5 Reasons Why Winter is the Best Season

Fact: winter is the best season

If you don't already love winter, a seasonal visit to Hamilton County will most likely change your mind! We have everything here that makes winter fun, enjoyable, and memorable for adventurers of all ages. From snow-covered landscapes perfect for winter sports to cozy indoor spots where you can settle in for some well-deserved rest and relaxation, our region embraces the season with open arms, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all who venture into its cold-weather charm.

“Winter is not a season, it’s a celebration” — Anamika Mishra

Snow, snow and more snow

There's nothing better than a snowy day of outdoor fun, and Hamilton County averages 125 inches of snow per year! Snowy days mean ski days, and New York has more ski areas than any other state in the nation. Oak Mountain in Speculator stands out as one of the coolest and most fun ski areas around. With everything from a bunny hill for beginners to advanced black diamond runs, you'll find something just right to make for a super fun winter day. If a cross-country ski adventure or snowshoeing is more your speed, head to one of the region's Nordic centers. Machine-groomed trails and backcountry options are available at both Lapland Lake Nordic Center in Benson and Fern Park Recreation Area in Inlet. With so many options, you're sure to find what's best for you and your skill level.

Skiing isn't your thing? There plenty of other options for snowy fun, like good old fashioned sledding and tubing, winter hiking, and friendly snowball fights. Hamilton County's also got more than 750 miles of snowmobile trails that are just waiting for you to explore! To find out more about route options, request a snowmobile trail map or better yet, download the Adirondacks USA snowmobile app (available for iOS and Android), which shows the trails, trail conditions and amenities along the way – a must have resource as plan your next trip! No matter what activity you choose for your wintry fun, be sure to plan ahead, come prepared, and practice ways to Love Your ADK.

Two kids wearing brightly colored winter jackets ski fresh powder under a blue sky at Oak Mountain

Icy fun

Hard water is where it's at! When the ponds and lakes freeze over, ice fishing communities spring up all over the expanses of ice and the area is transformed! Ice fishing is fun for people of all ages, and makes for a great winter activity for everyone in the family. Mid-November through mid-March, ice fishing is permitted on most lakes and rivers in the region, with northern pike, pickerel, tiger muskie, walleye and many other species of fish lurking below the ice. If you're interested in ice fishing, haven't ever tried it before but want to get in on the action, consider hiring a licensed guide to help you get started and learn some expert tips on the best spots to fish

And then there's ice skating, a timeless activity – fun, joyous, and memorable. The thrill of balancing on skate blades and the rhythmic sound of skates cutting through the ice are a winter experience that's both exhilarating and soothing. Whether you're twirling with grace, enjoying a leisurely skate, or sipping a hot beverage on the sidelines as you cheer for the underdog during a game of pick-up hockey, ice skating is a perfect setting for laughter and camaraderie.

A man holds a northern pike at an ice fishing derby in Hamilton County

Winter happenings

Hamilton County is bustling with activity throughout the year, hosting an impressive schedule of events every season. But it's during the winter months that the some of the best and most charming events take place – those that are the most original, the most fun and surely the most memorable. Who could resist the excitement of cardboard sled races or the heartwarming fun of a dog parade? Check out what's already scheduled on the Adirondack Experience events calendar and keep an eye out for frequent updates and exciting new additions. Don't miss out on any of the excitement. These fun winter events are truly what make Hamilton County THE cold weather haven for wintry fun and community spirit!

Adults and kids participate in a card board sled race with a sled decorated like a school bus

Cozy indoor spaces

The perfect compliment to refreshing cold air and outdoor fun is having a warm, comfortable place to retreat indoors. Our towns are full of welcoming spots to rest and rejuvenate, and whether you're just looking for a quick warm up in between adventures or an overnight stay, we've got you covered. The region's diverse lodging options offer something for every taste and budget, sheltering you conveniently close to all the activities the region has to offer. Watch the snow falling outside as you settle in for a cozy evening of relaxation before drifting off for a good night's rest. Wake up refreshed and rejuvenated for another day of wintry adventure.

A view of the front of the Woods Inn in Inlet on a sunlit winter's day

Comfort food

Tis the season for eating! Playing outside all day, taking part in big adventures, and crisp, cold air in general will work up a mountainous appetite. Fortunately, the restaurants and eateries of Hamilton County are serving up every sort of comfort food imaginable, keeping your belly full and your spirits high. With everything from hot cocoa with homemade marshmallows to speciality pizzas, down home classics like chicken and biscuits to mashed potatoes served aside perfectly prepared steak, you'll find something just right to recharge and refuel. Oh, and don't forget to check out the events calendar for fun food events like holiday cookie swaps and the ever-popular Let's Get Crocked event in Inlet, where homemade soup is the star of the show!

A chef smiles as he sits at a table at Chef Darrel's Mountain Diner in Blue Mountain Lake

Plan a visit to Hamilton County this winter and see for yourself why this is the best season of all!

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