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Starter Snowshoe: Leatherman's Cave

Overview
Pack List
Intensity Level
Drive to Meet Option
FAQ
Starter Snowshoe

A relaxing snowshoe through massive rock formations.

Retrace some of the steps of the legendary Leatherman, a mysterious figure from the 19th century who spent his days traveling between the Connecticut and Hudson rivers in his homemade leather suit and his nights seeking shelter in caves.  Our snowshoe will take us through Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Westchester county, where we’ll travel a relaxing yet scenic six miles, taking in views from atop the ridge and hiking past formations like Raven, Castle, and Spy Rocks. 

We’ll finish the hike with a visit to the Leatherman’s Cave, a spot where our wandering figure often rode out the harsh winters. This snowshoe is ideal for those looking to spend a full day on the trail at a casual pace.

Photo Credit: Courtney Bassett

 

Pack List

BRING
  • Your lunch
  • Ample snacks
  • At least two liters of water
  • A thermos of hot soup, tea, or coffee is recommended
  • A backpack. Need a recommendation? Meet Gregory.
  • Weather-appropriate clothing. For a great selection and discounts, visit our partners.
  • Hat, gloves, an extra pair of wool socks
  • Trekking or ski poles are recommended
  • Hand / Foot warmers
  • Chapstick
  • Camera
  • A dry set of clothes and shoes for the ride home (can be left in the van)
WEAR
  • Ski or snowboarding gear, including a warm, waterproof jacket
  • Comfortable athletic clothing
  • Waterproof hiking boots with wool socks (required)
  • Gaiters are recommended to keep snow out of your boots
  • Hat, gloves, scarf
INCLUDED
  • Expert guides
  • Transportation
  • Snowshoe rental and instruction
  • Park permits

Intensity Level

Level 4

IDEAL FOR ACTIVE BEGINNERS AND FORMER PARTICIPANTS

Level 4 trips balance physical and aesthetic components of the day. Get your heart pumping on intermediate terrain with some rock scrambles and multiple peaks, then enjoy a well-earned break with a stunning view. These trips are effective preparation for even more challenging weekend-long trips.

ACTIVITY

Trail time ranges from for four to six hours. You should be in good physical shape and exercise at least three times a week to get the most out of the day.

DISTANCES

You’ll be traveling five to eight miles on this trip, the average distance run in an hour-long soccer game.

SURFACES

You’ll be hiking on steadily rising terrain with loose rock surfaces, switchbacks, roots and small boulders.

ELEVATION CHANGE

Up to 1,500 feet per day.

ALTITUDE

Up to 6,000 feet.

Drive to Meet Option

Have your own transportation? Select the "drive to meet" option at check out. You'll meet your guide at the Michigan Road Parking Area in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation at 10:00 AM. See below for map.

 

FAQ

This is my first trip. What should I expect?

Your guide will meet you at the departure location in a Discover Outdoors shirt and will be driving a passenger transport van. After introductions, you'll drive to your hiking location. The drive can be anywhere from one or one and a half hours (for most trips) to two and a half hours (for trips to the Catskills). Your guide will have lots of helpful information and lead you along the trail. You can expect some great views, interesting facts about the area, and lots of great conversations with your fellow hikers. After your trip is complete, you'll be dropped off at the same location as your departure.

What if I'm running late to the pick up?

We know how tough it can be to get around this city sometimes, but our trips depart on time. As a courtesy to your other adventurers and guides, please arrive at least 15 minutes early to your pick-up location so we can depart at our scheduled time. You're more than welcome to bring coffee and breakfast along to enjoy on the road.  If you are running late, please contact your guide (whose phone number you'll receive via e-mail the week of your trip). Unfortunately we do not offer any trip credit for a missed departure due to late arrival.

What should I wear and bring?

All the information on what to wear and bring can be found on the trip's site in the pack tab. We recommend dressing in layers to allow you to adapt to changing temperatures. Avoid cotton in favor of synthetic fabrics. Your base layer should be wool or a moisture wicking fabric, with an insultaing layer such as a fleece, and a warm, waterproof ski jacket on top. Waterproof hiking boots with wool socks are required for all winter trips. You can contact us (212-579-4568 or [email protected]) for more information on trip conditions.

You should pack plenty of water (2-3 liters) and snacks, as well as a hearty lunch. It's also a good idea to bring an extra layer, a camera, a hat, and sunscreen in your pack. Oh, and don't forget to bring your sense of adventure!

I've never snowshoed before, should I sign up?

Of course! Our guides will provide a brief intro to the equipment and will help you get set up before your hike. Snowshoeing is easy to learn and is a great workout. Snowshoeing trips are rated on a level of 1-10, just like our hikes, so you can be sure to find a trip that's appropriate for your skill and fitness level. You can find any trip's intensity on its main page, with a detailed description in the "intensity level" tab. We recommend that you review this information so you can be prepared for your day. If you have any doubts, please call or e-mail our office and we can provide more information on any trip's difficulty.

How many people will be there?

Our groups for hikes usually range from 8-14 people. Your group will have either one or two DO guides, depending on the trip.

Will I be the only solo traveler?

No way! Many individuals sign up to join our trips solo. The best part of a DO trip is meeting new people and being part of a group. Even if you show up as a party of one, you'll be leaving with lots of new friends.

What if I'm the slowest one?

We hike as a group, but sometimes people move at different paces - and that's completely ok! Our guides will always have your safety in mind and be keeping attentive track of the group. On longer or more difficult hikes, we'll have a sweep guide as well. As long as your group is keeping on schedule, there's no pressure to move fast; enjoy the trip!

Will there be bathrooms?

Once we get to our trailhead, nature is your bathroom! Your guide will brief you on leave-no-trace guidelines for using the bathroom responsibly. Always tell someone when you're stepping off trail to go.

What if I don't feel well?

Our guides receive medical training and are all certified Wilderness First Responders, so you're in good hands, but communicating is key. Please notify your guide if you don't feel well, are worried about a blister, or any other concerns. Also notify them in advance if you have any medical conditions or allergies.

What if there's not enough snow?

Our desinations tyipcally get much more snow than we do in the city, but sometimes trip conditions aren't ideal. If conditions do not allow for snowshoeing, we'll enjoy a winter hike instead or will opt to use microspikes if it's icy. Your guide will have all necessary equipment.  If no equipment is needed, you'll be refunded the price of rentals as DO trip credit.

How much should I tip our guide?

If you have a great day, a tip is a great way to thank your guide for their work.  On our trips, a tip of 10-20% is customary.

Starter Snowshoe

Every journey starts with a first step. Whether you're new to snowshoeing or just looking for a leisurely day on the trail, Starter Snowshoe trips will allow you to travel at a comfortable pace, over moderate distances, with plenty of time to enjoy the views. You'll get your heart pumping with some uphill and downhill stretches, but won't encounter any technical sections. There will be plenty of time to learn all about using snowshoes, navigating trails, reading blazes, and how to practice leave no trace principles along the way.

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