Thanks to its rural location within the Adirondack Park, Speculator New York has a rich history in snowmobiling recreation dating back to the early 1970’s. Speculator was one of the first areas in New York State to recognize the economic befit of the snowmobiling industry and was the first Village in the Adirondacks to establish an organized network of groomed trails with a “Trail Permit” system. In the early 1980’s the Trail Permit system was abolished and now all trails in and around Speculator are free from charge and open to all.
The vast majority of snowmobile trails in Speculator are located on State easement lands know as the Perkins Clearing / Speculator Tree Farm (PCSTF). Until recently, these lands had been in International Paper ownership and managed for timber for the last 100 years. In 2005, the State of New York acquired a conservation easement on these lands. The easement limits subdivision and development on the property, requires that forestry be practiced sustainably and provides public recreation rights. In 2006, International Paper Company sold nearly all of their Adirondack timberlands, including the Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement lands to the Lyme Timber Company, who is the current landowner.
Snowmobiling is by far the most popular activity on and around the conservation easement lands. Designated and groomed snowmobile trails on these lands connect with snowmobile trails on forest preserve and private lands that are part of the trail system connecting the communities of Piseco Lake, Lake Pleasant, Speculator, Indian Lake and Wells.
Utilizing logging roads and old skidder trails, there are over 35 miles of designated snowmobile trails located on the Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Lands, including sections of two corridor snowmobile trails, C4 & C8, and all or part of four secondary snowmobile trails. The variety of trails is endless, ranging from wide flat trails on main roads to smaller backcountry trails that wind through the forest to ungroomed backcountry trails for the bushwhacking crowd. Since Speculator is located at over 2000 feet in elevation the snow that it receives from both lake effect and Nor’easters stays on the ground providing a riding season that typically starts in early December and lasts until mid April.
There are a number of locations to park vehicles with snowmobile trailers and access the trails on the conservation easement lands:
The parking area at the Oak Mountain Ski Center - snowmobilers can where users can use the Village of Speculator Trails to access the Speculator Tree Farm snowmobile trail system;
The Speculator Ball Field parking lot off Route 8/30 at the southern end of the village - snowmobilers can use the Kunjumuk Trail to access the Speculator Tree Farm snowmobile trail system;
A small parking area near the southern entrance of the Perkins Clearing Road; and
The parking area along Route 30 at Mason Lake is just a short distance south of the Mason Lake Road which is a designated snowmobile trail.
Since the easement lands are an active working timber forest, logging activities are in practice year-round. Consult with the following websites to learn what trails are open and where logging activities are occurring. On occasion, both snowmobiles and loggers will share the same trail so please be careful and obey all posted speed limits. In addition, be aware of that cross country skiers and snowshoers may use some of trails. Slow down when passing them.
If you enjoy riding the trails on the Perkins Clearing/Speculator Tree Farm Conservation Easement Lands located in the Speculator region of the Adirondacks we encourage you to support the businesses in the Village and join one of the local NYSSA snowmobile clubs that maintain the trail system.