Trail Report Archive

2015-16
Sat 1/10/16- AJD

Scouted the trails in advance of the heavy snow predicted in the next few days. Some base remained on about 80% of the non-motorized trail system. Rain and run-off has resulted in many wet and open areas on the other 20% of our trails. Forest roads generally are well drained and have a layer of ice on them which will quickly accept the new snow and be skiable.

The sled has returned from the spa and is ready for it’s next grooming adventure. Plugs, skags and drive belt have been replaced.

A new cover is has been purchased and we are ready to hit the trails.

Until there is sufficient coverage on the non-motorized trails and wet spots are frozen, there can be no grooming, as the sled and implements cannot be driven through mud and water. The icing lesson we learned last week is still fresh in our minds! We may schedule a snow shoe-snow shovel work party to cover the open spots, as well as pull some small sprouting vegetation on our new trails and put a pallet or two in a standing pool of water.

Grooming efforts this week will likely focus on packing the roads and tracking the shoulders where there is sufficient width.

1/11/16-AJD
Made 2 passes with packing implement on Lewis-Housington-Arab Hill loop. Also packed eastern end of Housington and inside Arab Hill gate down to 2nd clearing. No downed trees. Only about 7″ of new snow, less than expected. Use rock skis if you ski Tuesday. See M-Th snow forecast map below.

1/12/16- AJD
Planning to groom 1/13 in evening. Will give priority to XC only trails if they are sufficiently frozen, but a big pool of water on a key trail may need a bridging solution this weekend to be passable. Will try to post daily with updates. One thing’s for sure: there will be skiing in BHSF this weekend!

1/13/16- AJD
Our trails are covered with a 8-10″ of snow but the ground hasn’t frozen and wet spots presist. There are also several blown down trees and a large pool of standing water. We’re noodling solutions, so back country conditions persist until we can pack the trails.

Roads have been packed again tonight by Bill and me, as well as Sno Goer groomers. They are dry and ready for fun.

Sled continues to have a stalling problem that needs attention before going back out. Stay tuned!

1/16/16- AJD
Downed trees were removed from the trail yesterday… thank you Bill Schermann and Tina Nelson. The ground under the snow remains unfrozen and wet. Some standing water remains.

A snowmobile or two might be attempting to pack our trail system tomorrow, so don’t confront the operators as rule-breakers! One of the snowmobile operators will to be Theresa Laurie, our DEC Forrester and Cherry Creek Snow Goer member who has been invaluable to us.

Forest Roads remain covered and skiable in most locations. Snowmobile trails are still closed but you will be sure to encounter a few sleds. It is probably not advisable to use your “A” skis, as the base is still thin.

With a packed base and new snow next week, we’re hopeful we will be packing and tracking our trails. Thanks for your patience and support!

1/16/16- AJD
Skied forest roads. Good coverage with some water wicking up but good skiing, classic or slate. Better than going to the gym. Occasional pebble or stone.

1/16/16- AJD
Downed trees were removed from the trail yesterday… thank you Bill Schermann and Tina Nelson. The ground under the snow remains unfrozen and wet. Some standing water remains.

A snowmobile or two might be attempting to pack our trail system tomorrow, so don’t confront the operators as rule-breakers! One of the snowmobile operators will to be Theresa Laurie, our DEC Forrester and Cherry Creek Snow Goer member who has been invaluable to us.

Forest Roads remain covered and skiable in most locations. Snowmobile trails are still closed but you will be sure to encounter a few sleds. It is probably not advisable to use your “A” skis, as the base is still thin.

With a packed base and new snow next week, we’re hopeful we will be packing and tracking our trails. Thanks for your patience and support!

1/17/16- AJD
Great skiing on forest roads. Thin coverage at usual spot on first 300′ of Arab Hill at Lewis. Sleds have been on roads and turned up gravel only on Arab Hill south of Hoisington. No more water wicking up.

Our trails are starting to freeze. Planning to pack new snow Monday evening on some of our trails and shoulders of forest roads.

We’ve gotten lots of good advice to address sked stalling issue and implemented one fix; if stalling continues, we have a couple more fixes to try.

1/18/16- AJD
Famine to feast… rags to riches. We braved the elements and trailed the sled to BH only to be vexed by too much snow. There is about 15-18″ of new snow. We attempted to pack using only the sled without success. The good news is that most of the wet spots are buried.

