A fire box radiates heat outside of the warming hut for those who want to quickly warm their hands before climbing the hill for another turn. Inside the warming hut is a woodstove surrounded by a double railing with a clothesline and clips for wet gloves to dry.
Snow encrusted children come into the hut, shedding their outerwear, often ordering hot chocolate or hot dogs from the concession counter. Inside the hut it is hot and steamy, as coats, hats and gloves are hung on every hook and hanger to dry. Wooden benches provide seating around the hut.
“We started doing this in 1980,” said Ryann Young, a state park employee. “We have a tremendous amount of fun out here. It is different from our normal routine at the park. And everyone has fun. Everyone is in a good mood and having a good time. We see the same people week after week, year after year. It is nice to see the families having fun.”
Dean Cole of Cherry Valley has been working at Glimmerglass State park for three years. He often takes the position as one of the attendants at the top of the snow tubing tracks.
“It is a fun job,” Cole said. “It promotes exercise too. It is quite a climb to get to the top carrying your tube.”
In addition to snow tubing, Glimmerglass State Park offers various trails for those interested in snow shoeing and cross country skiing.
“It is a beautiful day to be outside,” said Greg Lollo of New York City on a recent Saturday. “We had a great day of cross country skiing. We followed the ice fishermen’s tracks out onto the lake, and then, when we came back, we made our own little trail.”
His friend, Tracey Ryersee of Cooperstown carried her dog, a Pomeranian cross, in her backpack as they spent the day skiing.