The Dewey Mountain Recreation Area is a great place for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter, and it’s also great in the warmer seasons for hiking and mountain biking. It’s really close to Saranac Lake Village, just one mile west of downtown Saranac Lake on Rte. 3, but you would never know you’re that close to town.
It’s like being in the middle of nowhere up on the top of the mountain, and the lower trails are just superb for gliding through the woods and enjoying winter.
Up higher on the mountain, the trails are ungroomed, but someone has almost always been there before you tracking out the routes. There are 7 km of groomed trails and about 7 km of higher backcountry trails.
Here are a few photos of the more backcountry experience up higher on the mountain.
Dewey Mountain has a support group called Dewey Mountain Friends who recently went through a major effort to build a new lodge. It really came out well; a huge improvement for the ski area, and a wonderful place to gather, wait for your kids to return or take a break. You can get hot beverages, and there is a great room for hanging out or enjoying lunch or a snack.
There are lots of activities at Dewey. First and foremost, there are lots of kids’ events, there are races every Tuesday night, and they accommodate all ages, Lil Shufflers for 3-5 year olds, Youth Ski League for 6-13 year olds, and the Saranac Lake High School and Middle School ski teams train there as well. Also, and this is very cool, Dewey has the only lighted ski trails around. They’re lighted until 7 PM Tues-Fri, so you can get in an evening’s ski very easily.
Below is a map of the trail system at Dewey Mountain. The trails are well signed, and you can pick up a map to carry with you. Ski and snowshoe rentals are available.
Oh yes! Snowshoeing! There are several dedicated snowshoe trails that go up the east and west sides of the ski area. Snowshoeing is an easy way to try out winter adventuring, it’s easy and fun for kids, too.
I should mention that at least three Olympians got their start skiing at Dewey. Tim Burke (biathlon), Billy Demong (Nordic combined), and Annelise Cook (biathlon) all grew up training at Dewey Mountain. I don’t think there is another ski area that can boast that many Olympians! They all still come by periodically and support the activities at Dewey Mountain.
Dewey is a pretty good deal, too. Day skiing passes are $5, and season ski passes are $55 individual, $75 family.
I mentioned that Dewey is open all year. There are excellent mountain biking trails, and the trails are great for hiking, too. You usually have the place practically to yourself!
Dewey Mountain is my favorite place to enjoy winter. It’s right out the back door of my house on the other side of the mountain, so that’s easy and cool, but it’s also an amazingly wild and serene place to enjoy nature year-round. I would encourage you to try it out. It’s easy to get to, the staff is friendly, and you’re sure to enjoy it. See you on the slopes!