Make the Most of Winter in Lake George With These 9 Great Staycation Ideas
Winter may feel like the longest season, but it's actually one of the most fun times of the year, as long as you know what to do and where to go. Here in Lake George, there are a wide range of amazing winter activities located in the area that would be perfect for a staycation. You can enjoy socially distanced activities at the new Lake George Area Winterfest in February, discover scenic snowshoe trails, get a taste of local craft beverages, and more.
As a socially distanced alternative to the Lake George Winter Carnival (canceled for 2021), the new 2021 Lake George Area Winterfest offers family-friendly fun and special hotel and restaurant discounts for Winterfest wristband holders.
The event takes place on Thursdays - Sundays in February, and your wristband gets you access to horse-drawn carriage rides, hot chocolate stations, and one winter activity at no additional charge, including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, fat tire biking, axe throwing, dog sled rides, and snowmobile tours. Adult wristbands cost $30 and kid wristbands cost $15. Take advantage of the hotel and restaurant discounts and plan a Lake George Winterfest-themed getaway this February.
If you already own cross-country skis, snowshoes, or a snow tube, then the Lake George Rec Center is the place for you this winter. Located on the outskirts of the Town of Lake George, this four-season recreation center is free and open to the public, has approximately four miles of trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and offers thrilling snow tubing.
Most of the trail network is recommended for beginner or intermediate skiers, and snowshoers should stay along the sides of the trails. Visiting for snow tubing? Follow the signs to the tubing hill as you drive into the Rec Center and look forward to soaring down the snowy slope.
With two tasting rooms and a local winemaking facility, Adirondack Winery is the Lake George Region's premier winery offering 30+ fruit infused and traditional varietal wines. They are typically open throughout winter for wine tastings, but for 2021, wine tastings at the Lake George tasting room are on pause until January 29, and the Bolton Landing tasting room is fully closed until April.
In the meantime, you can still enjoy Adirondack Winery's award-winning wines by purchasing bottles from their Lake George tasting room or Queensbury Headquarters, which are open for in-store sales and curbside pickup. And, you can book a wine tasting at the Lake George tasting room for dates/times after January 28 by visiting their website.
Tip: Want to do some Valentine's Day shopping? Stop in to see Adirondack Winery's Valentine's Day specials after mid-January and view their wonderful collection of wine gifts.
Take a 20-minute drive from Lake George to Up Yonda Farm in Bolton Landing and reconnect with nature on a snowshoe hike. This environmental education center aims to teach people about nature and local wildlife, and they have a museum, sensory garden, hiking trails, and more. Although most of the buildings are closed in winter, their trails are open for snowshoeing.
Visitors can pay the day use fee through the mail slot at Up Yonda Farm's entrance booth or on their website, and snowshoe rentals are available during business hours. Go snowshoeing along two miles of wooded trails, and admire the view of Lake George from the vista point on the trail network.
While you're in Bolton Landing for snowshoeing at Up Yonda Farm, be sure to swing by the Bolton Landing Brewing Company, a locally owned and operated microbrewery. The draft list rotates often at their year-round taproom, but you can typically expect to find a great selection of IPAs, pale ales, sours, and dark & malty brews available. Order a drink and pair it with one of their pub bites, such as the flatbread pizza, parmesan truffle bites, or buffalo chicken wrap.
This winter, Bolton Landing Brewing Company is offering outdoor dining igloos, a heated enclosure, and fire pits for their guests. Browse other heated outdoor dining options in the region »
Everyone knows about the 46 High Peaks, but are you aware the Adirondack Park is also home to the largest marble cave entrance in the eastern United States? It's true, and you can see it at Natural Stone Bridge & Caves Park in Pottersville, which is about 30 minutes north of Lake George.
During winter, visitors can take a self-guided snowshoe tour to see the sparkling Stone Bridge and cave entrance, ice floes on Trout Brook, and marvelous views of mountains in the distance. There are over 14 miles of snowshoe trails to explore, and both admission and snowshoe rentals are affordable (remember to bring your own if you have a pair!).
Hiking is one of those outdoor activities that you can do throughout the year, and it's especially rewarding when you go in the beautiful Adirondacks. Although winter hiking presents some new challenges, it's well worth it to brave the colder weather, burn off some calories, and soak up views of the region transformed with snow-capped mountains, frosty fields, and frozen ponds. You'll feel a sense of accomplishment as you cross "winter hike" off your bucket list.
Plan a hike at one of these excellent trails in the Lake George Region, or hire a hiking guide who can lead the way for your family or group. Hike with Jackson is based in the local area and provides short 1 to 1.5 hour-long hikes, 1/2 day hikes, and easy full day hikes that are customized as needed.
You've heard how much fun it is to ride in a sleigh, so why not experience it for yourself this winter? Circle B Ranch is a horseback riding business located about 30 minutes north of Lake George in Chestertown, and they offer winter sleigh rides with their teams of majestic horses.
Book a private sleigh ride on their smaller sleigh (perfect for couples looking to snuggle under a cozy blanket), or their larger sleigh, which accommodates 12-14 people at a time. At the end of the ride, your group can warm up and enjoy complimentary refreshments in Circle B Ranch's barn.
Ski, Ride & Slide During the Day or Night at West Mountain
Whether you're a fan of downhill skiing, snowboarding, or snow tubing, you can do it all at West Mountain in Queensbury. The family-friendly ski area is located a short 17-minute drive south of Lake George, and they have 31 trails across 126 skiable acres that can accommodate everyone from beginners and experts to parents and their kids.
And don't forget about snow tubing at West too! Just like their 100% lighted trails, the snow tubing park is open day and night throughout winter, and there are four upper lanes and six lower lanes. We recommend that you buy your tickets and daily equipment rentals in advance to ensure a stress-free day on the slopes.
As you can see, there are tons of ways to have fun this winter without having to travel far from home in the Lake George Region. Check out some of the activities that appeal to and make the most of the season.