Here are some unofficial notes by Ken Roberts in 2006 about the route of the 2004
Loppet event at the Mt Hoevenberg ski center.
This route has been the standard Lake Placid Loppet course during the years 2000-2004 when the snow
cover was good enough.
Although it is straightforward to follow the course when the
organizers have it all marked on the day of the event, it can be pretty
difficult to figure it out any other time. Perhaps these notes could
help in the quest.
Several of the trails on this route are designated as "Most
Difficult" (black diamond) on the official
Mt Hoevenberg center trail
map, so this route is unsuitable for many skiers. It is especially
important to have strong skills for slowing down and taking sharp curves
while on a steep downhill, and to have sound judgment about what
sections are too risky for some skiers to attempt at all under some snow
and weather conditions.
This route becomes even more difficult and risky in certain snow and
weather conditions. If you have any doubt whether the current snow and
weather conditions are suitable for you and all members of your party,
check first with the staff of the Mt
Van Hoevenberg center before starting out.
Markers along the Trails
As of December 2005, Sharon and I saw that many of the turns are
marked out there on the actual ski trails: faded-red plastic squares
with a black letter "L" and arrow on them. But in December
2007 I found several intersections with no "L" markers later in the
route over on the "biathlon" side (West section).
Map + junctions
These notes are intended to be used as a supplement to the official
Nordic Ski Trails map of the Mt Hoevenberg center.
Junction numbers refer to the multi-color glossy brochure map of Nordic Ski Trails for winter 2004-2005 (and not
to the numbers on the black-and-white Annual Lake Placid Loppet race
East section is around 17-18 km / 11 miles, and very hilly compared
with most routes at most cross-country ski centers.
West section is around 7-8 km / 5 miles.
Total route is 25 km / 15.5 miles. It is usually thought to be the
hilliest ski marathon course in North America whose marathon race is
open to the general public.
There are many shortcuts and variations possible -- and several ways
to add more.
exit from east end of Stadium (the end away from the lodge where we
buy trail passes and food and stuff)
bear Left onto start of Flatlander loop in the direction pointed by
the sign (counter-clockwise on the trail map).
bear Right to avoid going over a bridge (follow Flatlander loop, not
Flatlander Extension). Then soon near junction 22, where Flatlander
curves sharp Left
go Straight (or slightly right) to get off Flatlander -- but not such
a sharp right turn as to already be on the other end of the East Mt
Loop. (Ignore the "East Mt" sign pointing Left.) (If start to go
under a bridge, then went too far.) After a short ways,
bear Right to join the East Mountain Loop (going clockwise on the
Porter Mt loop
Left at junction 36 to start the Porter Mountain Loops.
The route goes clockwise around the perimeter of
the east side of the trail system -- except that two sections are
skipped (Peggy's Puddle and Big Rock).
turn Right to skip the Peggy's Puddle loop, and a quick Right to
rejoin Porter Mountain Loop, and
At junction 41, go Left to ski around the Cascade loop -- which later
returns to this same point.
5 km point comes near where
trail runs alongside Route 73 road, also the usual location of the first feed station
in the Loppet event. Then comes the first Cascade climb. After
passing junction 41 again comes what I call the second Cascade climb
-- even though it's after the Cascade loop, there's only a short gap
from the first Cascade climb.
After some down and rolls, comes what I call "first big Porter climb", which
ends in a very steep climbing section, followed by a very steep short dip
down-and-up. After that comes
the "second big Porter climb". The
downhill after this comes to junction 43.
Turn Right to skip the Big Rock loop, then continue clockwise around
the perimeter onto the "Rollercoaster Hills" (and skip the Horseshoe
loop). Then curve West and go downhill more. At junction 46, bear Left in direction of "Return to Stadium" sign.
Trail curves West and go downhill more, another climb, more downhill. Follow "Porter Mt Loops" signs
(which lead to joining the East Mountain Loop, going clockwise on the trail map).
10 km point comes
somewhere around junction 38, and also the usual location of the second
feed station of the Loppet event.
Then into the long East Mountain climb, with some curves along the way. After a
slight pause, the climb suddenly gets very steep
("the Russian hill"). At last some downhill, and then
leave the East Mt Loop ...
