VICs COMBINE SKI AND SNOWSHOE FESTIVALS TO ONE DAY; OFFERS AGENCYWIDE PROGRAMS ON KING HOLIDAY WEEKEND
PAUL SMITHS, NY – The Adirondack Park Agency Visitor Interpretive Centers (VICs) at Paul Smiths and Newcomb will combine three popular festivals into one Agencywide festival on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, creating the Chilly Ski & Snowshoe Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 17 at both facilities.
“This way, people can ski and snowshoe at Paul Smiths and Newcomb on the same day,” said festival co-organizer Andy Flynn, senior public information specialist for the VICs. “Now that we have skiing at both
VICs, we are able to combine activities into a day-long, regionwide celebration for our 8th annual Wild Winter Weekend. Come celebrate winter at the VICs.”
The Newcomb VIC opened its first ski trails in the winter of 2007-08. When the facility opened in 1990, the winter trails were only open to snowshoeing; however, when the R.W. Sage Jr. Memorial Trail was constructed a few years ago, management decided to designate it a ski trail since plans were made to create a connector trail from the Sage
Trail to the Great Camp Santanoni access road. The connector trail opened for skiers last winter, and now the public can ski from the VIC to Camp Santanoni. (This is awesome)
The Newcomb VIC has been holding a snowshoe festival since the 1990s and was most recently called the Chilly Snowshoe Festival. The Paul Smiths VIC has been hosting its popular Chilly Ski Festival since January 2001 and the Friends & Families Snowshoe Day since 2005. The Newcomb event was traditionally held on a Saturday, and the Paul Smiths ski festival on a Sunday, both on the same King holiday weekend. The Paul Smiths snowshoe event was held on a Saturday a couple of weeks later.
“Now it’s time to change course and consolidate our efforts,” Flynn said. “We hope to offer more activities to the festival, therefore making it a more successful event.”
By combining the festival into a one-day event with both skiing and snowshoeing, the Agency will be able to serve more residents and visitors in the southern (Newcomb) and northern (Paul Smiths) portions of the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park during the King holiday weekend, which is one of the region’s top three weekends for tourism traffic during the winter.
“Our attendance is usually higher on Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend because thousands of people are vacationing in the Adirondacks,” Flynn said. “Therefore, we feel the need to offer a high-quality event during this time to serve as many people as possible.”
The Chilly Ski & Snowshoe Festival will highlight the Newcomb VIC’s 3.6-mile winter trail system and offer a variety of activities for people of all ages. Skiers must bring their own equipment, and people may either bring their own snowshoes or borrow the VIC’s snowshoes for free.
The festival includes snowshoe use, snowshoeing workshops, hot beverages and the following children’s craft activities: make a balsam sachet, snow goggles, snowman pin, and winter art. Family activities on snowshoes include the VIC’s famous search for the “Gold” Medallion and a scavenger hunt on each of the trails. Educators from the Adirondack Mountain Club’s offices in Lake Placid will be offering instruction on snowshoeing and winter preparedness. Admission is free. For more information, call the Newcomb VIC at (518) 582-2000.
Paul Smiths VIC
The Chilly Ski & Snowshoe Festival will highlight the Paul Smiths VIC’s 9.5-mile winter trail system and offer a variety of activities for people of all ages. Skiers must bring their own equipment, and people may either bring their own snowshoes or borrow the VIC’s snowshoes for free.
The festival includes cross-country skiing, snowshoe walks, children’s activities, learn-to-ski workshops, a ski-waxing clinic, a chili-cooking contest, and the 4th Invitational Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Eating Contest. Several naturalist and guided walks will leave from the building on a variety of trails. Nordic skiing experts from High Peaks Cyclery Mountain Adventure Center in Lake Placid will teach the ski workshops. Professionals from Adirondack Lakes & Trails Outfitters in Saranac Lake will offer their snowshoeing expertise. And a forest ranger from the state Department of Environmental Conservation will be on hand to help visitors with tips on winter preparedness. Admission is free. For more information, call the Paul Smiths VIC at (518) 327-3000.
The Chilly Ski & Snowshoe Festival is sponsored by the Adirondack Park Agency, Adirondack Park Institute, Adirondack Artisan Catering in Gabriels, Adirondack Lakes & Trails Outfitters, Adirondack Mountain Club, Ben & Jerry’s of Lake Placid, the New York State DEC, and High Peaks Cyclery Mountain Adventure Center.
The New York State Adirondack Park Agency operates two Visitor Interpretive Centers (VICs), in Paul Smiths and Newcomb, serving the environmental education and visitor orientation needs of the Adirondack Park since 1989. The VICs offer a wide array of educational programs, miles of scenic interpretive trails, and visitor information services.
Hours of Operation
Both facilities are open year-round, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, May 1 – Oct. 31; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Nov. 1 – April 30. Trails are open year-round, dawn to dusk. Admission is free. (Huzzah!)
For more information, log on to the VIC Web site at www.adkvic.org.