The ADK is jam packed with outdoor adventure and winter celebrations.
This Is How We Do Winter
If you have visited a mountain town in the last few years, you may have noticed that fat bikes are steadily growing in popularity. More than ever, riders are taking to the snowy roads and trails, adding another outdoor hobby to their list.
I have picked up mountain biking over the past few summers, and love that fat biking allows for year-round riding and an additional winter activity when the skiing is subpar. Some riders are even ditching their regular mountain bikes for the all-terrain riding and stability that the wider tires offers. The beefy tires can run at low pressure to allow riding on soft unstable terrain, such as snow, sand, or mud, but also operate as a great one-bike-fits-all option for all-season, all-terrain riding.
From rustic to modern
A captivating place to visit any time of year, Saranac Lake especially glistens in the winter. While some dread the cold and snow that winter brings, others see it as a perfect time to bask in the peaceful nature and serene beauty of the season. If you are the latter, Saranac Lake is for you!
Saranac Lake offers a true variety of accommodations, from mom-and-pop run motels to a historic luxury hotel. Whatever your travel style, one common trait of all the lodging is: Not only do they embrace winter, they rejoice in the season. Complete with roaring fires, hot toddies, and delicious feel-good food. With snow falling outside they offer a special respite to settle-in, get cozy, and relax!
If you only have a day in Tupper Lake, you have to visit The Wild Center. It's a world-class nature museum that brings the outdoors in, giving visitors a peek into life inside a pond, a stream, and even the soil. It's all accentuated by live animals and interpretive programs, making it a beautifully conceived experience that's brimming with education and cool critters.
But there's another side to the museum -- the outside.
Midweek at Whiteface Mountain
I wave at the lift attendant as I grab my skis from the gondola at the top of Little Whiteface. He smiles and nods back, sitting behind a row of rubber ducks. I don’t know if he actually recognizes me with my braids and purple skis and Carhartt vest, but I’d like to think so. It’s my fifth season at Whiteface and I've been skiing all morning—it’s probably my sixth ride up the gondola with the same group of friends, too. And it’s midweek; hardly anyone is up on the mountain, regardless of the bluebird sky and packed powder conditions. These are the days I dream about.
Which animal are you?
I don’t know how many times I've gazed up at the massive cliffs just past the entrance to Whiteface Mountain Ski Center and thought about how great the view must be from up there. I always figured it’d be easy to cut through the woods and bypass the rocky crags, then swing around to ascend the gentler backside of the mountain.
Then my friend Emilee explained that the nub has a name, Bear Den Mountain, and I wouldn’t have to bushwhack to summit it. On the contrary, a well-marked path could lead the way. Slightly disappointed a snowshoe scramble through deep powder and over fallen logs wasn't necessary, but no less excited to see the view, we recently set out for a morning hike up Bear Den. The adventure sparked my imagination and I could envision Adirondack forest creatures peaking from behind trees and peering over cliff edges. Much like the animals here, every trail has its own personality, things that set it apart from all the others.
The best pit stops
Malone was there at the beginning of the snowmobile phenomenon. Some of the first snowmobile races were held there, and the sport continues to have a lot of popularity. And why not? There's so many great trails through beautiful wilderness and along scenic vistas.
The same pull that draws people into riding their motorcyles in the summer leads to snowmobiling in the winter. Having done both, I can speak to some of the winter advantages.
The Schroon Lake Ice Fishing Derby will be in its 27th year on the weekend of March 2-3, 2019. This annual celebration of the joys of ice fishing is equally welcoming to those new to the sport, or anyone else who is curious about these "ice towns."
Ice fishing derbies spring up on the thick ice during the sunny days of March. It's not just about the hardwater fishing. It's the social aspects, too.
I decided to make a trip to Benson last week to experience Lapland Lake Nordic Recreation Center. I had never been to the cross-country ski center, but have heard great reviews of it, so I decided it was time to make the trip.
When I first pulled up, I went into the lodge to get my pass. I was kindly greeted by the owner, Kathy, who was swamped with people checking in and getting day passes and waxing skis in the shop. Despite how busy she was, she still took the time to chat with me about Lapland Lake and what makes it so special.