Trail Running Getaway . . .

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NMG
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Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby NMG » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:15 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm looking into planning a short (3-4 day) getaway for myself to do some solo trail running this summer and I was wondering if any of you have any suggestions for places to set up "base camp" so to speak? I live in Ottawa and would like to head south to get into the mountains, so that means New York, Vermont or possibly New Hampshire (it's probably on the outer edge of travel distance given the short trip). I suppose Quebec could be an option as well.

I don't need anything fancy as far as accommodations go, the main thing is to have a decent place to crash, some good restaurants to eat at and easy access to some good trails. This isn't meant to be a glamorous escape, LOL. I'd like to do runs anywhere up to about 20K in length and I would like to get into the mountains and/or along some valleys, etc. A mix of technical and some more basic stuff would be ideal. I'm not looking for paved "trails" if you know what I mean. It's mostly just for some relaxation, fresh air, scenery and exploring some new spots.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:26 pm

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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby ultraslacker » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:54 pm

come out west. trail running paradise here. :)
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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby bruyere » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:10 pm

I think you should take a look at the Keene Valley area, in the Adirondacks, NY.

There's a little town there, and lots of mountains and trails. If you go over to the Marcy Dam area, there are a few really well traveled trails. (I remember we used to call one of them "the highway".) I only backpacked there 3 or 4 times, ages ago, but I remember totally loving it.

You could stay in Keene Valley, Elizabethtown, or even Lake Placid (more options).

Google Keene Valley, Marcy Dam, Mt. Marcy, Giant Mountain...

I also remember seeing a small group of people coming past us, carrying almost nothing, wearing very light clothes, and moving really quickly. My boyfriend pointed out that they were trail runners. We all thought they were such freaks. :)
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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby NMG » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:19 pm

Thanks for the quick replies folks!

Spirit, I will get in touch with Spiff, thanks for the suggestion.

ultraslacker, I was actually born and raised in BC and would love to get back, but this time it has to be a drive to trip :)

bruyere, thanks for the suggestion, that is exactly the type of place I'd be looking for! The only problem, based on my limited research, is that the Ausable River runs in that area. This means that I may have to take my fly rod and that means I would get no running in, LOL :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby ngcaper » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:26 pm

Lake Placid...I have a trail map for the area I can show you. Lots of hotels/restaurants, and a few camp grounds. We go there 2X a year, camp nearby and quite like it...its like going back in time to 1980.
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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby erinmcd » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:45 pm

We often camp at the Adirondak Loj campground, which is 1/2 way between Lake Placid and Keene. There are multiple trailheads right from that campground.
Keene Valley would be a great option too- if you want a bit more of a cushy home base there are a couple of B&Bs in the village, and you could run right from there to several differant trailheads.
Keep on rolling, just a mile to go. Keep on rolling my old buddy, you're moving much too slow.

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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby bruyere » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:23 pm

Yay for more votes for the Keene / Lake Placid area. :)

I just had a thought, though... you might have to prepare for bugs. Maybe? Others might be able to say. I only went in autumn (late autumn a few times, with snow!).

I was just thinking of the blackflies on the in canoe camping trip I did in 2002, on St-Jean-Baptiste weekend in Algonquin Park (whole other region, yes). They were insane. We sped ourselves up to get out of there in 3 days instead of 4! (2 people had eyes swollen shut from bites, someone had an enlarged ear, and I had so many bites on my back that it made a pharmacist gasp!)
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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby erinmcd » Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:42 pm

bruyere wrote:Yay for more votes for the Keene / Lake Placid area. :)

I just had a thought, though... you might have to prepare for bugs. Maybe? Others might be able to say. I only went in autumn (late autumn a few times, with snow!).

I was just thinking of the blackflies on the in canoe camping trip I did in 2002, on St-Jean-Baptiste weekend in Algonquin Park (whole other region, yes). They were insane. We sped ourselves up to get out of there in 3 days instead of 4! (2 people had eyes swollen shut from bites, someone had an enlarged ear, and I had so many bites on my back that it made a pharmacist gasp!)

We usually try to go in August, and so far we haven't had any trouble with bugs. I did a race in Keene Valley in June last year, and I was very surprised at the lack of bugs. I'd heard from others that the blackflies can be horrendous.
Keep on rolling, just a mile to go. Keep on rolling my old buddy, you're moving much too slow.

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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby NMG » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:24 pm

Well thanks for the tips folks, it looks like Lake Placid/Keene Valley it will be! I like that it's really close and it looks to be exactly what I'm after.

Thanks for the offer on the map viewing ngcaper, I will take you up on that!

Oh and I think I'll be going late enough in the year that bugs shouldn't be too bad. Besides, it will just be incentive to keep the pace up if they decide to come out and play :)

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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby dgrant » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:19 pm

Lake Placid will be a great choice. I'm planning a summer trip there as well.

