Winter transforms the mountains, valleys and lakes into a glittering wonderland of powdery snow, brisk air and bright blue skies. The area becomes a play land for winter sports enthusiasts. With top-rated centers for alpine and Nordic skiing, an extensive network of snowmobile trails and a season of winter carnivals, you’ll find your perfect winter break in the Lake George Area. After a day of romping in the snow, you can relax by an open fire at one of the many fine lodges, or step out to enjoy the area’s vibrant nightlife.
Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
What is your ideal ski hill? Big mountain, little mountain, or how about steep natural terrain and tree skiing? You’ll find plenty of skiing and snowboarding in the Lake George Area.
The Lake George Area is home to one of New York’s premier ski areas, Gore Mountain. Ski Magazine’s Best in the East 2017 Ski Resort Guide describes Gore’s terrain, as “unusually charismatic — long, rolling cruisers; accessible, roomy glades— and the scenery is exceptional.” With 109 trails and more than 2,500 vertical feet over four peaks, skiers and riders will find trails to suit all ability levels.
Family-run and family-orientated, West Mountain in Glens Falls is a smaller mountain that is big on value. With 30 trails for beginner and intermediate skiers, lift-assisted snow tubing and terrain parks everyone can enjoy a day on the slopes. After dark, the new LED lights come on for night skiing.
With miles of groomed and back country cross-country ski trails, the Lake George Area offers terrain for classic and skate skiers of all ability levels. Explore snowy trails that wind through stands of hemlock and birch, or paths that hug the bank of the Hudson River. Spend a winter day gliding over frozen ponds and lakes or perfect your technique at night along the lit trails of a city park.
The North Creek Ski Bowl, which is adjacent to Gore Mountain, boasts a 4.24-kilometer network of trails with grooming, snow making, and lights.
In an average winter, the snowpack in the Lake George Area can exceed five feet. Combine this with a snowmobile trail system that connects the communities of Warren County and you are in prime snow machine country. Four local snowmobile clubs maintain more than 200 miles of connected trails across public and private lands through forests, up mountainsides and along riverbanks with breathtaking scenery.
Winter Warm Up
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 shopping to be done!
Our shopping is as diverse and widespread as our great outdoors, with big stores and small boutiques all over the region. Spend your day perusing discount clothes and shoes at the Factory Outlets of Lake George. From designer clothes to running shoes, these well-known stores are always offering massive discounts. You can walk the streets of quaint towns to shop for locally made goods on Main Street. From family-run sporting goods stores to shops dedicated solely to Lake George, there’s something for anyone in need of a Lake George Area memento. You can find Adirondack furniture and treasured collectibles in antique shops spanning the region. Be warned, though, your day will easily melt away as you meander from shop to shop, just make sure you have enough room in your car!
When the gentle lapping waters of the Lake George Area’s lakes and ponds freeze over, communities of ice shanties rise on their surface. The region is known for its excellent fishing and ice fishing brings a different vibe to the sport. Unlike the solitude of casting into the open water of a secret fishing hole, jigging through a six-inch hole in the ice for perch, walleye and pike, setting tip-ups and waiting for flags to pop is a social affair. It’s a neighborhood party where young and old work together to make that record-breaking catch or fill a skillet with panfish for dinner.
There are more than three dozen lakes and ponds in the Lake George Area. The smaller bodies of water freeze earlier in the season for those eager to get out there. Lake George is a prime ice fishing destination that attracts anglers from across the Northeast. Its large size means it generally needs until mid-January to build up a solid layer of ice, although some of the bays will freeze up earlier.
The hiking season doesn’t end with the first snowfall. Strap on a pair of snowshoes and experience the brisk mountain air and snow-muffled beauty of the Adirondacks with this traditional method of moving through the snow. It is an accessible sport requiring little technical skill (if you can walk, you can snowshoe) and minimal equipment, just snowshoes with bindings, sturdy boots and warm clothing. Poles are optional.
Most of the area’s Nordic ski trails allow snowshoeing alongside the groomed XC trails. Some have trails dedicated to snowshoeing. If you are new to snowshoeing, Up Yonda Farm in Bolton Landing offers low-cost guided snowshoeing tours with equipment rentals to give newcomers a feel for this popular winter sport.