Winter can be a tough time to vacation in the Adirondacks. Restaurants and hotels that are hopping in the summer months close their doors until the thaw of spring. Busy attractions are forced to close by the brutal temperatures and feet of snow. However, the Lake George Area is different.
Unforgettable annual events, snow-covered recreation, and some indoor activities make the small lakefront village and the surrounding area the perfect place for a winter getaway.
Below are the top 10 reasons why Lake George is the best Adirondack winter getaway destination:
Ice Bars (that stay frozen all winter long)
Pull up a seat and experience the ice bar phenomenon happening in the Lake George Area. The most notable is the Glacier Ice Bar & Lounge at the Sagamore Resort. The ritzy Sagamore ice bar event features an intricate bar carved from a huge block of ice, stools covered in fur, and an assortment of other ice sculptures. Funky Ice Fest at the Adirondack Pub & Brewery offers a different take on ice bars. Their annual winter blowout features a frozen and playable piano, an ice beer pong table, and is BYOV (bring your own vinyl).
Several other locations offer their own take on ice bars through January and February.
The Best Ski Resort in the Adirondacks
If you're planning a ski vacation, you need to go to Gore Mountain. This four peak, 110 trail skiing and snowboarding mecca is the perfect ski resort for couples, young families, and groups of adventurers. From long cruisers like Sunway, to terrain parks full of rails and kickers, to legendary steeps like the Rumor and Lies, Gore Mountain truly has it all. Add in the recently renovated Tannery Pub & Restaurant, and snowmaking covering the entire mountain, and you'll understand why Gore Mountain is second to none.
Multiple Winter Carnivals - wild winter parties
February is winter carnival month in the Lake George Area. The annual Lake George Winter Carnival takes place every weekend throughout the month. This snow and ice bonanza is a blast. Events include a human foosball tournament, auto races on the ice, a chili cook-off, children’s activities, ice diving demonstrations, and much more!
While smaller in scale, the Brant Lake Winter Carnival offers just as much frigid fun as its larger kin. This day-long event based at Jimbo's Club at the Point includes a broomball tournament, curling, dog sled rides, ice bowling, outhouse races, and the fry pan toss. If you’re searching for a long day or an entire month of family-friendly winter activities, check out the winter carnivals in the Lake George Area.
Night Skiing at West Mountain
When it comes to night skiing, there’s no better place than West Mountain. This family-owned and family-friendly mountain has over 30 easy to difficult trails to explore. Night skiing allows you and your family to cruise 15 of these trails well past sundown.
Long cruisers, tough steeps, and awesome terrain parks offer something for every type of skier and rider. Couple that with tubing on the weekends, the delicious West Mountain Bar & Eatery, and constant mountain upgrades, and West Mountain will be a family favorite of yours for years to come!
Winter Hikes with Stunning Views
The hiking trails don't close once the snow starts piling up. Some would argue they get better. The Lake George Area has dozens of miles of hiking trails to wander throughout the region. While the trails will be covered with snow and ice, a pair of snowshoes or spikes will make sure you make it to those stunning Adirondack Mountain views in no time.
Winter hiking trails range from short walks best for beginners to tough, multiple hours slogs. If you’re in a serious adventuring mood, tackle several trails in an attempt to complete a hiking challenge like the Lake George 12ster or the Chester Challenge!
Those Feisty Fish are Still Biting
The abundant lakes and waterways are ice fishing ground zero once their skim of ice grows thick. Most ice anglers choose Lake George, accessing the lake from Veterans Memorial Park or Million Dollar Beach, hoping to catch a record lake trout or a bucket of yellow perch.
Other bodies of water like Brant Lake, the Hudson River, the Schroon River, tough-to-access Adirondack ponds offer ice fishing opportunities as well. Glen Lake even has an annual ice fishing tournament. Check out our list of the ice fishing hot spots in the Lake George Area!
Snowmobile Trails Galore
Miles of gorgeous snowmobile trails cover the Lake George Area. Local trails, managed by four separate snowmobile clubs, are the perfect way to explore the region. These trails are as diverse as they are exhilarating, with long corridors connecting towns and villages, to winding wooded trails that lead to the Hudson River.
The famous Prospect Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway is snowmobile-accessible once snow covers the winding road. The summit of Prospect Mountain boasts stunning views of Lake George, the Adirondack Mountains, Vermont, and even Canada.
An Ice Hockey Mecca
The ECHL's Adirondack Thunder play hockey all winter long at the Cool Insuring Arena in the heart of downtown Glens Falls. A hard-hitting professional hockey game is a can't-miss family event in the Lake George Area.
Between the lively fans rocking the Cool Insuring Arena, the chance to see future stars of the NHL, and the action of downtown Glens Falls, an Adirondack Thunder game is an unforgettable night out.
Miles of Cross-Country Ski Trails
It’s not all about downhill skiing in the Lake George Area. Cross-country skiers have dozens of trails to ski and skate throughout the region. Head to the Nordic Center at the North Creek Ski Bowl, where wooded routes, tough inclines, and lit trails for night skiing. The Garnet Hill Outdoor Center is a four-season facility that offers 55 kilometers of finely-groomed trails. Snowshoers love many of these trails as well!
Plenty of Warm, Indoor Fun
Some people don't love the snow. When the winter weather in the Lake George Area is a bit too cold or snowy, there’s plenty of fun to be had inside.
Start with shopping at the Factory Outlets of Lake George, which boasts dozens of brand name stores offering bargain prices. Once you've scored a few deals, go bowling at Lake George Lanes & Games or splash around at Six Flags Great Escape Indoor Water Park.