Another option for another time would be the northern periphery of the GTA. Albion Hills Conservation Area (lots of campsites here), Terra Cotta/Silver Springs, Forks of The Credit Provincial Park... that's a full long weekend of spectacular trail running right there. Durham Forest in Uxbridge also has a super extensive network of trails, which could be added to a day in Ganaraska Forest for a nice weekend getaway. And of course around the GTA you never have to worry about a nasty insect season like you do in the Adirondacks.

There's some great trail running around Sutton in the Eastern Townships too.

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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby NMG » Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:54 pm

Didn't know about those areas near the GTA dgrant, thanks for the info!

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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby ngcaper » Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:45 pm

Actually for that matter if you don't want to cross the border (although I highly recommend Lake Placid), there's great running in Frontenac, as well as up near Tremblant I'm told. I plan on a few day trips to both leading into the Vermont 100. And if they're to far Gatineau is as nice as anywhere in the world to run in...and I'm not from here and travel a tonne so it says alot. Just camp up near Lac Phillips or Taylor. You can run for 100's of km just there.
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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby NMG » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:04 pm

We spent a weekend in Tremblant this past fall (didn't do any running, just exploring) and yeah, I think it would be an AWESOME place to do some running. There are loads of trails all over the place. We drove through the park area on the back side of the mountain and did some short hikes, but there were many, many other options for longer hikes as well. I'm not sure what the trails are like, but if you can hike them, then surely you can run them :lol:

I'll definitely be hitting Gatineau more this year, New York is just a getaway for some quiet time with my trail shoes and likely my fly rods.

Too many options!

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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby dgrant » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:37 pm

ngcaper wrote: And if they're to far Gatineau is as nice as anywhere in the world to run in...and I'm not from here and travel a tonne so it says alot. Just camp up near Lac Phillips or Taylor. You can run for 100's of km just there.


I agree 100%. For anyone outside the Ottawa area, Gatineau Park should be at the top of any trail running getaway list. Easily a full long weekend of fantastic, unique routes... and real trail running (rocks, roots, mud, creeks, sudden inclines, things that can hurt you, etc) not just cover of a magazine trail running (pretty background, but the actual trail is gentle crushed stone). Car camping at Lac Philippe or remote camping at Lac La Peche. Spa Nordik in Chelsea and great restaurants and live music (Blacksheep Inn) in Wakefield. All less than a 20 minute drive from downtown Ottawa.

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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby ngcaper » Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:52 pm

dgrant wrote:
ngcaper wrote: And if they're to far Gatineau is as nice as anywhere in the world to run in...and I'm not from here and travel a tonne so it says alot. Just camp up near Lac Phillips or Taylor. You can run for 100's of km just there.


I agree 100%. For anyone outside the Ottawa area, Gatineau Park should be at the top of any trail running getaway list. Easily a full long weekend of fantastic, unique routes... and real trail running (rocks, roots, mud, creeks, sudden inclines, things that can hurt you, etc) not just cover of a magazine trail running (pretty background, but the actual trail is gentle crushed stone). Car camping at Lac Philippe or remote camping at Lac La Peche. Spa Nordik in Chelsea and great restaurants and live music (Blacksheep Inn) in Wakefield. All less than a 20 minute drive from downtown Ottawa.


Just don't tell your better half about Spa Nordik or you'll go broke quickly ;) I once seen Monkey Junk @ the Blacksheep in Wakefield. I'm not someone who goes looking for Blues music, but wow!!! Tony D is amazing. Off topic but when you said Blacksheep that memory came back to me.

ps. Love the visual you just gave of running in Gatineau, it's what makes it so great & fun. Trail 6 & 8...oooo their fun, and approaching it from the Visitors Parking in Chelsea climbing up Penguin your 1/2 dead when you get there. Where's Strider? He and I put many miles through there this year. The last one it was so icy I thought I was gong to kill myself on the way out.
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Dam Wakley Damn 55k
I2P Run 50k
Grand 2 Grand 273k

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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby dgrant » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:08 pm

ngcaper wrote:
dgrant wrote:
ngcaper wrote: And if they're to far Gatineau is as nice as anywhere in the world to run in...and I'm not from here and travel a tonne so it says alot. Just camp up near Lac Phillips or Taylor. You can run for 100's of km just there.


I agree 100%. For anyone outside the Ottawa area, Gatineau Park should be at the top of any trail running getaway list. Easily a full long weekend of fantastic, unique routes... and real trail running (rocks, roots, mud, creeks, sudden inclines, things that can hurt you, etc) not just cover of a magazine trail running (pretty background, but the actual trail is gentle crushed stone). Car camping at Lac Philippe or remote camping at Lac La Peche. Spa Nordik in Chelsea and great restaurants and live music (Blacksheep Inn) in Wakefield. All less than a 20 minute drive from downtown Ottawa.


