Winter Overview and Trail Conditions:
The hard part is locating the path and the correct pull-off to choose. The key is to look for the blazes on the tree. Once you do this the trees are fairly well blazed with no official DEC markers.
You will start immediately through an open forest over several very small rolling hills which, if broken out by previous users, is a fun time. Most of this herd path stays within the contour lines avoiding any major elevation change until about 1.2 miles in.
At 1.2 miles the trail starts a slow descent with a couple more aggressive descents. Please be on the lookout for any downed trees over the path, this is not maintained and trees could be blocking the course and this can be dangerous on the descent. From this point it is mostly downhill to Lower Saranac Lake and the site of an old cabin. Large erratic’s mark the shore and add some flavor to the already amazing vistas.
Elevation Gain/Loss to Destination:
170 feet of loss to the lake
Approximate Time, Round Trip:
Family with Kids: Not recommended
Experienced Skier: 3 to 4 hours
Out of Shape/Beginner Skier: Not recommended
Distance Round Trip:
From the intersection of Routes 3 and 86 in Saranac Lake follow Route 3 toward Tupper Lake. Continue for 0.8 miles to Edgewood Road on the right. Follow Edgewood Road for 0.4 miles to Forest Home Road on the left. Follow Forest Home Road for roughly 3.2 miles to a small rest area/pull-off on the left. At the back of the pull-off is the herd path.
Difficulty: 1=beginner, 5=advanced
Two to three: This depends on how much use it gets during any one season. It does get some but if it doesn’t the path can be difficult to break out. There are also a couple steep downhill sections.
Additional Important Information:
Skiing over a frozen body of water is a cross-country skiing past time; it can access you to areas not seen by most in the summer. With that being said it is a dangerous activity to cross frozen water bodies and should be done with care and respect for your environment. Know the ice conditions and be prepared for anything including heavy winds, snow drifts, whiteouts, slushy conditions, and thin ice.