Barkeater Trails Alliance brings you the Jackrabbit Rally 2022!
The Jackrabbit Rally is a choose-your-own ski adventure event with the goal of celebrating the long and storied history of Adirondack ski touring. This year we also mark the 36th anniversary of the Jackrabbit Ski Trail and the founding of the Adirondack Ski Touring Council (now called BETA).
When: February 1, 2022 - March 20, 2022
Where: Any ski trail of your choosing. If you can participate here in the Adirondacks, great! If not, kick and glide wherever you're able.
Why: To support the mission of the Barkeater Trails Alliance (BETA). With so many of our annual winter events and outings cancelled due to the pandemic, we are adapting with this unique "virtual" fundraiser.
The Jackrabbit Trail is named in honor of Herman “Jack Rabbit” Johannsen, who was a legendary skiing pioneer both in the Adirondacks and, later, in Canada. There he constructed the famous Maple Leaf Trail and helped to start the 100 mile, two-day Canadian Ski Marathon. While living and vacationing in Lake Placid between 1916 and 1928, Johannsen pioneered some of the original routes used by today’s trail. He was also famous for his one-day ascents of Marcy starting from Lake Placid—a round-trip of over 30 miles. “Jack Rabbit” died in 1987 in his native Norway at age 111, skiing nearly to the time of his death.
Some six decades and two Olympic games after Jackrabbit laid down his last parallel tracks out from the village of Lake Placid, a group of local skiers finally posed the crucial question: What if someone could blaze a permanent cross country ski trail through this great wilderness? Not a hut-to-hut, backcountry trail, but a path in the old Scandinavian style linking the towns of Keene, Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Paul Smiths. A path people could use to ski a little or ski a lot, to visit folks along the way, or spend a day at one of the Nordic centers in the area. The kind of trail you don’t need a car to get to. Local skiers would love it, the population at large would gain a valuable resource and the burgeoning Nordic industry would get a shot in the arm.
- John Piedmont, Cross Country Skier magazine, 2004
You must feel the tug of your muscles as you near the top of a long grade, and know the joy of making your own track down an unbroken expanse of powder snow. This is skiing. This is adventure!
~Jackrabbit Johannsen, circa 1946