Ladies 5K -- Outer then Inner
At junction 29, bear Left (or Straight) to join the Olympic Ladies 5K Outer Loop,
following red markers (going clockwise on the trail map). Several steep ups
and downs, then a long downhill toward the Stadium.
Before reaching the Stadium, the downhill comes into an open area.
Turn sharp Right across the open area to leave the Outer loop, soon
start to climb and bear Right to Inner loop of the Ladies 5K trail.
some more ups and downs, then at the start of another steep climb,
bear Left and climb partway up to leave the Ladies 5K (before it joins Innerloopen or
East Mt Loop), and
turn Left at junction 23 onto Main Street to go down hill toward the stadium. pass by the first right
turn (near junctions 20 + 21) near the bottom of the hill, then
take the second Right turn by open area at bottom of hill. Go a short
ways to reach the Stadium, and turn Left into the big open field.
15km point comes
somewhere in the Ladies 5K Inner loop.
Go west past the lodge building
(usual location of the third feed station of the Loppet event).
[ this section not yet checked ]
Exit west end of Stadium (near the main lodge building) to start Brookside Loop / Three Trails Loop.
Through tunnel underneath road, up a short steep hill, then
Turn Left onto Three Trails Loop (going clockwise on map), going West, then
curves North. After some ups and downs,
turn Left (up hill that starts steep) to keep going North on Three
Trails (where Three Trails Cutoff goes straight or bears right). Trail
later curves East. When Three Trails turns right to go south,
continue Straight on Perimeter Loop (clockwise on map), going East,
later curves South (20 km point comes around here). Pass by Lower
Grouse and Grouse Gully trails, then
at junction 11 (by sign for "end of North Brook Trail"),
leave the Perimeter trail and turn sharp Right onto North Brook trail
going West, then quickly another Right (sign for "Cross Country Stadium
and Parking Lot"). This joins Three
Trails Loop (counter-clockwise on map) at junction 10 (usual location of
fourth feed station is near here), and just after picnic table on
turn full Right (not the half-Right to Double Dipper) to go North on Three Trails Loop (counter-clockwise on map), then
bear Right to leave Three Trails Loop and continue North, then soon
bear Left (sign for "Beech Hill") to continue North, then soon at junction 9
turn Left onto Beech Hill trail (pass by "Lower Gully") going West --
long climb, gets steeper. At junction 7 (pass by "Dog Bone Cutoff") and
continue straight West for more climbing, and curving South, then
East. At the next intersection (at or just before another
intersection with "Dog Bone Cutoff"), do not continue onto Three Trails
turn Right to go South. Immediately cross another intersection and
continue Straight to join Three Trails Cutoff trail
going South down a hill. Then climbs up, curves West, then a sharp
curve Left in the midst of a downhill, to go east to junction 3 (where
several trails meet). Bear Left to go East on Brookside. After a short ways, and near
turn Left (up a hill that starts steep) to continue on Brookside Loop (clockwise
on map) briefly North, then East, then curve Right to join Three Trails
Loop going South, then
through the tunnel underneath the road, back to the Stadium and finish.
For those who need more, a different challenge is to try to
add everything along the way, and see how far can make it until
run out of energy. More segments might include (if they have good snow
- add to Porter Mountain Loop: Peggy's Puddle, Big Rock Loop,
- add to Olympic Ladies 5K: Hi Notch.
- add to biathlon-side Perimeter: Visit the Biathlon Range, or
cross under and over the road -- or both -- something like this:
From junction 11, by continue straight on Perimeter Loop going East
and underneath the road, then something like Flatlander Extension
clockwise to junction 34, turn Left on Spruce Trail going NorthWest
to bridge over the road, to visit the Biathlon Range, then something
like Three Trails Loop counter-clockwise to junction 10 to rejoin
main Loppet going West and North.
- add to the Stadium at start or finish: Flatlander Loop, Mini Loop,
or perhaps something with Main Street and InnerLoopen trails.
Most of these "more" segments add substantial hills as well as
distance to the main Loppet route.