The month of December brought forth an addition to the Chautauqua County cross country ski trails. The new trail, named the “Homestead Loop,” is .9 miles long and was made possible, in part, due to generous grant support from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. Boutwell Hill Ski Club volunteers constructed the trail and built the necessary bridges throughout the summer and fall months.
“We couldn’t have made this trail without the support of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation and the Department of Environmental Conservation,” said Andy Dickson, President of BHSC. “We are a new organization and the confidence of CRCF to invest in our adventure not only made it financially possible, but it lifted our spirits and brought credibility to our work.”
The new trail joins three others maintained by BHSC in the Boutwell Hill State Forest, and brings the trail lineage to approximately 5 miles. The trail system, which is open to the public free of charge, is groomed during the winter months for classic and skate skiing. The ski trails are complimented by other multi-use roads and back-country trails in the State Forest.
Boutwell Hill Ski Club was founded last fall and incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation. It began operations last winter and maintains the ski trail system through a stewardship agreement with the DEC. It sustains its operations through contributions from skiers and the work of dedicated volunteers.
The trails maintained by BHSC are the only groomed cross-country ski trails in Chautauqua County outside of Peek n’ Peak Resort. They are situated on the Chautauqua Ridge in the Town of Charlotte, which has higher average annual snowfall than any other location in Western New York.
To become involved with BHSC, or for more information including maps, grooming updates and the latest club activities, click here.
Other area cross-country skiing opportunities:
- Peek n’ Peak Resort: 6 miles of groomed and back-country trails
- Earl Cardot Eastside Overland Trail: 19 miles
- Fred Cusimano Westside Overland Trail: 24 miles
- Chautauqua Rails to Trails: 17 miles
- Long Point State Park on Chautauqua Lake: 320 acres
- Boutwell Hill State Forest: 5 miles
Cross-country ski gear may be rented from the following local businesses:
- Hollyloft Ski & Bike, Jamestown. Phone: 716-483-2330. Website: hollyloft.com
- Peek n’ Peak Resort, Clymer. Phone: 716-355-4141. Website: pknpk.com
- Evergreen Outfitters (Snowshoes only), Mayville. Phone: 716-763-2266. Website: evergreen-outfitters.com
- Jamestown Cycle Shop, Jamestown. Phone: 716-664-4112. Website: www.jamestowncycleshop.com
This video of spring crust skiing was shot 3/29/15, mostly on BHSF forest roads and skiing trails.
Photo and video credit: Boutwell Hill Ski Club