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VICs to host ski & snowshoe fest

PAUL SMITHS - The Adirondack Park Agency Visitor Interpretive Centers (VICs) at Paul Smiths and Newcomb will combine three popular festivals into one agency-wide festival on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, creating the Chilly Ski & Snowshoe Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 17 at both facilities.

"This way, people can ski and snowshoe at Paul Smiths and Newcomb on the same day," said festival co-organizer Andy Flynn, senior public information specialist for the VICs. "Now that we have skiing at both VICs, we are able to combine activities into a day-long, regionwide celebration for our 8th annual Wild Winter Weekend."

The Newcomb VIC opened its first ski trails in the winter of 2007-08. When the facility opened in 1990, the winter trails were only open to snowshoeing; however, when the R.W. Sage Jr. Memorial Trail was constructed a few years ago, management decided to designate it a ski trail since plans were made to create a connector trail from the Sage Trail to the Great Camp Santanoni access road. The connector trail opened for skiers last winter, and now the public can ski from the VIC to Camp Santanoni.

The Newcomb VIC has been holding a snowshoe festival since the 1990s and was most recently called the Chilly Snowshoe Festival. The Paul Smiths VIC has been hosting its popular Chilly Ski Festival since January 2001 and the Friends & Families Snowshoe Day since 2005. The Newcomb event was traditionally held on a Saturday, and the Paul Smiths ski festival on a Sunday, both on the same King holiday weekend. The Paul Smiths snowshoe event was held on a Saturday a couple of weeks later.

"Now it's time to change course and consolidate our efforts," Flynn added. "We hope to offer more activities to the festival, therefore making it a more successful event."

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