Tubing in Saranac Lake is fun and friendly. Pretty much, if a person can sit down, they can go tubing - Adirondack style! The complex at Mount Pisgah Veteran's Memorial Ski Center (we just call it Pisgah for obvious reasons) is a great place for winter fun, and their tubing hill is a popular attraction.
If I'm going out with a group of my friends, tubing is tops on our list of fun activities. Are there kids along? Is someone not feeling up to a lot of exertion? Or are they are winter sports newbie, like me? Tubing covers all our bases.
Mount Pisgah has many ways of making this favorite winter activity a great choice for everyone. From families with littles to groups of any age, tubing is the winter sport that is just right.
that skill set
Winter outdoors might be seen as challenging... unless we take it sitting down. That's my favorite part of tubing. Even someone like me, who is not much of an athlete, can do tubing as well as my more active friends.
There are a lot of elements that make Pisgah tubing so easy for everybody:
- the tube!
These aren't old truck tubes. They are designed for tubing, so the bottom is smooth for sliding and the top has a comfortable layer that keeps us in the center of the tube. Plus, there's that handle that some people like to hang onto.
Winter sliding is a whole different set of challenges to the tube. That's why it's much more fun to use professional tubes than it is trying to sled without proper equipment. Trying to steer a cheap sled adds entirely too much drama to the process for my liking.
These tubes easily stay inside their lanes without us having to worry about anything but going along for the ride.
- the tow!
There's no trudging back up the hill with Pisgah tubing. They have a rope attached to make it easy to drag. They are awkward to carry, so I'm always glad to use that feature. If we are helping someone with their tube, it's good to know most children can handle their own.
Choose a tube and go around the lodge and up the hill. We can't miss the big red spinning pulley. The attendant takes our loop and we sit in our tube.
And we're off. This uphill part is almost as much fun as the downhill part. Once we reach the top we wait in the tube until an attendant stops us, though not before a little jump gets our heart started for the downhill run. The attendant will take off the cord and we walk just a bit (now the handle comes in handy) to the two runs.
- the slides!
There are actually two tubing slides down the mountain, which makes for a nice way to race a willing opponent. Of course, all the tubes have the same speed, which is "as fast as possible." This means we don't have to wait in lines. Everyone just picks the next open lane and off they go.
Of course we might want to choose the faster side, especially if we are racing. But I can't tell you which one -- what if the grooming changes it?
Making whooping sounds is optional.
Another great thing about Pisgah is that the fun doesn't stop when the sun does. Pisgah has fully lighted ski and tubing runs. They are open from 3PM – 8PM on weekdays, and 10AM to 4PM on the weekends. Tubing can be a fun start to everyone's day or a great way to unwind at the end.
Of course, if anyone is also interested in skiing or snowboarding, Mount Pisgah is a wonderful place. The t-bar lift lets newbies or experts start at the point of the hill where they feel comfortable. Generations of Saranac Lake children have learned to ski here, and then, as adults, went on to skiing triumphs - even to the Olympics.
Boarders ride up the same lift and use the same trails.
Night tubing is lots of fun. There's something a bit science-fictionish about sliding along in the semi-dark, as though we are on a spaceship.
A common challenge on vacations with more than one person in the group is getting everyone together on what to do. Varying energy, skills, and interest levels can make it difficult to plan activities that everyone can enjoy doing together.
Are we accompanied by a confident pre-schooler or lively grandparent? They can come too. In fact, considering that my nephew's first sliding experience was on his father's lap, there's few folks who can't slide in the snow.
If they can come out in it, chances are we can help them have fun. Even people who don't want to tube can sit by the fire and see winter from the window. Not every sport can take care of spectators the way the Pisgah Lodge does.
At the same time tubing runs were built on Pisgah, a marvelous new lodge replaced the warming hut from the post-WWII years. I love this simple, friendly, lodge. The fireplace is not the only element that is warm and welcoming. The staff are happy to serve, and they ski and tube here, too.
So a member of the family can come and simply enjoy the beverages and snacks, the burgers and pizza, even if they haven't been outside. In the winter, warming up can be a fun activity of its own.
Some of the windows offer a great vantage point to watch others ski, ride, and tube. The lodge was built so that one side has an expanse of windows allowing views of the entire hill.
Another important element that adds fun is the very reasonable prices that Pisgah charges. Last year tubing was $10 apiece for two hours, and that included the tube.
We also don't have to worry about the weather, because Pisgah can also make snow, if needed. Once they open, they will be staying open, whatever the winter weather might be.
Mount Pisgah has been a dream realized for over sixty years. The dedication of both the town and its citizens has created a wallet-friendly, family-friendly, and just downright friendly skiing, boarding, and tubing complex. It is an important part of the local ski culture, with many ski teams from all over the region coming to Pisgah to train.
Simple, reasonable, enjoyable. If the family hasn't experienced Pisgah yet, there's no need to wait any longer.
Boy, that was fun! Who's hungry?