Saranac Lake, NY - This village in winter is a haven for skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking challenges, snowmobiling, and exploring a lively downtown full of artsy shops and restaurants. A favorite time of year is when the snow flies and we can get out into the woods on skis or snowshoes, and celebrate the oldest event of its kind in the United States, the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival.
For the groomed ski experience, check out the winter wonderland at the Dewey Mountain Recreation Center, with 15 miles of trails, some of them lit up at night. Want to get into your own groove? The famous 50-kilometer Jackrabbit Ski Trail dissects the village, offering countless skiing options. For the downhill experience, head to Mount Pisgah, the village’s own downhill ski center with night skiing and tubing.
Each February, the town celebrates winter with a 10-day carnival full of parades, games, snowshoe softball, ‘toss-the-frying-pan’ competitions, tubing races down ski hills, live music, and more. It starts and ends with incredible fireworks against a black velvet Adirondack sky above the ice palace. Built using two-ton blocks of ice harvested from nearby Lake Flower, the Ice Palace takes its shape anew each winter, offering tunnels, a maze and new surprises at every turn. Insider's tip: don't miss the choreographed lawn chair ladies during Saturday's parade. Their performance (yes, they dance with lawn chairs) is as goofy and fun as it sounds.
- The iconic Hotel Saranac built in the gilded age is getting a makeover and will re-open at the end of this year. Originally opened in 1927 and visited by New York City magnates, the hotel will be a mix of old and new; It will retain much of its original architecture and offer upscale and full-service amenities.
- A new 1.5 mile ski trail will open at Dewey Mountain, a town-owned ski and snowshoe center.
- February 24-25: Adirondack Snowshoe Festival - a weekend of snowshoe competitions, guided tours, strolls along trails with stops at bonfires with hot chocolate, live music inside the lodge, and more.
December 31: First Night Saranac Lake
February 2-4: Empire State Winter Games
February 2-11 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival
February 24-25: Adirondack Snowshoe Festival (more information is forthcoming)