1/20/16- AJD
Bill Schermann & Clyde Rogers to the rescue!

The owner of the Cherry Creek farm & sled dealership brought his Kioti ATV to the rescue and packed 75% of our trail system this AM… FOR FREE! Doug Bargar and I packed the other 25% with the sled this afternoon. THANK YOU CLYDE ROGERS! THANK YOU (AGAIN), BILL SCHERMANN, FOR OVERCOMING ANOTHER INSURMOUNTABLE OBSTICLE.

Some wet spots remain around trail system that can be sidestepped but which still prevent a grooming implement from being used. Packing has already accelerated freezing but another blast of snow is needed to get trails into top shape. Trails remain a bit chunky, but very good for touring- no set tracks yet. More packing and grooming may have the trails is good shape for the weekend.

1/23/16- AJD<
Packed all trails today except snowmobile connector trail the goes east out of Rurrenbur lot. Joe Bender shoveled snow onto wet spots. Trails are in very good shape including the stretch of the Overland Trail. Most wet spots are now packed and hardening. Base is not firm but will improve with each groom.

Also attempted setting classic tracks on most trails. Tracks are soft and low grade. Track quality will greatly improve as base hardens

1/23/16 – Doug Bargar
Well, I went to the Ruttenbur parking lot today and ran into Andy and Joe Bender just finishing up grooming. Wanted to skate today so I put on my skis and headed up toward the Arab Gate area by way of Lewis Rd. Snowmobiles go on that road so, as it turns out it was not ideal as snowmobiles generally stir up a little gravel that can mess with your skis. Turned left onto Arab Hill Forest Rd. which took me to our trailhead where snowmobiles have not been going. Frankly, I was a little dumbstruck. The trails had been groomed very nicely, in some places 8′ wide and I started to cruise on my skate skis. Then I noticed they had put in classical tracks on both sides of some of the trails, and they looked pretty nice. On a good many of the upper trails, it was groomed as well as many areas I have skied elsewhere where I pay sometimes $20. for a trail pass. It was packed down enough that I wasn’t really even sinking down as I skied. This idea that started out as kind of a pipe dream has now become a reality! Congratulations to all those who made it happen, especially Andy Dickson. Well done!! Postscript: If you go to the Ruttenbur parking lot to start(recommended), then I would advise you head up the trail that is kind of in the middle from the lot, which I believe is part of the Overland Trail. You’ll need to go up that roughly 250 yards, but I think you’ll find it’s worth the trip.

John Susan Hertlein
January 24, 2016 at 10:32 pm

I went out today for about 2 hrs Great day . I ran into about about 10 others. All said this was great. ONLY 2 of them knew about the club or who did the grooming. I spent more time taking pictures than skiing. Just a beautiful day. Still needs more snow. Thanks for all your hard work. Tell all your friends.

Brad Schottin
January 25, 2016 at 7:46 pm

First time at Boutwell Hill since the Fall meeting. Skied all the cross country only trails and part of Arab Hill & Lewis. Very Nice, a few frozen areas but as of 1pm the temp was not above freezing so limited loss of base today. Hopefully the warmup is brief and with a little more snow the trails should remain in decent shape for a year like this. Thanks to Andy and all the people that helped out.

Cindy Flaherty
January 25, 2016 at 8:25 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Had a wonderful ski this weekend!

Michael Matthews
January 27, 2016 at 5:14 pm

We skied Sunday the 25th all trails and had a great time. The tracks were excellent and the snow was fast. Thank you Andy Dickson!

Jeff
January 29, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Skied 3 miles last night in the dark. First time skiing the trails and was very pleased even though I skied with my backup dim headlamp. There were still a few wet spots, but not enough to hinder skiing. Nice job on the trails and keep up the good work.

1/24/16- AJD
Conditions were very good today and enjoyed by a dozen people besides myself while I was there 9-12.

All wet spots where snow was shoveled yesterday have succussfuly frozen. However, these icy spots are dangerous.

Good spring conditions should await anyone venturing out tomorrow.

A warm spell is approaching. It appears right now all grooming is discontinued until cold temperatures and snow return.

I recommend using the Ruttenbur parking area and skiing up the Overland Trail to the access the other trails. OT does not have set tracks but all other trails do except the north trail between our trails and the snowmobile trail where back country conditions exist. A large frozen mud patch is reported on the snowmobile portion.

