Family Fun: Ski the Bloomingdale Bog Trail

Bloomingdale Bog Cross-Country Ski TrailCross-country skiing a portion of the Bloomingdale Bog trail is all I've ever managed to do. To do the whole 20 miles from end to end takes a bit more planning than what we want. Most of the time we want a quick, easy trail that gets us outside and can be skied by family and friends of all skill levels. Any segment of the Bloomingdale Bog trail fits the bill.

Starting at the CR 55 parking area one mile west of Bloomingdale, we pass around the yellow entrance gates and head north toward Onchiota and the Buck Pond Campground. Even that destination is a bit too far on this chilly day. We follow the flat snowmobile trail over bridges, undertree cover and just beyond the first intersection.

The trails are marked for snowmobilers. If we turned right onto the unmaintained Bigelow Road we would end up on Oregon Plains Road. The left would take us to a ruined bridge. We cross the path and continue along the trail. We pass the wide-open space of the bog. A portion of the stream is still free of ice and we try to identify animal tracks that jump from riverbank to riverbank.

Bloomingdale Bog Cross-Country Ski TrailWe refuel with the remaining holiday chocolates and turn back. At the intersection we turn right onto Bigelow Road to explore the bridge. It is only about 500 yards from the crossroads. There is a thin layer of ice but still open water in sections. The kids take turns skiing over slight hills and exploring the nearby woods. Later they all race back to the car while I take a moment to enjoy the view.

One end of the trail starts on Route 86 (0.8-mile north from the intersection of Trudeau Road and Route 86) in Saranac Lake and travels along the Corridor 7B snowmobile network on the abandoned Delaware and Hudson (D&H) Railway lines north toward Plattsburgh crossing CR 55 where we choose to enter. 

Bloomingdale Bog Cross-Country Ski TrailFor anyone interested, the Northern New York Audubon Society will be conducting a bird watch/snowshoe hike at the Bloomingdale Bog this Saturday, January 21 from 8:00 a.m. – noon. Meet at the Bigelow Road/Oregon Plains Road intersection. 

photos and content © Diane Chase. Diane Chase is a freelance writer and author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series. The first book, Adirondack Family Time Tri-Lakes and High Peaks: Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities (with GPS coordinates) is in stores or online at www.adkfamilytime.com 

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