Figure you know what the best time of year to visit Eagles Mere is? Did you guess winter?
No? Keep reading. We might change your mind.
If you like snow, even moderately, or if you are open to new adventures, try Eagles Mere in the “off-season.” Folks who live here year ’round can tell you that you haven’t truly experienced the Town Time Forgot until you’ve been here when the days are shortest and the ground is whitest.
Snow is embraced, or at worst well-tolerated, by those who call Eagles Mere their permanent address. If the local paper runs an annual “Guess How Much Snow?” contest–with cash prizes!–frozen precip must be a welcome friend. There are several good reasons.
For one, our borough plow boys attack the roads with the same zest that Patton attacked the Axis, so there is no dread of being cut off from civilization. They are relentless, scraping down to the pavement several times within the same snowfall, armed with salt, cinders, and gravel to finish off their foe. Have no fear, you will be able to make it to your favorite watering hole.
For another, mountain snow is just plain prettier than city snow. After the storm clouds pass and the area is transformed into a goose down comforter, the sun in the cerulean sky bounces blinding light so strong that there is no need for those “Seasonal Affective Disorder” lamps to dispel your blues. You’ll just feel naturally renewed.
And mountain snow STAYS prettier. No exhaust fumes, and street grit to foul its purity. No hideous gray piles of melting ice mixing with road oil and sodden trash. Just acres upon acres of clean, bright, white beauty. And the peacefulness of a snow-filled forest instills a calm no sedative can match.
Finally, if there is one single ingredient that brings out the joy of the holiday season, just add snow. Your jolly just got jollier. Coupled with Eagles Mere Village’s charming displays, you’ll wish it could be Christmas all year (except maybe summer!).
Snow on the mountain provides all kinds of new activities that can’t be replicated during greener seasons. Cross-country skiing is naturally the first thing to come to mind. The best place to strap on your skis is at the Outlet Pond. From there, head out on the Railroad Bed, a perfectly flat and wide trail leading you behind Crestmont Hill and the Conservancy Cabin. (No worries: the railroad was dug up eons ago.)
Snow-shoeing is a terrific alternative if the white stuff is too deep for skis, and allows you to enjoy twistier trails that would be impossible on 6-foot boards. Check the display across from the Cabin for trail maps. Or just follow the colorful blazes and see where they lead you. Aah, adventure.
And of course you can hike almost anywhere as long as you use common sense. When those paths are under 8″ of powder, you might not realize that rocks, roots, and worst of all, ice lie waiting to send you on your back. Wear hiking cleats on sturdy-soled shoes. Watch your dog too if he’s off-lead near shore. He doesn’t know the surface he is heading for may only be an inch thick. Good luck pulling him out. Did I mention hypothermia?
Or just walk around town and witness a Department 56 village come to life. Delightful.
If you’ve exhausted the trails around the lake (how?), head over to World’s End State Park for more opps. Snowmobiling is allowed over there. Check into headquarters for maps and tips. Or try Crystal Lake Ski Center a few miles down Rt. 220 South. Equipment rental and instruction provided!
So if you thought the only winter fun in Eagles Mere involved ice, i.e. the Toboggan Slide or skating on the Outlet Pond, think twice. Think the White Stuff! Think SNOW
Bill and Leslie
P.S. What are your favorite things about winter in Eagles Mere? Let us know below!