1/28/16- AJD
Snow is expected today, tonight and tomorrow. About 2″ of new snow was reported yesterday. Trails withstood thaw and trouble spots remain frozen. We will be grooming tonight or tomorrow. Snowmobile trails are closed. There should be good conditions this weekend- keep your fingers crossed!

1/29/16- AJD
Planning to pack and track this afternoon.

1/29/16- AJD
Bill and I packed and groomed all trails. No set tracks for classic but coduroy is great. 10″ new snow. A couple wet spots shoveled and packed and are gone. Trails are in great shape and should hold thru Sunday. Sno Goers will be packing snowmobile trails tonight. ENJOY!

1/30/16- AJD
Great conditions today enjoyed by many:

2/5/16- AJD
Skied at dawn on skate skis. 2-3″ new dense snow. Housington and wooded portion of Lewis excellent. Other roads have portions with thin base and B skis recommended.

Skied our inner red loop, many washouts but still fine for touring.

Must be a fox convention going on at BHSF- saw 4.

2/10/16- AJD
Planning to pack trails tomorrow (Thurs) late afternoon. Volunteers able to ski or snowshoe with a shovel and pack wet spots would be appreciated- 4pm in Ruttenbur Parking lot. More snow is forecast for Friday night but extremely cold temps might jeopardize additional packing and tracking until Sunday. Still another system as big as the one we’re in right now is forecast for early next week! If we can pack all this snow and freeze the wet spots, we will have a great base established.

2/12/16- AJD
Trails have been packed. Some wet spots may remain and a few more bumps exist from the last melt and run-off. No classic tracks were set. There appears to be sufficient coverage on entire 3.4 miles for touring and skating subject to bumps and wet spots. Tentatively planning to pack and set track again Sunday.

RECOMMEND TAKING PRECAUTIONS FOR EXTREME COLD IF YOU DECIDE TO VENTURE OUT OVER WEEKEND. DO NOT SKI ALONE, STAY HYDRATED, BRING CELL PHONE, ETC.

2/14/16- AJD
Planning to pack and track late morning today.

Update: Entire system packed. Connector from snowmobile trail to Red loop only packed with one snowmobile pass. Snowmobile trail torn up by sleds in several places. The few remaining wet spots have iced and require precaution. OT, Red Loop, Service Road and East trail all packed and groomed. Classic tracks set only on Red Loop and Service Road.

Recommend taking Overland Trail from Ruttenbur. OT is uneven, no set tracks and a couple icy spots but very skiable. Red Loop, Service Rd and East Trail all well groomed and very skateable.

2/16/16- AJD
Planning to pack, groom, maybe even track tomorrow PM (Wed).

2/17/16- AJD
About 12″ of snow awaited us tonight. Packed and groomed Red Loop,East Trail,Overland Trail and Service Rd. No classic tracks were set. Connector between snowmobile trail and Red Loop only packed with one snowmobile pass.

Ruttenbur parking lot is a disaster. County hasn’t plowed it in a timely fashion yet this year. Will make a call to address problem tomorrow.

3/3/16- AJD
Rolled all of Lewis, Housington and Arab Hill Rds. and service road that connects our trails; used “new” roller, worked great and so did sled. About 6″ average coverage, less on open stretches. Some spots with no base. Recommend accessing at Cook or Housington, not Ruttenbur- open sections of Lewis and northwest portion of Arab Hill might scratch your skis. All Arab Hill gates are closed to prevent truck access, so most of it is in good shape. Most of Housington is great except eastern 1/4 mile where a truck rutted and got stuck. No set classic tracks anywhere- 4 hours just to roll/pack.

Not sure about condition of our trails but expect there to be base in most places with some washouts and wet spots- should be okay for back country touring.

Snowmobile trails are closed; we’ve got the roads to ourselves. Get out this weekend before tropical temps and rain end the season!

3/5/16- AJD
Forest Roads are excellent. 300′ of Arab Hill closest to Cook must be walked. Otherwise, let the pictures do the talking…

2016-17

1/7/17- Mike
I submitted a request to Apple Maps to have “Boutwell Hill Cross Country Ski Area” added as a searchable location for driving directions. The pin is located at the parking area near the intersection of Ruttenbur Rd & Lewis Rd. I’ll post an update if I’m informed it’s been added.

