Sports & Recreation 01.02.20

11/21/2019 – 12/19/2019

Town of East Greenbush Adult Indoor Corn Hole

Adult Indoor Corn Hole will begin at the Hampton Manor Beach House on Thursday January 2nd at 5:30 PM and run consecutively each Tuesday @ 3PM and each Thursday at 5:30 PM throughout the winter months. Due to limited space in the building there are limited spots. Please pre-register by calling 518-477-4194. You can pick one time slot or the other or both. Cards and Games will also be available in the beach house for those not interested in corn hole, but looking to get out and socialize. Please let us know if there are larger groups or leagues that would be interested in playing at the Red Barn in the Town Park- give us a call to discuss.

Run Once

First Day Hike at Grafton Lakes State Park

Start the new year off right with a hike on the trails! Two mile moderate hike around Shaver Pond over moderate terrain. Free program with snowshoes available. Please pre-register as capacity is limited as are number of snowshoes available: 518-279-1155, ext. 2. Please note that program will be postponed in the event of extreme cold, heavy snows, and high winds.

01/02/2020 – 01/09/2020

January Mindful Nature Walk

Sunday, January 12, 10 am – 12:30 pm, Albert Family Community Forest, East Nassau – Wintertime Mindful Nature Walk. Join Kripalu-certified Mindful Outdoor Guides Molly Freiberg and Moriah Cutro-Kelly for our January Mindful Walk, sponsored by Rensselaer Plateau Alliance. We will be walking slowly, sometimes sitting, to take in the forest atmosphere, so we will not be building much heat. Bundle up in your warm winter layers and then add 1 or 2 more! Please no cotton layers as these will not keep you warm. Wear extra socks and boots with good tread or microspikes. We’ll warm up with tea and a fire at the end of the walk. Contact molly@nullrensselaerplateau.org or 978-239-8105 to register ahead of time in case of weather-related cancellation (drop-ins also welcome!). Ages 12 and up. $5 – $10 suggested donation goes directly to support conservation on the Rensselaer Plateau.

Photo credit: Kate Lovering

01/02/2020 – 01/18/2020

35th Annual Ice Fishing Contest at Grafton Lakes State Park

Grafton Lakes State Park will host its 35th annual Ice Fishing Contest on Saturday, January 18, 2020 from 5:30 AM – 2:00 PM. Join in on the fun as several hundred anglers brave the cold temperatures for their chance to make a winning catch on several of the park’s ponds.

Registration begins at 5:30 AM and ends at 11:00 AM (or 12:30pm for youth) on January 18th in the park’s maintenance building, accessible via the Main Entrance. There is a $10 entrance fee required for all participants age 16 or older, with no fee for children under 16. All participants 16 and older must have a valid NYS fishing license to fish in the park at any time, including during the contest.

Big cash prizes are awarded for adults with 1st place fish and the longest length catch in all three categories of trout, walleye/chain pickerel, and yellow perch. Winning entries will receive gift cards and other prizes.

Certified bait will be available on site from Hudson River Bait in the registration area. Bait is also available from Conroy’s Bait Supply in Watervliet and Flying Arrow Sports in East Greenbush. Do your part to help keep the waters at Grafton Lakes healthy and productive by using certified bait.

Tournament areas are located on Second Pond, Mill Pond, Dunham Reservoir, Shaver Pond, and Long Pond. Please note that due to preparations for Winter Fest, ice fishing is not permitted adjacent to the beach on Long Pond.

For more information about Grafton Lakes State Park events, call the park office at 518-279-1155, check out our Facebook page at “Grafton Lakes State Park”, or visit our website at nysparks.com.

01/02/2020 – 01/25/2020

35th Annual Winter Festival at Grafton Lakes State Park

Grafton Lakes State Park and the Friends of Grafton Lakes State Park will host the 35th Annual Winter Festival on Saturday, January 25, 2020. The Winter Fest will feature outdoor events along with indoor exhibits, food vendors, and family-friendly recreational activities. The event is free of charge and runs from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM.

Adults can enjoy guided snowshoe or cross country ski outing, or borrow snowshoes for a free demo around the park. Fans of four-legged creatures will enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, a guided morning walk for dogs, as well as a demonstration by the Parks K9 Unit. For the kids, Winter Fest offers its popular snow bowling hill, snowshoe races and a snowball toss, as well as sled rides with the charming Northland Newfoundlands. Other outdoor offerings this year include free snowmobile rides, snow fort building, and an ice dive demonstration.

