A young hiker soaks in the views from Mt. Jo.
Snowshoes are standard issue in the Adirondacks, an easy way to get outside and enjoy the deep snow without making an investment in a lot of gear or lessons. With one of the most extensive hiking trail networks in the country – 2,000 miles, to be precise – the Adirondacks' recreational trails provide leisurely snowshoeing, as well as endless backcountry terrain, for serious trekking.
If you're just starting out and would like some instruction, check out the Adirondacks' Nordic skiing and snowshoeing centers, including Dewey Mountain in Saranac Lake and Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid. Over the years, both have helped prepare several local athletes for past and future Winter Olympic Games, and you'll find friendly staff who have been outfitting generations of visitors to the Adirondacks.
For experienced snowshoers, and winter recreation enthusiasts looking for a more challenge backcountry experience, the Adirondack Mountains beckon with snowy escapes through quiet, wintry white and pristine wilderness.
Top Places to Snowshoe in the Adirondack Region:
- Cascade Cross Country Ski Center in Lake Placid boasts over 12 miles of groomed and wind-protected multi-use trails that connect to Mt. Van Hoevenberg's trail system and the extensive Jack Rabbit Trail that connects Keene Valley to Saranac Lake. Purchase an inter-connect ticket to access all three and explore over 50 miles of trails. Don't miss Cascade's Full Moon Ski Parties held each full moon during the winter, complete with bonfires and free refreshments.
- High Falls Gorge in Wilmington offers family-friendly outdoor adventure close to Whiteface Mountain. Enjoy a trek around the gorge's walkways using Yak Traks available at the center, traverse the frozen waterfalls of the West Branch of the Ausable River and warm up with hot cocoa and a bonfire back at the center.
- Paul Smith's College Visitor Interpretive Center (VIC) in Paul Smith's offers 25 miles of scenic trials and wildlife viewing. Keep an eye out for fox and deer tracks, or join in one of the VIC's many winter treks. Purchase a trail pass at the center and enjoy a variety for trails rated beginner to advanced – skijoring, or dog-drawn Nordic skiing allows for fun with four-legged friends too!
- Adirondack Interpretive Center in Newcomb provides winter hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing trails around two frozen lakes rated as easy, moderate and challenging. The R.W. Rage Jr. Memorial Trail offers access to the Connector Trail leading to Camp Santanoni, an Adirondack Great Camp undergoing massive renovations.
- Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center in Northville is a Nordic skiing and snowshoeing destination offering overnight accommodations, miles of private trails, ice skating and snow tubing. Warm up après ski and relax in the center's Finnish-style sauna
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