Spring Meeting 4/12/16

Hello,

The Spring Meeting for the Friends of Higley Flow will be this coming Tuesday, April 12, at 7:00 in the Higley Trails Lodge.

We're always looking for more people to become involved. Generally, we meet quarterly. If you think you have the time to be more actively involved, I encourage you to attend.

We will be looking for someone to run the Evenings at Higley Program next winter. It involves sending general correspondences seeking volunteers, generating the volunteer schedule, and reminding people in the week prior to their date. If this is something you might be interested in, please come meet the rest of the regulars.

I hope to see you there,

Tom French

New Parking Lot At Higley Flow State Park




Thanks to everyone who has already responded to our Groomer Appeal.  This week I thought I'd point out that the Friends are still involved in the finishing touches to the Higley Trails Lodge.  This project was made possible through a $60,000 matching grant along with help from the Regional Office of State Parks and people like you.  The parking lot (along with lighting) was completed in the last couple of weeks and the Friends contributed financially to this aspect of the project.

Unfortunately, our obligations for the Lodge and the need for a new groomer have significantly diminished our fund balance.  Should we meet our goal of $15,000, we should be in good shape, but the actual expenses for the new sled will be more than $15,000.  The existing snow equipment will need to be adapted to fit the new hitch, and the Friends will need to obtain insurance which we have not needed in the past.

If you use the groomed trails at the Park, I urge you to do your part now.  We are still less than half way to our goal.  Most Nordic Ski Areas charge between $10-$20/day for a ski pass.  How many times have you enjoyed Higley over the years?   Please consider a Contribution of $50, $100, or more?  You can easily Make a Tax-Deductible Donation electroncially by clicking on this link:  Friends of Higley Flow Groomer Appeal,  where you can use Paypal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover.  

The Friends of Higley Flow State Park, Inc., is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization and contributions are deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you at the Park.

Tom French
President, Friends of Higley Flow State Park, Inc.

More On The Groomer Appeal


Thanks to everyone who has already responded, and I apologize for including you in our continuing appeals, but we are just a volunteer outfit, plus I want to keep everyone updated on our efforts.  

Pictured above is a A Tidd Tech Compactor and Track Setter used at Higley Flow State Park for the grooming of x-country ski trails.  The Friends and Volunteers who groom the trails actually have access to two Tidd Techs -- one that can be adjusted from 4 to 6 feet wide, the other from 6 - 8 feet. 

We also have access to a six foot wide Ginzu Groomer made by Yellowstone Track Systems as well as a Roller/Compactor, a corrugated roller which creates the flat corduroy surface so many of you are used to at the Park.

Of course, as I've mentioned previously, neither the Park nor the Friends own any of this equipment, and it's time for us to step up to that plate, so I'm hoping you will help us meet our goal of $15000 for our first groomer snowmobile to pull all these compactors and track setters.

You can contribute via Paypal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover by clicking this link for our Membership Renewal/Groomer Appeal

The Friends of Higley Flow State Park, Inc., is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization and contributions are deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you at the Park.

Tom French
President, Friends of Higley Flow State Park, Inc.



Park Hours Extended
Update: 11/23/15:

Thanks to everyone who has responded.  We have coverage for the weeks of December 8th & 15th.  Still looking for people willing to host on 12/22, 12/29, & 12/31.  

No one volunteered for the week after Thanksgiving, but with temps forecasted to be in the 50s later this week, I have my doubts we'll be skiing.  We'll roll with what we have.  More details later.




Hello,

The Friends of Higley Flow State Park is pleased to announce that we are expanding our Evenings at the Park program into December.  Conditions permitting, we are preparing to begin on Tuesday, December 1.  

As you may recall from last year, the program allows the Park and Lodge to be open from 8:00 AM until 8:00 PM on Tuesdays & Thursdays.

In order for the program to be successful, we need individuals or families to volunteer as hosts for two hours from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.  Volunteers are free to ski or snowshoe, but need to be at the Lodge for closing at 8:00 to insure that the lot is empty, the door is locked, and that everyone has exited the Park.  Hosts are also free to hang out in the Lodge and greet people.  It's a great opportunity to meet acquaintances and other users of the Park, field questions, and highlight the efforts of the Friends group.

If you are able to volunteer, please respond to this e-mail with the date you would like to host.  I will keep track on a first-come basis.  Currently, I am booking for December.  The dates (conditions allowing) will be:

Tues. 12/1 Thurs. 12/3 
Tues. 12/8 Thurs. 12/10
Tues. 12/15 Thurs. 12/17 
Tues. 12/22; Christmas Eve - Park Closed 
Tues. 12/29 Thurs. 12/31

Again -- the program will begin once conditions allow -- skiable snow.  This will be determined by Park Administration and our expert grooming team and announced through local media outlets, e-blast ski reports, and our website.  Please do not assume there is skiing at the Park in the evenings until you have heard from a reliable source.

If you volunteer for an evening, but conditions are not yet acceptable, we will let you know and of course, your services will not be required that night.

Who knows what the season will bring?  It could be snowing next week or next month, but we want to be optimistically prepared in the event that the ski seasons starts in December.  And if there is a Tuesday or Thursday later in the season that you are interested in volunteering for, by all means, let me know now.

Finally, I'm pleased to report that we have raised nearly a third of our Groomer Appeal goal of $15000.  Thanks to all who have contributed so generously.  If you have not yet renewed your membership or contributed to our special appeal,  I hope you will consider doing so now via Paypal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover by clicking this link for our Membership Renewal/Groomer Appeal

The Friends of Higley Flow State Park, Inc., is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization and contributions are deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you at the Park.

Tom French
President, Friends of Higley Flow State Park, Inc.


