The prospect of an Adirondacks winter weekend trip, packed with activities from skiing to ice fishing or chocolate festivals, will make anyone forget about the gray chill of New York and dispel thoughts of staying bundled up indoors.
So, pack up your gear, put on a good playlist and take a scenic drive into the Adirondack Mountains for some of the best downhill skiing and snowboarding in the Northeast. The drive itself is worth the trek, with winding roads that open up to stunning, hilly valleys filled with snow-capped trees. Little towns along the way offer cozy restaurants and shops for a quick stop along the way.
There are mountains suitable for all skill levels and ages. Whiteface Mountain, also known as Olympic Mountain, is one of the most well-known ski mountains and is a short drive from Lake Placid. Located in Wilmington, Whiteface is one of the best spots in the country for alpine skiing with the biggest vertical drop east of the Rocky Mountains. It has 11 chairlifts and 87 trails on three mountains. The mountain may draw serious skiers and snowboarders, but there are plenty of beginner trails for novice skiers and kids, too.
A great mountain that offers a variety of terrain is Gore Mountain. It’s a popular spot for alpine skiing and snowboarding and is also a launching point for other winter activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on your Adirondacks winter weekend trip.
On several mountains, the skiing doesn’t end when night falls. West Mountain located between Lake George and Saratoga Springs, Mount Pisgah in Saranac Lake and Titus Mountain in Malone offer night skiing and tubing.
Looking for a good spot to take the kids and learn to ski? Try McCauley Mountain in Old Forge, a small ski center with 21 trails. It’s a small mountain, but tickets are affordable at $20. Another small mountain greater for people just learning the ropes is Oak Mountain in Speculator, on the southern edge of the Adirondacks. Tickets at Oak Mountain are also a reasonable price at $38 per ticket.
Ticket prices for skiing vary depending on the day, but can range from $20 to $80 per day. Planning ahead and purchasing tickets ahead of time online are often the best way to find a deal.
Skiing and snowboarding may be the biggest draw for visitors on the Adirondacks winter weekend trip but there are plenty of other winter activities to try out, like ice skating, ice fishing and snowshoeing. There are also winter festivals, like the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival from February 2 to 11, which includes sports, performances, parades, a chocolate festival, an ice palace and fireworks.
The trails, camping and scenery make the Adirondacks a draw for adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts all year, but there’s something extra magical about the snow-covered mountains in winter. And after a long, active day outside on the slopes, there’s nothing better than coming inside to a cozy café or lodge, hanging gear by a fireplace and relaxing with friends, family and yes, a cup of cocoa.