Just don't tell your better half about Spa Nordik or you'll go broke quickly ;) I once seen Monkey Junk @ the Blacksheep in Wakefield. I'm not someone who goes looking for Blues music, but wow!!! Tony D is amazing. Off topic but when you said Blacksheep that memory came back to me.

ps. Love the visual you just gave of running in Gatineau, it's what makes it so great & fun. Trail 6 & 8...oooo their fun, and approaching it from the Visitors Parking in Chelsea climbing up Penguin your 1/2 dead when you get there. Where's Strider? He and I put many miles through there this year. The last one it was so icy I thought I was gong to kill myself on the way out.


Yep, my better half is a Spa Nordik fan... but it's a small price to pay for someone who loves traipsing around the woods. We have a weekend coming up of snowshoeing, building a quinzhee for winter camping, and spa nordik the next day. We are so lucky to have that gem of a park so close. (If I stop posting on RM, it's because I built a bad quinzhee and joggers will find our bodies in April...)

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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby erinmcd » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:10 am

ngcaper wrote: I once seen Monkey Junk @ the Blacksheep in Wakefield. I'm not someone who goes looking for Blues music, but wow!!! Tony D is amazing. Off topic but when you said Blacksheep that memory came back to me.


I've seen Monkey Junk a couple of times as an opener for other bands- those guys can really rip it up!
Keep on rolling, just a mile to go. Keep on rolling my old buddy, you're moving much too slow.

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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby dgrant » Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:17 pm

dgrant wrote:We have a weekend coming up of snowshoeing, building a quinzhee for winter camping, and spa nordik the next day. We are so lucky to have that gem of a park so close. (If I stop posting on RM, it's because I built a bad quinzhee and joggers will find our bodies in April...)


So we did our winter camping adventure this weekend. Perfect weather at Lac Philippe... temperature below freezing but not frigid, and plenty of snow on the ground to use for making our quinzhee. We built it right on the shore of the lake where there would be some shelter from the west wind (which didn't end up being a factor anyway) and only about 30m off snowshoe trail 73. It was easy to collect enough dry branches to make a good fire.

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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby ngcaper » Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:22 am

dgrant wrote:
dgrant wrote:We have a weekend coming up of snowshoeing, building a quinzhee for winter camping, and spa nordik the next day. We are so lucky to have that gem of a park so close. (If I stop posting on RM, it's because I built a bad quinzhee and joggers will find our bodies in April...)


So we did our winter camping adventure this weekend. Perfect weather at Lac Philippe... temperature below freezing but not frigid, and plenty of snow on the ground to use for making our quinzhee. We built it right on the shore of the lake where there would be some shelter from the west wind (which didn't end up being a factor anyway) and only about 30m off snowshoe trail 73. It was easy to collect enough dry branches to make a good fire.


That sounds like an absolute blast. How did you learn to build the quinzhee? I picture myself buried under it until my body is found in the spring.
Beer, the cause of and solution to all of lifes problems.

2015 Races:
The Limberlost Challenge 56k
Dam Wakley Damn 55k
I2P Run 50k
Grand 2 Grand 273k

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Re: Trail Running Getaway . . .

Postby dgrant » Sun Mar 02, 2014 3:29 pm

ngcaper wrote:
dgrant wrote:
dgrant wrote:We have a weekend coming up of snowshoeing, building a quinzhee for winter camping, and spa nordik the next day. We are so lucky to have that gem of a park so close. (If I stop posting on RM, it's because I built a bad quinzhee and joggers will find our bodies in April...)


So we did our winter camping adventure this weekend. Perfect weather at Lac Philippe... temperature below freezing but not frigid, and plenty of snow on the ground to use for making our quinzhee. We built it right on the shore of the lake where there would be some shelter from the west wind (which didn't end up being a factor anyway) and only about 30m off snowshoe trail 73. It was easy to collect enough dry branches to make a good fire.


That sounds like an absolute blast. How did you learn to build the quinzhee? I picture myself buried under it until my body is found in the spring.


I watched a few youtube videos, but frankly it was as simple as you might expect.

1. Find a patch of clear flat ground with preference for a spot that would be sheltered from the wind and without hazardous overhanging branches.
2. Shovel snow into a big pile roughly 6 feet high with a base about 80sqft.
3. Leave the snow pile alone for an hour or two to allow the snow crystals to restructure (crucial step).
4. Hollow it out to a wall thickness of roughly a foot. We stuck footlong twigs in from the outside, so when we hit them from the inside we knew that was the right thickness.
5. The entrance was barely big enough to fit through, and we poked a couple holes in the top to allow air exchange.

It took us about 45min to pile the snow, and about an hour to hollow it out. Including the time we just let it sit between those two steps it was about 3 hours. As we were leaving I was able to walk on top of the quinzhee, and had to kick it quite hard to destroy it. No risk of it caving in.

Our only major safety consideration was during the hollowing out stage, when we always had one person outside watching in case it had caved in on the inside person who was digging.


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