Explore a Winter Wonderland in Syracuse

Syracuse, NY becomes a wonderland of fresh fallen snow and seasonal fun in the winter. Embrace the snowy splendor and take advantage of the array of activities available throughout the city and surrounding region.  

Conveniently located in the heart of New York State, Syracuse is the perfect getaway option to experience true Upstate winter. Landscapes come to life into a powdery playground. Local restaurants, attractions and more winterize to offer top experiences to visitors. Enjoy a vibrant community that embraces the four-season destination in which it resides with these winter itinerary ideas.  

Highland Forest 

Highland Forest is the place to be for winter scenery and outdoor recreation. Discover miles of hiking and walking trails, enjoy cross-country skiing or one of their six snowshoeing trails. Free sledding is available, and the park is dog friendly. Horse drawn sleighrides are available by reservation so don’t forget to book yours before you arrive. 


Frozen Waterfalls  

Head to Pratt’s Falls County Park for gorgeous frozen waterfalls and miles of trails to ski, hike or snowshoe when the snow falls. Explore forest trails that lead to a 137-foot waterfall and gorge. Looking for more adventure? Check out nearby Chittenango Falls for more winter waterfall fun.  

Hit the Slopes 

Whether you are a beginner or seasoned professional on the slopes, Syracuse has hundreds of trails and several ski resorts to enjoy. Toggenburg Mountain in Fabius, just a short half-hour drive from the city of Syracuse, offers up 21 trails and slopes ranging from black diamond to easy terrain. Nearby Song Mountain Resort in Tully is a quick 15-minute drive from the city and conveniently located just off of Interstate 81. Labrador Mountain is another local option that offers 15+ lit trails for skiing and snowboarding after dark.  

Culinary Experiences 

Fine dining finds a locally sourced and sustainable twist at restaurants like Eden, Defi Cuise Corp., and Saint Urban. Signature eats come to life with deliciously decorated donuts at Glazed and Confused, slow smoked BBQ meat at The Original Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, and heaping plates of pasta at Pastabilities. Take your taste buds on a trip around the world with authentic cultural cuisines all in one city ranging from Thai to Ethiopian, Cuban, Indian and more.  

Museums and More 

Syracuse is a city rich with history. Explore the city's canal-era days at the Erie Canal Museum. See extensive and unique local collections at the Onondaga Historical Association. Learn about the lasting impact of a local suffragette and abolitionist at the Matilda Joslyn Gage Home. Immerse yourself in Haudenosaunee history and culture at the Skä•noñh – Great Law of Peace Center. Most museum tours are available on a reservation basis so make sure to book ahead.  

Holiday Happenings in Downtown Syracuse 

Downtown Syracuse offers holidays in the city surroundings with colorful lights galore and decorated storefront window displays. The heart of Downtown becomes home to Clinton Square ice-skating rink, a giant Christmas Tree and Menorah. Visitors can take advantage of evening shopping hours and holiday sales. Winter-proof outdoor dining and special holiday-themed menu items are available for those looking to dine.  

Lights on the Lake 

Lights on the Lake is the Syracuse area’s top holiday light attraction and is available to attend every night during a select range of dates at Onondaga Lake Park. This two-mile-long drive-thru experience is complete with several themed displays including Land of Oz, Twinkling Fantasy Forest, a Fairytale Magic Grand Finale and more!  


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In this article:   cross country | hiking | Syracuse | toggenburg mountain | walking trails | pratts falls |
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