VICs to host 7th annual Wild Winter Weekend

PAUL SMITHS High Peaks Cyclery Mountain Adventure Center and the Adirondack Mountain Club are poised to once again lead outdoor recreational activities at the 7th Annual Wild Winter Weekend, taking place Jan. 19-20 at the Adirondack Park Agency Visitor Interpretive Centers (VICs) in Paul Smiths and Newcomb. In Newcomb, the Chilly Snowshoe Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19. In Paul Smiths, the Chilly Ski Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20. The Adirondack Park Agency combines both events to form the Wild Winter Weekend on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend so visitors can snowshoe in Newcomb on Saturday and cross-country ski at Paul Smiths on Sunday. The Chilly Snowshoe Festival will feature snowshoeing workshops and instruction on winter preparedness from Adirondack Mountain Club educators based in Lake Placid. There will be various craft activities for families. People may also search for the Gold Medallion, go on a scavenger hunt and enjoy refreshments. The Chilly Snowshoe Festival is sponsored by the Adirondack Park Agency and the Adirondack Mountain Club. "Join us for a festive day of snowshoeing on our beautiful trails," said Rynda McCray, Environmental Educator 3 and organizer of the Chilly Snowshoe Festival. "This event is our annual fundraiser for the Adirondack Park Institute, the VIC's friends group." Admission to the festival includes snowshoe use, workshops, hot beverages and family activities. The Newcomb VIC usually lets the public borrow its snowshoes for free; however, snowshoes during the festival are only available to event participants. The cost is $7/person, $17/family. For more information, call the Newcomb VIC at (518) 582-2000. The Chilly Ski Festival will feature ski rentals, learn-to-ski workshops and a ski-waxing clinic from High Peaks Cyclery staffers, who will be traveling to the Paul Smiths VIC from their Lake Placid headquarters. The event will also include the Wild Winter Chili Cooking Contest (with a chili concession for the public from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), the Ben & Jerry's Invitational Ice Cream Eating Contest (1 p.m.) and childrens activities. A New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) forest ranger will also provide skiers with information about safe, low-impact backcountry recreation. "The Chilly Ski Festival gives us a chance to show off our 9.5 miles of winter trails at the Paul Smiths VIC," said Andy Flynn, Senior Public Information Specialist and Chilly Ski Festival organizer. "We hope people will come, ski all day and enjoy the outdoors." The cost for Chilly Ski Festival registration is $7/person, $17/family. The fee includes ski rentals, hot beverages, childrens activities and eligibility for prizes. People may also visit the VICs with their own equipment and enter the facilities for free if they do not wish to participate in the activities. The Chilly Ski Festival is sponsored by the Adirondack Park Agency, Adirondack Park Institute, Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, NYS DEC, High Peaks Cyclery Mountain Adventure Center, Ben & Jerry's of Lake Placid, and Adirondack Artisan Catering. For more information, call (518) 327-3000.

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