The Polar Plunge, benefiting Our Lady of the Snow Parish’s food pantry, kicks off the main events at 10:30AM. As always, the Plunge includes a playful prize for the silliest costume offered by the Friends of Grafton Lakes State Park, so start planning your January beach attire! To pre-register for the Plunge, please call Ray Dozois for more information at 518-663-5648, or call the park office at 518-279-1155.

Visitors who need to warm up can escape the cold by stopping inside to enjoy indoor exhibits in our new Welcome Center. Engaging and creative activities include kids’ nature crafts, a balloon artist, and a variety of regional community and conservation organizations whose displays will educate and entertain patrons. For those who love wildlife, birds of prey and reptiles are this year’s live animal presentations at the Festival. Refreshments will also be available in the main parking lot.

Note that this year’s Ice Fishing contest is being held on the weekend before, Saturday, January 18th. Please call the park for more information: 518-279-1155.

Run Once

Dec Advises Backcountry Visitors Of Winter Conditions In The Adirondacks

Winter Recreational Opportunities Available with Proper Preparation and Precautions

Recent snow and cold weather have created good conditions for winter outdoor recreation in the Adirondack backcountry, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. Visitors should be prepared with proper clothing and equipment for snow, ice, and cold to ensure a safe and enjoyable winter experience.

“Now that snow has arrived in the Adirondacks, visitors can take advantage of all the winter recreation opportunities in the park,” Commissioner Seggos said. “However, winter can also present dangerous—even perilous—conditions to the unprepared. DEC advises visitors exploring the backcountry to dress for cold weather and use snowshoes and skis to navigate trails where appropriate.”

Snow depths currently range from four to six inches across the central and northwestern portions of the Adirondacks. Eight to 12 inches of snow can be found across the southern and northeastern portions of the Adirondacks. In the High Peaks, snow depths range from 24-36 inches above 3,000 feet, requiring the use of snowshoes. Ice is present on exposed outlooks and summits above tree line. The National Weather Service NERFC Snow Page provides detailed maps depicting current snow depths and forecasts.

DEC recommends visitors to the backcountry carry snowshoes and use them when snow depths warrant. Snowshoes or skis ease travel on snow and prevent “post holing,” which can cause sudden falls resulting in injuries and create hazardous trail conditions for other users. Ice crampons and traction devices should be carried on all hikes for use on icy portions of the trail including summits and other exposed areas.

All seasonal access roads are closed to motor vehicle traffic. These roads will reopen after the spring mud season upon completion of maintenance and repair work. Seasonal access roads designated as snowmobile trails will be opened to snowmobile traffic as snow depths allow.

Many snowmobile trails remain closed despite recent snowfall. Additional snow is needed to provide a good base for snowmobile travel. Visitors should check with local snowmobile clubs to determine the status and condition of specific trails or view the New York State Snowmobile Association Interactive Trail Map.

Ice is forming on ponds, bays of lakes, slow moving streams, and backwaters of rivers. Ice is not safe to walk or stand on at this time. Although ice has snow on the surface, it does not mean the ice is thick enough to hold the weight of a person. Ice will remain unsafe until temperatures fall below freezing for a significant, continuous period.

To ensure a safe backcountry experience, visitors should also follow these additional safety guidelines:

Be aware of weather conditions. Check the weather before entering the woods. If the weather is poor, postpone your visit. If the weather worsens during your visit, head out of the woods immediately.

Dress properly. Wear layers of wool, fleece, and other materials that wick moisture. Avoid cotton. Wear a wool or fleece hat, gloves or mittens, wind/rain resistant outerwear, gaiters, and insulated winter boots.

Carry a day pack with the following contents: traction devices, plenty of food and water, extra clothing, map and compass, first-aid kit, flashlight/headlamp, sun glasses, sun-block protection, packable insulated pad, stove and extra fuel, and bivy sack or space blanket.

Eat, drink, and rest often. Being tired, hungry, or dehydrated makes visitors more susceptible to hypothermia.

Know the terrain and your physical capabilities. It takes more time and energy to travel through snow. Plan trips accordingly.

Avoid traveling alone. The risks of injury, hypothermia, and getting lost are much higher this time of year. Always inform someone of your intended route and return time.

Call the DEC Forest Ranger Emergency Dispatch at 518-891-0235 to report lost or injured people or other backcountry emergencies.

The DEC Adirondack Backcountry Information web page provides current trail condition information and links to current weather and snow cover as well as other important information to help ensure a safe and enjoyable Adirondack backcountry winter experience. For more information on winter safety in the backcountry, visit DEC’s HikeSmartNY web page.

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