Nordic Skiing New York

Southwestern NY, Tug Hill Plateau and St. Lawrence
Map of North Lake Ski Trails

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

Southwestern New York

* Rattlesnake Hill
* Allegany and Livingston Wildlife Counties Management Area (I)
* USGS 7.5'; Quads: Canaseraga-Nuncla-Ossian

This area is located south of State Route 436 about halfway between Nunda and Dansville. It is at the top of a plateau which is gently rolling on the summit but which has steep sides affording good outlooks. There are about 6 miles of Nordic ski trails in this area laid out in a loop system. The truck trails in this area are designated as snowmobile trails.

The area is approached by taking State Route 436 between Nunda and Dansville. Approximately 5 miles east of Nunda or 6 miles west of Dansville, look for the Shute Road which departs to the southwest. Follow the Shute Road for 3/4 miles, then turn left (south) on the Walsworth Road. In about 1 mile this road will terminate in a parking lot in the wildlife management area.

Because this 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.

Alfred, New York
* Phillips Creek State Forest (N)
* Allegany County
* USGS 7.5' Quad: Alfred

The Phillips Creek State Forest is conveniently reached from the Southern Tier Expressway (Route 17). It lies on Route 244 between Alfred Station and Belmont. The Youth Conservation Corps has constructed a system of about 7 miles of marked Nordic ski trails in this area which are suitable for novices. A sign showing the trail layout is located at the entrance.

The entrance to the Phillips Creek State Forest is found at the top of a rise on Route 244, 9 miles east of Belmont and 7 miles west of Alfred Station. A Department sign marks the entrance. Detailed map available from Regional Forester, Region 9.

The Chautauqua West Trail (N)
Chautauqua County
USGS 7.5' Quads: North Clymer-Sherman

The Chautauqua West Trail is a 15 mile long footpath that utilizes State Forests, Chautauqua County land and easements over intervening private land. This trail is a project of the Chautauqua County parks department and is marked over its length. The State Forests are shown on the county road map. It extends between Mt. Pleasant State Forest on the north to the North Harmony State Forest on the south. The terrain is essentially flat, making it suitable for novice use.

The northern end is approached by taking State Route 430, 2 1/2 miles southwest from Mayville. The southern end is found on State Route 474, 1 mile west of Panama. The trail is identified where it intersects major highways. Detailed map available from Regional Forester, Region 9.

Tug Hill Plateau Area

This area has a heavier snowfall than any other part of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. The snow season comes early and remains until late in the spring. However, persons using this area should be cautious about crossing the plateau on the road joining Lowville to Adams Center, Route 177. Even though the weather may appear favorable in the valleys, there may be a sufficiently severe snowstorm on top to make the road impassable. If one starts to encounter deteriorating weather when attempting to cross the Tug Hill Plateau, it is advised to turn around and attempt some other route.

The great snow depth that accumulates means a very long snow season. This area is outstanding for late spring skiing.

The Lesser Wilderness State Forest (N)
* Lewis County
* USGS 7.5' Quad: Glenville

Click on map for an enlarged view.
The area is on the eastern edge of the Tug Hill Plateau and may be reached by Route 26 which passes through Lowville. This State Forest is approached from Route 26 by turning west on the Carpenter Road south of Houseville. There is a directional sign at this point indicating the route of approach to the ski trails. About 1 mile after the turn onto the Carpenter Road there is a hairpin turn to the right followed by a steep uphill climb The marked trail entrance is at the top of this steep rise with parking lot opposite. These trails have gentle grades and are laid out with the novice skier in mind. The private Snow Ridge Ski Area is to the southeast of the Lesser Wilderness State Forest and provides inter-connecting trails.

Tug Hill State Forest (N, I)
The Tug Hill State Forest containing the Rodman-Barnes Corners ski trail is located on Route 177, 5 1/2 miles east of Rodman, and 2 miles west of Barnes Corners. The access point is a parking lot on the north side of Route 177. Three trails departs from the green shed. Many loops are possible.

This trail is in that part of the Tug Hill State Forest known as Jefferson #3 and Lewis-Jefferson #2.

St. Lawrence County Area

* High Flats State Forest (I)
* (Near Colton, New York)
* USGS 7.5' Quads: Colton-Rainbow Falls

A Nordic ski trail is maintained on the High Flats State Forest by Clarkson College and is open for public use. A downhill ski area also is found on private land nearby.

Starting in the Town of Colton, cross the Raquette River and travel approximately 3 5 miles on the Colton-Parishville Road. Turn right (southeast) on Rodwell Mill Road. There is a short lefthand jog which will lead to Crowley Road which then terminates at the ski lodge. The Nordic ski trail continues into the State Forest directly ahead. It is possible to make a return loop by utilizing French Hill Road which is unplowed in winter.

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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