MALONE — The Malone Fish and Game Club held its annual open house on Saturday, welcoming visitors to the Webster Street clubhouse and inviting them to enjoy the club’s trails free for the day.
Steve Savage, club president, said the open house is an opportunity to share what the club has to offer the community.
“It’s a day when we let people in to see what we have”, said Savage. “For those who haven’t tried skiing or snowshoeing to try, we usually rent snowshoes and cross-country skis and today they don’t have to pay, don’t need to be a member or pay a day-use fee Today they can go out and try the trails.
The club offers approximately six miles of trails.
“We welcome new members all the time, in addition to the trails we have a shooting gallery and a 3D archery course,” said Savage.
There are 20 shooting points along the trail, all with 3D animal targets, he said.
“It’s about a mile through the woods,” said Savage.
A trail, about 11/2 miles, connects to nearby Titus Mountain, he said.
“Titus Mountain is a fantastic neighbor, they treat us very well, if a cross country skier here is a member and goes down the mountain, they bring them back for free once a day,” said Savage.
If people are looking to join the club, Savage said they can visit the clubhouse on weekends or visit International Border Company in Malone.
“Easiest way is to go to IBC, they sell memberships for us and they donated a raffle set of rackets, complete with rackets, gaiters and poles,” said Savage.
A planned evening snowshoe hike and bonfire on Saturday evening was canceled due to freezing weather forecasts and high winds expected.
“We’re going to do a night racket in the next few weeks,” said Savage.
He said that despite temperatures in the single digits on Saturday, he was pleased with turnout for the open house, which ran from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“We had 25 to 30 people, with the weather forecast we had, I didn’t know what we would have,” said Savage.
Savage said the snow conditions on the club’s trails have held up pretty well.
“It’s not bad. We struggled at the start like everyone else because we didn’t have any snow, but with what we have we don’t need a big snow storm in this moment. said Savage. “If we get an inch or two every week just to freshen it up, it will work.”
Savage said the club has been around since 1918, moving to its current location in the 1950s.
The clubhouse features a display of historical plaques and a photo of the club’s annual banquet shortly after the club’s founding.
Although he’s not sure where the photo was taken, Savage said he believes it was in the West Main Street Armory.
“It was the social event of the year in Malone, dues at the time were one dollar”, he said.