I’d been meaning to check out Henry’s Woods in Lake Placid for quite a while. Last week, on a beautiful summer evening, I finally got the chance.
Henry’s Woods is a 212-acre community preserve and trail system off of Old Military Road just outside of Lake Placid. It’s a year-round recreation area for hikers, runners, mountain bikers, skiers and straight-up nature enthusiasts. The preserve is named after Henry Uihlein, who was a strong supporter of the Lake Placid community and its athletes, and is a result of years of planning by the Uihlein Foundation.
Thank goodness the Foundation decided against selling the land and making a quick buck because, to put it lightly, this place is awesome!
Henry’s Woods offers a network of trails designed and engineered by Tony Goodwin, director of the Adirondack Ski Touring Council, editor of the ADK High Peaks trail guide, and Keene local. The main loop trail is 2.5 miles from start to finish – the trail is wide, impeccably groomed, and has a solid gravel base so there are no pesky roots, mud or rocks to get in the way of runners and skiers. The trail starts out up a slight grade from either direction and then gradually evens out. As a ski trail, it is described as “beginner to intermediate.”
Other trails have recently been cut as well. Though I didn’t venture off the main loop this time, I’m looking forward to going back and checking out the rest of the trail network.
For now, Henry’s Woods is dog-friendly. Yay! And poop bags are provided. Double yay! But the preserve policies clearly state that “dogs are currently allowed on the trails,” which sounds like things could change if people start to abuse this privilege. Hear that Willa Jean? Behave!
While Henry’s Woods will not provide any sort of wilderness, backcountry experience, it does provide a quick mental and physical getaway when a bigger adventure isn’t possible.
I can’t wait to go back and explore the trails more thoroughly – and make a fool of myself there this winter!
Directions to Henry’s Woods:
From Old Military Road in Lake Placid, turn onto Bear Cub Lane. Trailhead parking is on the right, about 1/8 of the mile down.