COVID-19 Operations Update

(updated 11/27)  These are unprecedented times.  We hope you and your family are safe and well.  Our ski shop is open by appointment.  Our overnight lodging is open and we are accepting reservations for this winter and also for summer 2021.

New York recently issued detailed guidelines for ski area operations this winter.  We will be following these guidelines and adapting our operations to provide the safest and most enjoyable guest experience possible during this situation.  This winter will be a back-to-basics type season.  The basics of cross country skiing and snowshoeing are delightful low density physical activities in a stunning outdoor setting, and we hope you are able to enjoy them with us this winter.

Here are the key points; we will update this as additional details become available.

Face coverings and social distance.  Appropriate face coverings must be worn at all times except while eating, drinking, or actively engaged in skiing.  Social distance of at least six feet must be maintained between individuals at all times, with exception of members of the same immediate party/household/family and situations where the core activity or safety requires a shorter distance.

Capacity limits.  To avoid facility congestion, day pass availability will be limited.  We strongly encourage guests to purchase season passes; this will assure you of trail access any day we are open.  At the start of the season skiing will be limited to lodging guests and season pass holders.  Our target is to expand this to add day pass visitors starting December 16; this date may be adjusted earlier or later depending on snow conditions.  Advance reservation (date specific) day passes, after 2:00 day passes, and day pass with rental packages are available in our online store.  Quantities are limited by date.  Same day “drive-up” day passes will be available only if we have not reached our capacity limit for that day.

Operating Schedule.  Weather and regulations permitting, we plan to be open for XC skiing seven days a week during the core season from December 9, 2020 to March 14, 2021.  During the early and late season (before December 9 and after March 14) we will be open Wednesday through Sunday when conditions permit, and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.  On Christmas Day (December 25) we will be open for overnight lodging guests only.  Please check our web site for trail conditions and operating status updates before every visit.

Your car is your lodge.  Please consider your car as your home base this season.  Occupancy of the lodge building will be reduced by 50%, and situations may arise where the lodge building is closed.  Guests are encouraged to limit their time in the lodge to brief intervals.  The indoor changing and shower rooms will be closed, and indoor storage for boots and gear will not be available.  Indoor table seating will not be available.   Indoor restrooms and/or outdoor porta-johns will be available.

Lessons and programs.  We will be offering mainly private/semiprivate lessons, where you or up to six members of the same family or party spend a dedicated hour with one of our instructors working on the ski technique you select (classic or skate) at the level that is appropriate for your party.  Ski waxing lessons will not be offered.  A limited number of adult and children’s group lessons will be available; these lessons will include individuals from different households but will be limited to six students per group.  Advance sign-up for lessons is strongly recommended and will be rewarded with a discount. We do not expect to offer horse drawn sleigh rides, evening snowshoe tours, or Ladies Day programs this season.

Ski equipment.  We will be selling and renting equipment this year.  Single day rentals will be processed with little or no time inside the lodge building, and quantities will be limited so advance reservation is recommended.  Please consider purchasing your own equipment or getting a season rental.   We are not scheduling our traditional weekend preseason sale in early December.  Instead we are offering discount pricing on an ongoing basis now through late December and strongly encourage early purchasing.  The ski shop is open Saturdays and Sundays 10AM – 4PM and weekdays by appointment.

Food service.  We plan to offer a simplified menu this season, and may not offer food service every day.  On some days our food service will be indoors, with all items packaged to go.  On other days we will have outdoor food service and the indoor location will be closed.  For the safety of our staff and guests, we will not be offering any indoor table seating.

Lodging.  We are taking reservations now for winter lodging.  Contact-less check-in is available, and we are also offering contact-less equipment rental where you complete the rental form in advance and your equipment is waiting for you in your cottage.  We are not allowed to operate the sauna this season.  We expect travel restrictions to continue through this winter.  If you will be traveling from or through a foreign country or a state other than New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania or Massachusetts prior to your arrival date, or if you anticipate other situations that could require a travel advisory quarantine, please call us before booking.

Health screening.  We ask that all guests travel responsibly.  If in the 14 days before your visit you have experienced any symptoms of COVID-19, tested positive for COVID-19, knowingly been in close contact with anyone who has tested positive for or had symptoms of COVID-19, or are subject to a travel advisory quarantine, you must cancel or reschedule your visit.

