Our latest tour led us to the northernmost reaches of Oswego County. On the edge of the Tug Hill plateau, outdoor adventure-seekers will discover the Winona State Forest. A special thanks to Rose Driscoll, one of the original board members of the Winona Forest Recreation Association (WFRA), as well as to Claire and Mary Shadduck and Dave Cronk, our trail guide and groomer extraordinaire.
The all-volunteer group maintains approximately 70 miles of motorized and non-motorized trails throughout the forest. This area covers more than 9,000 acres in Oswego and Jefferson counties, providing more than enough room to accommodate outdoor enthusiasts of all interests in every season. Favorite activities include: hiking, biking, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, mushing (dog sledding), birding, horseback-riding, hunting, fishing, and ATV riding.
While Winona State Forest may be a bit of a hidden treasure locally, it is well-known internationally as a popular training and racing ground for sled dogs. It also hosts an Empire State Games Qualifier for the New York State Ski Racing Association.
Year-round, there is much work to be done in order to keep this area operational for all users. The winter season requires two-person groom teams to create and maintain a good snow base. Throughout the remainder of the year, fallen trees are removed, branches are trimmed and trails are cut back. Much of these tasks are accomplished through the hard work and devotion of WFRA volunteers and local civic groups.
From our front row seat on the groomer, we witnessed the untouched beauty of this winter wonderland and enjoyed the great satisfaction of a fresh-cut trail! See our pictures below:
The WFRA is an active, not-for-profit volunteer organization supported through memberships and donations. Additional fundraising helps with year-round trail maintenance. For more information about the WFRA, upcoming events or trail reports, visit the groupÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Web site at: http://www.winonaforest.com/.
Map of Winona State Forest
(highlighting Center Road)
If you would like more information about the great outdoors and events in Oswego County, please visit our Web site at http://www.visitoswegocounty.com/.