1/7/17- Fred and Teresa Bretl
1/6/17-TB… 6″-8″ of new snow. Parking lot in need of plowing. OT trail had many wet areas. Snow shoeing and skiing
late afternoon on OT only.

1/27/17- AJD
Tentatively planning to roll and set classic tracks on Lewis, Housington, and Arab Hill roads tomorrow AM.

1/28/17- AJD
15″ new snow when I arrived @9. Packed and tracked Lewis, Housington, and Arab Hill roads hoping to preserve base. Lewis blew in faster than I could pack. Housington and Arab Hill tracks were about 80% in tack at end of day; snowmobiles chewed up the other 20%. Snowmobile groomers and additional snow tonight may doom the remainder of tracks, tho Housington tracks might be missed by groomers.

Had a great ski in the afternoon. It appears only 2-4 sleds were on the BHSF roads today, so traffic was low. Snowmobile trails remain closed but state forest roads are open to sleds. If snowmobile groomers make a pass on roads tonight, it might be good skate conditions tomorrow.

1/29/17- AJD
Have been advised snowmobile trails are open. Use caution.
Update: Roads have 7″ new snow on top of snowmobile groomer packed base. Lots of sleds.

PLEASE POST REPORT IF YOU SKI NON-MOTORIZED TRAILS.

1/29/17-J Jordan
Non-motor-ized trails have been packed by snowshoes. Thanks. Wet spots starting to freeze in. Nice day and the snow is still coming down.

2/3/17- Chris and Rebecca
We skied the Overland Trail from Ruttenbur and there were strictly cross country tracks set down and the trail was packed well by others. A few wet spots but you can get around them. Skied to the discovery loop where it was again packed down nicely. Probably about 5 wet spots on the loop but easy to get around them. There were ski tracks that went to the blue connector trail but we continued around the discovery loop where we had to blaze the trail. Returned down the Overland to Ruttenbur. Conditions were excellent!

2/5/17- AJD
All trails have been rolled except the Overland Trail. 3′ of new snow proved too much for our sled on Friday, so Clyde Rogers packed the trails (again) on Saturday. Sorry, no classic tracks have been set.

2/7/17- Paul Corrigan
Skate-skied the snowmobile trails today (Feb. 7, 2017) off Ruttenbur road and had the trails to myself. A sneaking suspicion the rain had something to do with it! Lots of cover on the trails. I’m visiting the Buffalo area from the state of Maine and staying in East Amherst for the winter. Will be doing some ski instructing at Byrncliff in the upcoming weeks. So nice to know there are high places like Boutwell Hill that have the potential to get a lot of snow!

2/7/17-Ed Gray
Yesterday (Feb 6) was my first time xc-skiing the Boutwell trail system. We hail from the Erie area. My wife and I joined three other newbies and had a blast! We did all the loops plus a little out-and-back on the Overland trail. Set tracks would’ve been the icing on the cake but I’m not complaining; we were prepared with wide boards! Thanks to all who put the effort into maintaining the trails. Keep me in the loop on future trail work days, please.

2/10/17pm- AJD
Bill reports that our trails have an icy base covered by 4″ of snow. Wet spots persist but are easily avoidable. The touring crowd might find the trip worthwhile. Probably classic skis with metal edges and sharp poles are in order.

No report for the forest roads. Snowmobile trails are closed so snowmobile traffic, if any, will probably be light. I expect there is base on the roads and they drain much better than our trails, so the base may not be as icy and they might work for classic or skate. There will be thin spots including near Cook Rd, so don’t use your “A” skis.

3/14/17pm- AJD
Attempted to pack Arab Hill Rd but snow was too deep and sled didn’t run well (fouled plugs). Won’t be able to try again for several days. Back country conditions on roads and trails.

Update: Snowmobile trails are opening. Use caution!

3/17/2017- Marty Sandin Brief, great ski starting 10:30 a.m. (Should have started by 9 a.m.) My car parked alone in Ruttenbur lot. Overland trail lay dormant. Therefore I skied the right-most snowmobile trail parallel to Ruttenbur eastward though to overlooking the blue silo near Town’s Corner. Two snowmobiles had preceded me, packing cold, powdery snow. However by 11:10 the snow had begun to soften, causing minor sticking. After 1 Hr 10 Min, I departed rather than put on my snow shoes.

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