Colton-Pierrepont students try skiing at Higley Flow

copied from 2/7/17

COLTON – A long imagined vision came to fruition recently when grades 5-8 of Colton-Pierrepont Central School came to Higley Flow State Park to experience cross country skiing.

In order to offer such an experience several pieces needed to fall into place: the park needed cross country ski trails, preferably groomed and trackset; there needed to be somewhere for students to warm up and restrooms needed to be available; there needed to be ski equipment available for the students to use; finally there needed to be volunteer instructors ready to work with small groups of students.

Over 20 years ago, park personnel and volunteers began to develop a trail network. Over the years grooming equipment improved from primitive to state of the art. St. Lawrence University and
individuals provided equipment; an additional grooming drag was obtained through a town grant. Through fundraising a new sled was purchased in 2016.

Thirteen plus years ago interested individuals formed a Friends group with an eye toward a new Nature Center that could be used as a Trails Lodge in the winter months. After years of planning, grant writing and fundraising, the current nature center was constructed in cooperation with parks who provided the labor to construct the building.

This year the parks decided to invest in cross-country ski and snowshoe rental equipment for Higley Flow State Park. The Friends group decided to supplement the purchase with some equipment for younger skiers.

An offer was made by the Park to provide the equipment at no charge for school groups. Colton-Pierrepont Central was the first to take advantage of the offer.

The groups were guided by local volunteer skiers and instructors who encouraged their groups to get the most out of the opportunity.

“Judging by the enthusiasm of the returning skiers it was a success,” Fuhr said. “It is hoped that this is the first of many such experiences for local area youth.”

Groups interested in a similar experience contact Henry or Shari at 315-262-2880 for more information.

Winterfest 2017

CPCS brought 100 students from 4 classes over 2 days to the Park to ski. Participating volunteer instructors from the Friends were Tom Chappell, Wendy LeBeau and Cheryl Thomas. Trails were prepped by Ed & Judy and Henry and Shari managed dispensing skis and helping get skiers out on the trails.

New Parking Lot At Higley Flow State Park

But No Accumulating Snow Yet.  

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.

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.