Near Lake Placid, the Jack Rabbit XC Ski Trail is a 50km linear trail system from Keene through Lake Placid to Saranac Lake.
Here are segment descriptions of the Jackrabbit Trail, which is maintained by the Adirondack Ski Touring Council:
Saranac Lake to McKenzie Pond Road - 2 mi. Ungroomed - Difficulty: Novice to Intermediate… One can start skiing the trail at the bandshell on Main Street and find the trail via Riverside Park, but the most popular approach is to start at the North Country Community College Gym. Follow the railroad one-half mile from N.C.C.C., then turn left and follow the trail (part of old snowmobile trail) to McKenzie Pond Rd. at 2 miles.
McKenzie Pond Road to the Whiteface Club Nordic Center (5.5 miles) - Ungroomed - Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced… This section is skied often and should be broken out within a day of any storm. Starting on the road, the trail climbs up past a softball field then along a narrow section to the McKenzie Pond Truck Trail at just over one mile. After another flat mile, the trail climbs for 1.5 mi. and then descends a like distance to Whiteface Club Nordic Center.
Whiteface Club Nordic Center to Mirror Lake (3.5 miles) - Mostly Ungroomed - Difficulty: Intermediate (Trail fee required to cross Whiteface Club trails)… Generally bearing left on the Whiteface Club trails, the Jackrabbit Trail leaves the groomed trails at 0.5 mi. and reaches the Howard Johnson's Restaurant at 1.75 mi. Crossing Saranac Avenue, the trail goes to the left of the Tops Express store and follows a paved road (usually must be walked) for 0.2 mi. until the skiing resumes on the right. Reaching West Valley Road at 3.0 mi., the trail climbs to the Holiday Inn parking lot. From here, skiers may walk or ski to the right of the main Holiday Inn building and then down the hill. Passing to the left of the Post Office, the route reaches the toboggan slide on the shore of Mirror Lake at 3.5 mi.
Mirror Lake and Lake Placid Resort Nordic Center to the Cascade Cross Country Ski Center (7 miles) - Groomed (trail fee required) - Difficulty: Intermediate… From Mirror Lake, the Jackrabbit Trail goes past some old Lake Placid Club cottages to Lake Placid Resort Nordic Center. The trail then crosses the golf courses and comes to River Rd. at 3 mi. Paralleling River Rd. for 1/4 mile the trail turns left up a driveway for another 1/4 mile then up through Craig Wood Golf Course and on to Route 73 at 5.5 mi. Crossing Rt. 73, the trail goes gradually down and then up to the Cascade Cross Country Ski Center lodge at 7 mi.
Cascade Cross Country Ski Center to Keene (6 miles) - Mostly Ungroomed - Difficulty: Intermediate… From the lodge the trail bears left along Beaver Run trail for 3/4 mile, then left and on to Route 73 at 1.5 mi. Crossing Route 73, the trail follows a road (may be plowed) for one-half mile then on to the top of the pass at 3.5 mi. From the top of the pass, a series of decents lead to Adirondack Rock and River at the end of the trail.
Note: All groomed sections of the Jackrabbit Trail are subject to a trail fee. Each cross country ski center will sell a Lake Placid Interconnect ticket which will be honored on the day it was sold at all area cross country centers including Mt. Van Hoevenberg. Season passes are also available. As before, the ungroomed wilderness sections of the trail leading to Keene and Saranac Lake remain free of charge as is the new section from Lake Clear to Paul Smith.
Overall, Jack Rabbit XC Ski Trail is the 50th most popular cross country ski area of all 60 Nordic ski destinations in New York. Several of the better cross country ski trails are nearby Jack Rabbit XC Ski Trail including Mt. Van Hovenberg Nordic Center, Five Ponds Wilderness, Cascade Cross Country Ski Center, Essex County Trails and Whiteface Club Nordic Center.
Local Contacts: Adirondack Ski Touring Council (518) 523-1365; High Peaks Cyclery And Ski Shop (518) 523-3764; NY Tourism (800) CALL NYS.
Best Season: Dec. - Mar.
Base Camp: Northwoods Inn, Lake Placid; Bark Eater Inn, Keene (518) 576-2221; Adirondack Rock and River Lodge (518) 523-1365.
Luxury Loding: Mirror Lake Inn, Lake Placid (518) 523-2544; White Face Lodge, Lake Placid; Crowne Plaza Lake Placid
Breakfast Restaurant: Downtown Diner, Lake Placid; Chair 6, Lake Placid
Date Published: 12/30/2015
Date Updated: 8/15/2016
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