Lake Placid, Plattsburgh and Lake George among the region’s spectacular settings for a truly festive winter family vacation
Winter in the Adirondack Region is one of the most festive and magical times of the year.
From December through to March, revellers find endless ways to celebrate the snow and the area’s famous natural beauty with traditions that span centuries, connect generations and offer fun for the whole family.
Here are some fantastic Adirondack highlights for your family to visit this winter.
Wilmington / Lake Placid, NY
Wilmington, just north of Lake Placid, offers everything an outdoor-adventure lover could desire, from challenging ski slopes and hiking trails to family-fun parks and scenic highways.
It is home to Whiteface Mountain, the only Olympic ski area east of Colorado. Santa’s Workshop amusement park, complete with elves, music, live performances and even reindeer, brings out the child in everyone.
High Falls Gorge offers a wonderland of rushing water, steep cascades, and high cliffs.
With the fifth highest peak in New York State and the greatest vertical drop east of the Rockies at 965 metres (3,166 ft.), Whiteface offers a spectacular day at the mountain, located in Wilmington, 19 kilometres from Lake Placid. The Olympic Mountain offers 86 trails and more than 35 kilometres to explore in the heart of the Adirondacks.
Whiteface has plenty of terrain for skiers and riders of all abilities, including a special beginner area, known as Kids Kampus, that provides a fun place for families who are just learning. The Snowsports School offers a variety of programs, from Play ‘n Ski for your little ones to private lessons for those looking to sharpen their skills.
When you come in from the slopes, grab a bite to eat at one of the six on-mountain restaurants, try a new pair of skis from the rental and tuning shop, or pick up a new, toasty warm jacket at the mountain gift shop.
Whiteface-Lake Placid also features thrilling off-hill activities for a major adrenaline rush, including a thundering bobsled ride, stomach-dropping skeleton ride, a lap on the Olympic Speed Skating Oval and a family fun race on a 244-metre (800 ft.) snow tubing chute.
But if you’re looking for more serene activities, at the Olympic Sports Complex you’ll find more than 50 kilometres of groomed rolling terrain, perfect for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Throughout the year, Lake Placid also hosts several national and international sporting events from World Cup Freestyle to synchronized skating. Visit www.whiteface.com to find out more about this fascinating winter escape, an ideal spot to create cherished family memories.
Santa’s Workshop is a timeless fantasy village located in North Pole, NY, about 15 kilometres from Wilmington.
Santa’s Workshop has been a family tradition since 1949 and is home to beloved fairy tale and storybook characters, busy elves, live reindeer, and Santa Claus himself. Visit www.northpoleny.com for hours of operation and more information.
High Falls Gorge
High Falls Gorge is magnificent in the winter months. Come for a nature walk, and gasp at the spectacular ice formations on more than 200 metres (700 feet) of frozen waterfalls. Then roast marshmallows over a warm campfire and enjoy complimentary hot beverages. Be sure to allow at least 45 minutes for your walk through this living lesson in beautiful natural history.
The 800-metre round trip walk over groomed paths, steel bridges and walkways provide visitors safe access and spectacular views. The trail is cleared daily, ice cleats are provided and the bridges and walkways have 1.2-metre (four-foot) fencing for your safety. There is also an enjoyable 1.5 kilometre beginner/intermediate snowshoe trail. Easily accessible parking right off Highway 86.
Lake George, NY
The year-round beauty of Lake George mountains and lakes beckons families to come and stay awhile.
How can you resist?
With events, shopping, recreation, dining, fabulous accommodations and quaint towns to explore, the Lake George area is a hugely popular year-round destination for families.
And when the temperature starts to drop, the lakes freeze, and mountains become covered in sparkling snow, a special excitement fills the frosty Lake George air Winter is a true celebration in the Lake George area, with some of the best downhill skiing, cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails, lakes for ice fishing and groomed snowmobile trails, plus skating, snow tubing, and many more winter family activities.
You can get cosy in a rustic or romantic lodge, inn, B&B or cabin, or enjoy family togetherness at a full-service resort, hotel or motel.
Not crazy about the winter elements? Lake George offers plenty of cultural activities to fascinate, as well as many dining and shopping options for the family to enjoy while keeping warm.
To the northeast of Lake Placid, nestled on beautiful Lake Champlain, Plattsburgh offers family vacation opportunities for visitors during its unpredictably exciting winter months.
Many of the excursions primarily considered summer activities are also popular in the wintertime, but Plattsburgh captures the hearts of cold weather visitors with its own brand of outdoor action. Chief among them is the ice fishing on Lake Champlain.
With some of the best winter fishing in the U.S., those who venture onto the lake have the opportunity to catch some of the most precious fish it has to offer – salmon and bass.