Less than 20 miles from downtown Syracuse, NY sits the wonderful Beaver Lake County Park with activities planned year-round. Recently, my wife and I made two trips to the park to try out their winter sports offerings for the first time, since last year's snowfall was next to nothing.
Our first outing was for snowshoeing and I'm proud to report that we made it out on New Year's Day, 2013. The perfect way to start off the year! Beaver Lake offers two different loops for snowshoers and we tackled both. There is a shorter loop of 1.2 miles and a longer, more hilly loop of 2.3 miles. Both are well marked and a great adventure through the woods and Arboretum.
The second outing was for the cross country skiing. My wife is new to the sport and is really starting to get the hang of it, so I expect we'll make many more trips out to Beaver Lake this season. Almost all of Beaver Lake's walking trails are converted to ski trails in the winter offering up over 7 miles (11 Km) of tracked trails over a variety of terrain. Perfect for both the novice and expert, these trails are a joy to ski. (Sadly I forgot my camera, so no additional photos.)
One-time admission is $3 per car, but the annual Friends of Beaver Lake memberships are a worthwhile value at $30/individual and $40/family. Not only do you get access to the year-round use trails, but there are many events and learning seminars throughout the year and the Nature Center is a treat to visit and explore. Why wait? Get outdoors! And go visit Beaver Lake Nature Center.
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