The Winter Olympics kicks off in Sochi, Russia on February 7th and it boasts a roster of Adirondack athletes that is something the entire region can be proud of. Look for biathletes Lowell Bailey, Tim Burke and Annelies Cook; luger Chris Mazdzer; New Jersey-raised bobsled pilot Jamie Greubel; nordic combined skier Billy Demong; ski jumper Peter Frenette and doubles luger Jayson Terdiman, originally from Berwick, Pa., now makes his home in Lake Placid year-round. There’s also alpine skier Andrew Weibrecht, a Lake Placid native who won a bronze medal at the 2010 Olympics also joining the 2014 team.
Celebrating the Olympic Fever is always something folks in the Adirondacks enjoy and Long Lake is no exception. As winter comes into full swing and the Polar Vortex easing mid-week folks looking for outdoor recreation can finally get outside and enjoy what winter has to offer.
Long Lake and Raquette Lake have full schedules in February. On February 1st, Joan Collins, an Adirondack birding expert and guide is hosting a snowshoe hike along the Roosevelt Truck Trail at 8am. The Town of Long Lake provides transportation and guests provide their own snowshoes and lunch. Joan is an excellent guide and has an excellent ear and eye for spotting birds. The trek itself is 2.5 miles long on fairly even ground. Folks can sign up by calling 518.624.3077. There is a guiding fee of $20 per person. Family rates are available.
All About Ice
On February 1st look for not one, but two ice harvests. Every year Raquette Lake Supply harvests ice to used throughout the summer months as mother nature’s natural air conditioner. The harvest of ice manned mostly by volunteers, using original ice harvesting equipment, lasts all day and helps keep supplies cool well into the summer. Not many of these operations are still functioning, but on-lookers can catch a glimpse a window into history. In Long Lake, there will be a private ice job in operation on the north end of Long Lake just past Round Island.
Coming up the weekend February 7th and 8th we see the return of Ice Fest, which was postponed in January. Stan Kolonko from the Ice Farm will be installing nine sculptures. First will be on Friday, February 7th at the Raquette Lake Library. After he has lunch at the Tap Room, he’ll move the operation over to Long Lake. The Long Lake Historic Society will have an installation of the historic Sagamore Hotel at the Long Lake Town Offices. The historic hotel, now long gone, remains very much a part of the culture and history of Long Lake’s narrative and Stan will be re-creating a slice of the past by recreating a replica of the hotel.
Stan will be moving from location to location, explaining how he works, how he makes the ice, how heavy the blocks are (it’s back-breaking work) and he’s always game to interact and answer questions about his work. Stan was a 1st place award winner in 2013 at the World Championships in Alaska.
Look for additional sculpture installations at Shear Images, Shamrock Motel and Cottages, Hoss’s Country Corner, Ali Baba’s Liquors, Long Lake Diner/Owls Head Pub and the Adk Trading Post. Businesses will be hosting a variety of events, from wine tastings, hot chocolate and coffee, chili tastings and more.
The Annual Moonlighter’s Poker Run runs from February 7th -8th. This fun event is a great way connecting the business communities of Long Lake, Raquette Lake and Newcomb along the connecting corridor trails or by the highways. The Poker Run is two days, and players are welcome to start on either day, it’s two days long so players have plenty of time to collect stamps from all three communities. For $10 players start at either the Raquette Lake Tap Room or the Newcomb House. Collect stamps at participating businesses and check in the Long Lake Diner starting at 4pm on Saturday. Dealing start at 4pm and all cards must be in by 5pm. Players are dealt the number of cards corresponding to the number of stops and the best hand wins. Plenty of great door prizes, and cash prizes too. Don’t’ have the snowmobile? People in cars can play too. As a bonus, the Long Lake Diner will also have an ice sculpture on hand to admire!
February 8th the Long Lake Fish and Game Club host their 2nd Annual Fishing Derby Registration Click Here at Lake Eaton fishing for Landlocked Salmon and Brook Trout. Registration will be at the Long Lake Town Hall at 6am and lines are in at 7am at Lake Eaton. Cash prizes for weight, ties are broken by length. Registration takes place at the Long Lake Town Hall on Saturday starting at 6am. Location: 1204 Main Street, Long Lake, NY. The derby is at Lake Eaton Campground, located at 1671 Tupper Road, Long Lake, NY
For those looking for something more serene there is x-c skiing and snowshoeing. Take a trips to the Wild Center in Tupper Lake (it’s open on the weekends) where Planet Adirondack is a do not miss exhibit. Cabin Fever Sunday’s at the Adironack Museum and check out the New York Audubon walk at the Newcomb Visitors Center. Pre-registration is required. 518-582-2000
Don’t forget! Long Lake always has ice skating. Free ice skates, popcorn and sledding at Mt. Sabattis/Geiger Arena. Call 518.624.3031 for conditions. Just last week we had 52 folks rent out an entire lodging, take over Mt. Sabattis for the day (it’s open Noon until 10pm) for FREE and they had a great time. Think about having your mid-winter family adventure in the heart of the Adirondacks. In the middle of everything!
Make your Long Lake your winter destination and launch your adventure!