This week we give you the insider’s scoop on winter events and activities in the ADK.
Dishing up the details!
ESWG: You won't believe this!
If you like winter sports action, good local food, and zip lines, then you need to check out the 38th annual Empire State Winter Games.
The huge, multi-sport event runs from February 1-4 and it’s coming out of the gate bigger and better than ever. This year there will be more competitors, a centralized village, a Jumbotron to watch it all on, and it’s all kicked off by a relay torch run that begins in Manhattan and ends in Lake Placid.
Combine all of that with good food, craft beer, and events happening across several Adirondack communities, and the Games start to look more like a celebration of winter than the intense competitiveness they’re known for.
Tubing and ice palaces - family winter fun
If a game of King of the Hill that ends in tears and a handful of snow down your collar is your typical day of winter-family-fun — let me help you out!
Saranac Lake is bursting with cool things to do that will leave the whole family smiling from ear to ear. Here are 5 things for your clan to try on your next Adirondack winter vacation in Saranac Lake...
Lake Champlain winter birding
People celebrate the New Year in different ways, but for most birdwatchers, the year begins with a birding trip. And so, after taking my time to get going with the cold temps outside (it was about -25 that morning!), my four-legged companion Wren and I loaded up for the Lake Champlain Region.
We planned to start our day at Ausable Marsh Wildlife Management Area. Given how cold it has been, Ausable was a good choice because the lake is still open there – the northern and southern ends of the lake are frozen and with the temps in our current forecast will certainly freeze more.
Northern Challenge Ice Fishing Derby
I remember the first time I beheld this one-day "neighborhood on the ice." It was a lively scene with people traveling on snowmobiles or four wheelers, dragging sleds full of supplies and children, setting out fishing equipment, and putting up shelters.
The winter air was filled with the joyous scents of hot dogs, coffee, and burning wood. Red tip-up flags dotted the ice. From bucket seating to ice shanties with curtains in the window, this is the Northern Challenge Fishing Derby.
Snowshoeing: with guide or without
Of all the winter sports out there, I think snowshoeing is the most versatile. Our Adirondack trails simply transform with the seasons. If you can hike there in the summer, you can snowshoe there in the winter, exchanging the bright green for the sparkly white.
Another great thing about snowshoeing is how easy it is to learn. If you can walk, you can snowshoe. It doesn't need much more equipment than the actual shoes, though I highly recommend a pair of trekking poles. At first, there's this tendency to step on your own feet, since they are a bit larger than you are used to. Even after you get the hang of it, having that extra four-point leverage is always a good idea, especially on backcountry trails, or on any descent.
Insider tips on the ESWG
The Empire State Winter Games is quickly establishing itself as a winter tradition here in the Malone area. When you visit our lovely region for this event, we want you to be ready to enjoy it the way that we do. Check out some of the insider tips that we can share to give you the optimal spectator experience.
Find your ideal winter activity
When I was a kid I didn't like brussel sprouts. Seeing these mini cabbages on my plate would trigger schemes for their disposal. Fortunately, there was a dog available.
Now I think roasted brussel sprouts with butter and romano cheese are delicious. The problem wasn't the brussel sprouts. It was how they were prepared. Turns out, boiling them to mush is not the best way of cooking them. (Sorry, Mom!)
I have found this applies to many different things. So, maybe your problem with winter is... the recipe.
High Falls Gorge: winter exploration
As a four-season natural attraction, High Falls Gorge is a wonderful family-friendly option for visitors to the Whiteface Region.
It provides ample parking, photo opportunities at every turn, shopping, and dining. There are three paths for exploration: the Easy Path, which is a quarter-mile loop with access to the center of the gorge without having to negotiate stairs; The Waterfall Walk, a half-mile loop that includes stairs and suspended walkways; and the Nature Trail, which in wintertime can be explored wearing the provided snowshoes. With a day pass, do one, or spend the day and do all three.
Winter at the gorge offers a unique viewpoint.