Nordic Skiing New York
Symbols for Trail Rating: N-novice, l-intermediate, E-expert
The principal Nordic skiing areas on State land are found in the Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, Delmar; Featherstonaugh State Forest, west of Schenectady; the Rensselaerville State Forest, just west of Rensselaerville; and the Partridge Run Wildlife Management Area north of Rensselaerville and south of Berne.
Rensselaerville State Forest (N)
USGS 7.5'; Quads: Rensselaerville-Durham
Also known as the Cheese Hill area, this location near the Village of Rensselaerville is outstanding for its extensive pine forest glades that are sufficiently open so that one can ski through them with no need for a trail. These glades generally parallel the Department truck trail that traverses the area. There are about 4 miles of Nordic skiing opportunities in this area.
Five Rivers Environmental Education Center, Delmar
The Five Rivers Environmental Education Center is dedicated towards developing an appreciation of our natural resources and the need for conserving them. The North Loop Trail in this area has been laid out for novice skiing. A printed trail guide is available at the trailhead. A second brochure describes animal tracks likely to be found on this route and the means to identify them. The center's buildings are open 9:00 to 4:30 Monday through Saturday for interpretive displays and lectures. The trails are open seven days a week during the same hours.
Take Route 443 to Delmar; leave Delmar south on Route 443. One mile after passing Bethlehem Central School, a Department sign indicates the entrance to the Five Rivers Environmental Education Center.
Partridge Run Wildlife Albany County Management Area (N)
USGS 7.5'; Quad: Rensselaerville
This area contains an extensive trail complex that has been divided into a snowmobile and non-motorized area with trails marked for each activity. There are 8 miles of Nordic ski trails in this area. This area and the Rensselaerville State Forest are above 2000 feet in elevation and have long snow seasons.
Because this area has been set aside primarily for public hunting and fishing, other recreationists are well advised not to use this area during the big game hunting season.
Featherstonhaugh State Forest (N)
USGS 7.5'; Quads: Rotterdam Junction Duanesburg
This area has been designed as a novice ski area with a loop of approximately two miles of essentially flat trail. A second loop section to the west encounters more hilly terrain. It is located off Lake Road near Mariaville about 9 miles west of Schenectady.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication