Sunday, February 17, 2019

Silvermine Lake and Ski Icy Loop

Orange Co.
New York

Hiking Trail:
Menomine Trail: White blaze

Total Time: 1:15 hour
Estimated Distance: 1.7 Miles

Pros: Pretty lake and nice climb
Cons: Very icy conditions

I had just returned from a trip to Arizona, so this was quite a change in scenery from the warm weather and desert cactus. It had recently snowed, but the storm ended in ice, leaving a thick and slippery coating of ice covering everything. This made hiking conditions extremely difficult, and I had a very hard time navigating the trails. I had left without crampons as it was much less icy further south where I live, and was not expecting such slippery and difficult conditions.

I parked in the Silvermine parking area, and took the Menomine Trail on the side of the lake. The lake was fully frozen, but there were cracks and you could actually hear the lake making cracking noises underneath the ice. The weather was quite nice and warm for February, and was above freezing with a bright blue sky.

I took the Menomine Trail past the end of the lake, and then cut across the side of the mountain towards the top of the Silvermine  ski area. The Silvermine Lake area used to have a ski area with a chairlift and 2 trails down the slope. This has long since been abandoned, yet the slops are still there and can still be hiked up and down and used for sledding.

The climb up to the top of the ski slope from behind the lake where I was was less difficult because that side of the mountain was facing the sun, and did not really have snow or ice. However, once I got to the top, going down was an entirely different story. It was a solid sheet of ice and there was no easy way to navigate down, other than digging in sideways into the ice and snow as I descending. Some parts were too slippery and steeps and I was forced to descend on my rear end. I finally made it down to the bottom, which ended my hike and as I headed over to my car in the parking lot.

Map of the Route

Sparse Ice Cover on the Grassy Area of the Silvermine Ski Slope

Trailhead at the Menomine Trail by Silvermine Lake

Frozen Silvermine Lake

Fallen Tree in the Frozen Water of Silvermine Lake

Silvermine  Lake, Facing the Outlet

Icy Shore of Silvermine Lake

Fallen Trees on the Menomine Trail

Summit of Silvermine

On the Summit of Silvermine, Facing Popolopen Torne

View from the Top of the Ski Slope Area

More Expansive View from the Summit

Facing Downwards from the Ski Slope

A Couple at Silvermine Lake

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