environmental Conservation and to provide plowed parking space on the BeecherviIle Road.

This novice/beginner trail is located on State reforestation land in the Town of Orwell, Oswego County, about 10 miles east of the Village of Pulaski.

Finger Lakes Area

Hi Tor Wildlife Management Area (I)
Ontario and Yates County
USGS 7.5' Quads: Prattsburg-Middlesex

Located near the southern end of Canandaigua Lake, just east of the Village of Naples, the Hi Tor Wildlife Management area offers a variety of terrain including outlooks over Canandaigua Lake and the surrounding countryside. Because of the hilly terrain, this area is rated intermediate.

About 8 miles of Nordic ski trails and skiable woods roads are found on this wooded upland area because this area is a wildlife management area set aside for public hunting and fishing, other recreationists are asked not to use this area during the big game hunting season.

At the south end of the village of Naples at the intersection of State Route 21, 245 and 53, take Route 53 southeast for a little more than a mile. Turn left on Italy Valley Road, County Route 21. Follow this about 2 miles to a Department sign on the left indicating the entrance to the wildlife management area.

Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area (E)
Tompkins County
USGS 7.5' Quads: Mecklenburg-Alpine

The Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area is found on the top of a steep-sided plateau north on State Route 13 approximately 13 miles southwest of Ithaca and 20 miles north of Elmira. There are a large number of approaches to this area, most of which enter valleys which cut into the plateau. The old roads in these valleys are unplowed in winter. Use of the valley approaches allows the chance for a long downhill run back to the car after having gained the top of the plateau. Some roads are not recommended for skiing and are so indicated. The unplowed roads on top are extensive and many of them are unmarked. Skill in map reading is necessary to utilize this area. This area is generally rated expert.

Because this area is a wildlife management area set aside for public hunting and fishing, other recreationists are asked not to use the area during the big game hunting season.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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