We post regular updates on our trail conditions, along with some nature observations…
Saturday, August 29, 2015 - Ski Trail
Gorgeous weather this week with dry conditions, cool mornings and pleasant temps. Trending to warmer and humid to the weekend. There has been no shortage of moisture this summer as the woods are as green and lush as ever. We are anticipating a fantastic autumn of fall color!
Overall the trails are looking great as we have been mowing almost daily on the entire trails system preparing them for winter. We are over 1000 miles of mowing so far this summer! Sounds like a lot but with almost 40 miles of trails and each trail taking 4-6 passes to mow entire trail and some trails mowed up to 20 times during a season it adds up!
Total rainfall since the middle of May has been around 26″ of rain. Despite the wet conditions, we have been very busy on the ski trails now, mowing grass and clearing deadfall preparing them for winter! We have also been clearing the overgrown on the singletrack as needed. The woods are really green and the leaves are full circle now. We can’t recall a summer the woods being so lush. Beautiful in the woods! Many more wildflowers popping up and with all the rain a wide variety of colorful mushrooms.
All the rain welcomed for the tree seedlings we planted this spring. Since Maplelag has been in existence, we have planted over 100,000 trees! The forest floor is starting to come alive. Many wildflowers popping up and other forest floor “greens”. The lake has been busy as ever with the sounds of loons, swans, geese and other waterfowl species and a nice variety of birds at the feeders. Many turtles on the move as well. Summer is here!
The mountain bike trails are open. (Click here for latest mountain bike trail report and information on mountain biking at Maplelag.) We completed a new section of singletrack on the Maplelag property this spring and will begin on a new loop near Bullhead this fall.
Thanks to everyone who came to Maplelag this season and patronized the trails. Despite the low snow year, we had fair to excellent skiing from November 13th-Decmeber 13th, melted out than skiing again from January 1st until March 10th. Counting the skiable days in November and December, we had a total of 100 days we skied this year. This does not include the days we skied on the lake which would of put the total at 108 days. Total number of skier visits were right around 10,000. Total snowfall this season was 25″. We started out with 8″ of snowfall in November and December before that melted out the December 14th-15th weekend than 17″ between January 1st and March 7th, the last day it snowed. We groomed over 75 times this year, with Suicide Hill, Skaters Waltz, Sukkerbusk and Twin Lakes seeing the most grooming action. For the record, we also hauled over 50 pick up loads of snow from the lake and surrounding fields etc, to build up the base mainly on skaters waltz and the start area, dedication to our commitment to have the best skiing possible given the current snow conditions.
We spend just as many hours if not more on the trails outside the winter season to be prepared for low snow years such as this one to be able to open the trails on as little as 3″ of dense snow. We thrive on grooming and having the trails open on as little snow as possible and prepare the trails in the off season with this mindset. We are now busy as ever on the trails, preparing them for the winter season.
Calm evening on Little Sugarbush, lake Maplelag sits next to. August 9th, 2015.
Skaters Waltz ski trail after a recent mowing. We have logged over 1000 miles on the mower so far this summer, keeping up with the grass growing like crazy.
Acorns on the singletrack. Looks like a bumper crop this year!
Trail work on the singletrack.
Hail on the ground after a quick moving storm Sunday morning. August 2nd, 2015.
Acorn on the ground. August 1st, 2015.
Good crop of acorns this year as seen on a fallen branch from wind earlier in the week. Old timers say cold and snowy winter ahead when good acorn crop!! August 1st, 2015.
Wild iris flowers on the side of Mother North Star trail
Mowing on Skaters Waltz ski trail. We have logged close to 700 miles of mowing already this year! The woods as lush as ever with all the rain this spring and early summer.
Suicide Hill mowed multiple times already this year
Bumper crop of wild rose flowers this year
Maple seedlings on the forest floor
A wide variety of mushrooms expoding in the woods with all the recent rain.
Mossy mountain bike singletrack
View of south twin lakes from mtb trail after recent storm pushed through
Water droplets on on poplar leaf. June 3rd, 2015.
Group of trumpeter swans on a misty morning. Twin Lakes. June 3rd, 2015.
Yellow slippers blooming in the past few days. May 28th, 2015.
Nice crop of “Pigs Feet” as seen on Sukkerbusk trail yesterday. May 27th, 2015.
Pair of trumpeter swans sharing the waters of Little Sugarbush with a loon and a beaver in the far background. May 21st, 2015.
Tens of thousands of Bellwort flowers on the forest floor
Marsh marigolds popping out in recent days. Hopefully surviving the cold weather!
New life from a small pond that was dry before the rain.
Smaller ponds filling back up with water that had dried out during the past 6-7 months.
Trail work on new singletrack!
Sukkerbusk ski trail “greening” up. Won’t be long until we begin mowing the ski trails and preparing them for winter! May 13th, 2015.
Ferns in the forest enjoying the sunshine on Tuesday and waiting for warmer temps. May 12th, 2015.
Red Headed woodpecker making a visit to the Maplelag grounds this week. May 11th, 2015.
Cardinal one of the many birds visiting the Maplelag feeders this week. May 8th, 2015.
Eagle nest near Twin Lakes crossing active this year . May 3rd, 2015.
Kira and Anna helping plant trees near Twin Lakes this week. April 28th, 2015.
Ski trail segment of mtb course surrounded by snow Wednesday morning
Mountain bike singletrack. The rain/snow was good, freezing at nights making it greasy when it thaws out. Looks like will before the weekend before fully opened.
Pines in skinny field planted as seedlings growing along nicely. Maplelag has planted over 100,000 trees since its existence. Happy Earth Day!
Pines planted as seedlings back in the 90's now growing nicely through the square field
Skinny field pines
Pothole created for watefowl back in the 80's
Spruce trees planted as seedlings 20 years ago
Norway and spruce trees planed along Rootin Tootin providing wind break from the slough to the right.
Special aerial photo taken by Greg Ames of Little Sugarbush ice free. Maplelag on the east shore. April 16th, 2015. Thanks Greg!
Patch of ice on Little Sugarbush, April 14th, 2014.
May flowers blooming this week. April 14th, 2015
Top of Suicide Hill. April 14th, 2015.
Ice coverage on Little Sugarbush on Saturday. Still 95% covered as of Monday morning.
Sunday evening sunset.
Clearing singletrack on Twin Lakes loop
Eagle View singletrack segment on Twin Lakes
Hudson taking a swim in south Twin lake. Should be ice free by the weekend!
Very little sign of spring in the woods as far as flora. This patch of moss sticking out.
Top of Eagle View on Twin Lakes ski trail
Group of swans enjoying open water
Little Sugarbush still covered with ice.
South Twin half frozen. North Twin free of ice
Berm work on the singletrack