Try Out Snowshoeing and Nordic Skiing Free This Sunday
Adventurous Nordic skiers and snowshoers will want to try the Town of Greenfield New York’s Brookhaven Winter Park, which recently opened for the season at 333 Alpine Meadows Rd. in Porter Corners.
The town will hold a “Winterfest Celebration” on Sunday, Jan. 21 from 10 a.m.- 1p.m. at the Park. The event will begin with a 2.5K and 5K Snowshoe Race and will continue on with a FREE opportunity for individuals to try out snowshoeing and cross-country skiing until 1 p.m. Free equipment and instructors will be onsite. For families, there will also be snowman building and other contests, a special lunch menu and more. A link to register for the 2.5K/5K races for $25 is here. The remainder of the event is free to the public.
Just ten miles from Saratoga’s city center, this ski park offers a day experience that includes gorgeous landscapes, quiet pine-tree lined trails and open golf-course trails, without the fuss of travel or day passes. The park features seven cross-country trails and two snowshoe loops that are each more than a mile, a total of 20 kilometers of trails. The park is open dawn to dusk and no fee is required.
Greenfield, the largest town in Saratoga County by square mile, is known for its rural picturesque setting and old-fashioned charm, officials say. “Our residents are passionate about our remote location and our proximity to all that Saratoga Springs offers,” said Town Supervisor Kevin Veitch. “We work hard to build a sense of community pride among all of us who choose to reside here. Brookhaven Winter Park is a jewel and in recent years the word has been getting out.”
Park Improvements This Year
The park was donated to the Town of Greenfield in 2011. The town has built up its classic and skate-grooming capability, with the addition of six groomers over the years and three vehicles including a Polaris utility vehicle and two snowmobiles. The trails have been expanded, signage added and a detailed map was designed, which can be brought up by a guest’s mobile phone.
The park is groomed approximately three times a week throughout the season, with extra attention given after a snowstorm. Greenfield’s Recreation Department offers seasonal Nordic ski rentals at low cost.
This year, the town has launched a Brookhaven Park webpage, which can be found on greenfieldny.org. It will feature trail condition updates, as well as information about events at the park.
The trails offer something for all levels of skiing, with some more difficult glade skiing, some open golf course trails, and a variety of hilled and flat intermediate to easy wooded trails.
Expanding Park Events
Event planning is underway with many new additions from past years. More than 60 children ages 5-14 participate in a weekly Learn to Ski program. A 5K Snowshoe race will be held on Jan. 21, followed by a community Winterfest Celebration. Families can expect live music, food and drink specials, as well as outside and indoor games, activities and crafts for the kids. Nordic ski rentals will be available at the event and instructors will be on-hand for tips. Another 5 K snowshoe race will take place March 2 and multiple cross-country ski races will be announced shortly. Links to online race registration will be at greenfieldny.org and skireg.com.
On Jan. 27, the town will hold its annual Full Moon Party at 6 p.m. to celebrate the January full moon to signify the dead of winter. January’s full moon (Jan. 25 this year) is known as the Wolf Moon, named after the howling of hungry wolves lamenting the scarcity of food in midwinter. Adults gather and walk, ski or snowshoe along a lighted path that leads to a large bonfire. Spirits are provided by the restaurant and the fun often continues back at the restaurant late into the evening. The event is a fundraiser for the park. Admission is $10, which includes a beverage of your choice.
Our Rec Department will hold a Women’s Nordic Ski Clinic on Feb. 3. The event will include instructor-led lessons by skill level, followed by a lunch.
Saratoga School District uses the park for its Nordic ski program and physical education classes during the season.
Although the town has chosen to keep the park free to guests to date, donations are welcomed at various donation boxes that are sprinkled through the park and in the on-site restaurant “The View at Brookhaven.” The donations are used directly towards park improvements. This year, the town added a new Ski-Doo sled for the team to use to groom the trails.
After-Skiing Dining & Drinks
Many municipal owned parks don’t have a full-service restaurant and bar onsite. The View at Brookhaven is open all year to serve golfers in the summer and winter park guests throughout the winter. The View specializes in home-cooked meals. Winter hours are Wednesday through Sunday from noon until 8 p.m. The menu offers “from scratch items such as soups, burgers and a selection of meats smoked on-site. Happy hour specials and entertainment details can be found online at theviewatbrookhaven.com.
A Volunteer-Run Ski Park
The Park is predominantly maintained by a group of passionate volunteers, more than a dozen residents, most of whom have been involved with the park for many years as it has transformed. This growing group is a cast of characters that defines not only the ski park but the town itself.
“Our residents are so enthusiastic about living in the TOG,” said Recreation Director Jen Zeisler. “This group of volunteers exemplifies who we are as a community. They are committed, impassioned, warm people, who are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and work to make this a better park.” Zeisler said the group has nine new members just this season and they all share some important characteristics. “Every single one of them shares a combined love of their hometown and the outdoors,” Zeisler said. The town is looking forward to sharing more information about each of these committed residents throughout the season this year on social media and the town webpage.
The Town of Greenfield is home to 8,200 residents, spans more than 41,000 acres of land and includes Greenfield, Porter Corners, Middle Grove, Lake Desolation and Maple Ave. In winter, Brookhaven Park & Golf Course becomes Brookhaven Winter Park. The town’s mission since receiving it as a donation in 2011, has been to preserve the natural integrity of the 395-acres of land, while making it available to residents for recreational use.