Photo by Mike Lynch
John Gillis (front) and Jim Frenette ski on the Tupper Lake Country Club cross-country ski trails. In the background is Cranberry Pond and the Big Tupper Ski Area.
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Much of the publicity surrounding skiing in Tupper Lake in recent years has focused on the revival of the Big Tupper Ski Area located on Mount Morris.

But Big Tupper isn\'t the only place where the passion for skiing has returned. For the past four years, a small group of volunteers has been making an extra effort to improve the cross-country skiing trails on and around the Tupper Lake Country Club.

The area now contains more than 6 miles of trails that are groomed regularly. The terrain is mostly beginner with some intermediate.

The trails start at a trail register in front of the country club\'s clubhouse. From there, they cross the golf course before meandering into the woods. Skiers can either follow the numerous loops available or head up to Big Tupper, where there is a connection just below the lodge.

John Gillis, who does a lot of the work on the trails, said there are about a half-dozen volunteers who regularly help to keep the trails in good shape. One of those is Jim Frenette, who has been skiing the trails for about 50 years.

Frenette said he started coaching cross-country skiing locally in 1960 during the same timeframe that Big Tupper opened. He said high school meets were held in the golf course area in the 1960s, and then in the 1970s the races expanded to include two local ones: the Little Logger Race and the Lumberjack Scramble.

The Scramble actually returned for the first time in years in mid-February.