Tom French Answers Groomer Appeal Questions


Dear Friend of Higley Flow,

Thanks to everyone who has already responded generously to our Membership Renewal Groomer Appeal.   If you haven't had a chance yet, I encourage you to make a contribution now   In the interest of letting everyone know about the logistics of grooming x-country ski trails, I thought I'd send a couple e-mails explaining the equipment required.

Why $15,000?  Isn’t that a lot for a Snowmobile?

Some people have asked these questions.  The simple answer is that a grooming sled is not a recreational vehicle.  It is a heavy-duty utility vehicle with a wider track for traction but does not leave a “footprint.”  It has special skis to make it easier to turn at low speeds.  The transmission has a low range for towing heavy loads as well as a reverse for hooking up to drags.  It has additional warning lights, safety equipment, and a supplemental electrical system for the electrically operated hydraulics on the groomers.

The new groomer will have a hitch point located near the middle of the sled (on what is normally the passenger section of the seat) to better distribute the weight of the groomer and to facilitate turning on trails.  The new sled will also have a winch to pull the sled and groomer out when either gets stuck.

Who Actually Grooms the Trails?

Most of you probably know the answer to this question.  St. Lawrence University does contribute a sled and pays someone to groom the trails being used by their x-country ski team.  But for as long as I’ve been skiing at Higley Flow State Park (over 20 years), much of the grooming has been done by Ed & Judy Fuhr who have volunteered their time (hundreds of hours every season) and used their own (two) snowmobiles.  As we move forward, the time has come for a changing of the guard. 

Fortunately, in the tradition of Fuhr generosity, they have offered to help train the cadre of volunteers that will be necessary to maintain the level of excellence we have come to enjoy and expect at the Park. 

But this also means that the Friends need to have their own groomer.  As I’ve indicated previously, the State Park does not own nor does it contribute to the actual grooming of the trails.  The two sleds used by the Fuhrs belong to the Fuhrs.  One of those is over ten years old and reaching the end of its useful life.  We cannot expect them to bear the cost of a new sled.  It’s time for the Friends and users of the facilities to step up to this plate.

How Much Do Ski Areas Usually Charge?

Most Nordic Ski Areas charge between $10-$20/day for a ski pass with season passes pushing $200 at some areas.  Of course, skiing at Higley Flow State Park is "free" but for the contributions of volunteers and members like you.   If you have not yet done so and you enjoy the groomed trails at the Park, would you consider a Contribution of $50, $100, or More?  You can easily Make a Tax-Deductible Donation electroncially by clicking on this link, Friends of Higley Flow Groomer Appeal,  where you can use Paypal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover.  

Thank you for your time, consideration, and generosity.  Winter is coming – we could have snow within the month.  I look forward to seeing you on the trails,

Tom French
President, Friends of Higley Flow State Park

The Friends of Higley Flow State Park, Inc., is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization and contributions are deductible to the fullest extent of the law.  A copy of The Friends Group’s annual report may be obtained, upon request, from us or from the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, Attn: FOIL Officer, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271

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Did you know that the Friends of Higley Flow State Park don't actually own a ski groomer?

Here's how you can help keep our trails in top shape.


If you've enjoyed the groomed trails at Higley, then you've enjoyed the generosity of St. Lawrence University and individuals who have used their own equipment (and time) for several decades.

Unfortunately, that time is ending, and it has become apparent that the Friends need to buy a new snowmobile to replace an aging 12-year-old sled currently supplied by volunteers.  As a result, I am writing to ask that you consider a contribution to our Groomer Appeal   Our goal is a modest $15,000, but we need to raise the money by December in order to insure delivery of the sled by Christmas.  You can easily Make a Tax-Deductible Donation electroncially by clicking on this link, Friends of Higley Flow Groomer Appeal  where you can use Paypal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover.  If you use and enjoy the groomed trails at the Park, would you consider a Contribution of $50, $100, or More?

It's membership renewal time for the Friends of Higley Flow SP, and I want to thank those of you who have already contributed this year.  But if you have not yet renewed or joined the Friends of Higley Flow State Park this year, Now is the Time   Please consider a Contribution to our Groomer Appeal and Join the Friends at the Same Time   In addition to the grooming work done by volunteers and SLU, we host evening hours at the Park during the winter months, organize trail days in the spring and fall to prepare the trails for the coming seasons, sponsor the annual Century Bike Ride, and provide activities at the Park for the Colton Winterfest.

As times change, the Friends of Higley Flow SP will need to adapt as well in order to continue the level of excellence people have come to expect on our trails.  One of the first steps is to provide the equipment necessary to keep the trails groomed.  I urge you to consider a Contribution Now.

Thank you for your time,

Tom French
President, Friends of Higley Flow State Park, Inc.

The Friends of Higley Flow State Park, Inc., is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization and contributions are deductible to the fullest extent of the law.  A copy of The Friends Group’s annual report may be obtained, upon request, from us or from the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, Attn: FOIL Officer, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271

Winter Quest Schedule for Higley Flow State Park


Saturday, January 30th, 2016:

10am to 2pm: Rod Thomas Memorial Higley Hustle Ski Festival (x-country races for all ages/abilities; classical & freestyle techniques; 1st-timers welcome)

The Higley Hustle on Jan. 30th will consist of a classical 5k race at 10:00 and a classic 2.5k kids race at 11:30.  There will be awards for the first three places in age and gender categories. Entry fees are $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for kids.  Refreeshments will follow the race.

Sunday, January 31st., 2016:
Family day at the Park.  Details to follow.



Normal hours on Wednesday and Friday are 8 AM to 5 PM for the Park, with the Lodge closing at 3:00 PM.  Weekend hours are 8 AM to 5 PM for both the Park and the Lodge.



May 4, 2013 - Some of the volunteers for I Love My Parks workday stand in front of the newly-completed Trails Lodge.