On Saturday, we woke up to another 4 inches of fresh powder. Before heading out for the day, Andrew had to snowblow the driveway and Lindsay had some house chores to cross off the list. We wanted to get out on our skiis, so we decided to head up to Milan Hill State Park (check out the pics on the website!) where the Nansen Ski Club grooms several miles of trails.
The snow has been pretty thin up here so far this winter, so the Club has only groomed the trails a couple of times. Even now there isn’t enough snow to set tracks, but that’s fine with us, since we don’t normally ski in the set tracks. Several places on the trails were very thin and grasses and shrubs stuck up through the snow.
There was only one other car in the lot when we arrived, but we never ran into the person. We did our usual loop, hitting almost all the extra loops, including a loop at the summit. We started on the Core Loop, took the 1st Extension, back onto the Core Loop, to the 2nd Extension and the last half of the 3rd Extension.
The temperature was around 10 F but we stayed warm in our Ibex soft shell jackets that Andrew won’t stop raving about. He even wrote a glowing review on the Ibex website and won the “review of the month”! He was rewarded with a gift certificate to buy more Ibex stuff!
Milan Hill State Park is a camping park in the spring, summer, and fall. They have yurts and tenting platforms and a short walk brings you to the summit where there is a fire tower to take in the view. We’ve never camped here, mostly because we only live 30 min away, but the yurts are popular and fill up quickly on the weekends. In the winter, the Nansen Ski Club, the oldest ski club in America, takes over and grooms the roadways for a fun ski touring center. The Club takes donations and you can buy annual memberships at several local stores in the area, since the Park is not manned in the winter. They also hold a ski race/winter carnival at the end of January.
The woods in this park were logged several years ago and like every recently cut over area, it didn’t look “pretty” for the first few years, but the woods are starting to fill back in thick with hemlock and fir. The snowshoe hare are abundant in the park. Last year we also found evidence of moose bedding down near one the yurts.
On the way out we ran into a friend getting ready to hit the trails who told us of the Camel’s Hump Challenge, but we’ll probably pass on that race. Sounds pretty neat, albeit the long and arduous trek around the summit. We headed home, glad we got to stretch our legs on such a cold day. We had bigger plans for tomorrow: Willoughby State Forest over in VT (read about it now).