Call or email us if you have questions.  Stay safe, stay healthy, and we hope to see you!

Do I need to rent a cabin from you to ski at Lapland Lake?

In the winter you can come as a day visitor.  The purchase of a facility use pass gives you access to our 38k ski trail system, 12k dedicated snowshoe trails, and our skating pond and junior tubing hills. Lodging guests do get extra perks – Lodgers have access to our wood burning sauna (sorry not available winter 2020-21) and our lighted night ski trail, and nothing beats waking up in the peaceful Adirondacks, just steps from the ski trails.  Please remember to check our current trail conditions before making a trip.

When does the ski season start?

We rely on natural snow, and usually nature treats our location very well.  In 42 years of operation, our earliest opening day was November 14 (in the 2018-19 season) and the latest was December 29 (in the 2015-16 season).  Looking at percentages, we have opened in November 38% of the time, we have opened on or before December 10th 67% of the time, and we have opened on or before December 21st 90% of the time.  The full chart of past season data is under “Snowfall History” on our trails and conditions web page.  Typically we have limited trails open on the first day of a season, because some of our trails require more snow base than others to offer good skiing.  Another early season scenario is frozen Woods Lake – often in seasons when we have limited snow in late December, Woods Lake is frozen with the snow cover blown off and offers a few days of fantastic full lake ice skating and kick-sledding.

Can I visit for the day in the summer?

In the spring, summer, and fall our outdoor facilities are open only to overnight lodging guests.  We offer day use options only during the winter season.

Can I bring my pet with me?

We do not allow pets in our overnight lodging units or on our trails. If you are coming to ski for the day and have your pet with you, we recommend you take the pet for a nice walk before arriving (a Northville/Lake Placid trail head is about one mile from us). Then make a nest out of some blankets in your car so your pet can have a warm, comfortable nap while you ski.

Do you rent ski equipment?

Yes, we have a full line of classic and skate ski equipment available for rental, plus snowshoes, ice skates, tubes, and pulk sleds for toting little ones.  You can rent packages (boots, poles, and skis) or single pieces (e.g. boots, or poles, or skis).  Our rental ski equipment uses NNN compatible boots and bindings.  You can rent by the day for use on-site.  Lodging guests may keep their rental equipment overnight during their visit.  We also offer seasonal rentals of XC ski equipment, our seasonal rentals may be used at Lapland Lake and off-site.   We also sell new (and sometimes used) XC ski and snowshoe equipment.

Should I look for bargains on XC ski equipment?

You may find great bargains at yard sales, closeout sales, swap meets, and similar.  If you are an experienced skier with several sets of equipment already, you probably have a good understanding of equipment types, sizing, and condition so keep your eyes open for good deals.  If you are just starting out, here are some questions to consider before buying used or closeout equipment :

  • Is it the right type of equipment? Classic XC skis include narrow racing skis, intermediate width touring skis, and wider backcountry skis.  Each of these classes include classic waxable, mechanical pattern (also known as no-wax or fish-scale), and skin skis.  Most beginners start with mid-length mechanical pattern touring skis, but your needs could be different depending on how and where you expect to ski.
  • Is it the right size for you? Classic XC skis are sized mainly by skier weight.  If you are considering a relatively new ski, manufacturer sizing recommendations should be available.  If you get the wrong size classic ski you may have difficulty getting good grip (ski too large/stiff for you) or you may get poor glide (ski too small/soft for you).  Poles are sized by skier height.  Boots need to fit your feet, so if you are purchasing sight unseen check on the return or exchange policy.
  • Is it in suitable condition? For used skis, check the base for bad scratches and gouges, check for excessive wear on mechanical patterns, and check for delamination especially at the tail.  Make sure bindings are securely attached to the ski and work properly.  For used boots, check the sole where it clips into the binding and check straps, zippers, etc.
  • Does it use a current binding system? Almost all new skate and touring XC skis use NNN compatible bindings and boots.  There is a lot of used equipment for sale with proprietary Salomon binding systems – these are good systems but the bindings and matching boots are becoming unavailable.  Changing a used ski to an NNN compatible binding system usually costs around $100.


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