Cold weather, cool place
If you’re new to the mountains, you might be surprised to learn our hiking trails don’t close when the snow starts flying. All you need is a pair of snowshoes and warm winter clothes, and you can enjoy amazing views and the special kind of ice-sculpted beauty winter brings to the region.
First-time snowshoers should consider getting their winter legs by exploring a well-established, well-maintained trail network. Think of it as a safe introduction to the sport minus the surprises — things like fallen trees — found in the backcountry. Dewey Mountain Recreation Center, just a one-minute drive from downtown Saranac Lake, is a perfect place to get started. The paths there are well marked and they all lead back to the cozy base lodge. Dewey is also a great place to learn cross-country skiing.
For longer trails and more variety, the Paul Smith’s VIC, located about 15 minutes from downtown, can’t be beat. The property has 40 km of trails and 15 km of groomed trails that snake past expansive wetlands and beautiful, open hardwood forests.
For the adventurous, Saranac Lake has plenty of mountains to climb, and going for the Saranac Lake Winter 6er patch is a great way to start knocking off the peaks. We recommend beginning with the 0.9-mile hike up the 2,452-foot Mount Baker — it’s located right in the village — before branching out to the longer, and more difficult, climbs on the list.