Articles

Let It Snow (We Don’t Mind at All)!

Snowmobiles driving on ice

In the Central New York Region, we’re not afraid of snow. The weatherman can build all the hype he wants around an impending storm of flurries and we won’t even flinch. Why? We’re known as the “Snowmobile Capital of the East,” and we’re darn proud of it.

We have the prettiest winter wonderland in all the land and we have fun with it. From downhill and cross-country skiing, to snowshoeing and tobogganing, to ice skating, ice fishing and snowmobiling, Central New York encapsulates all that New York State has to offer in terms of wintry recreation, and it’s all only a short drive away.

For the most beautifully groomed trails in New York state, visit the Central New York Region, an area boasting some of the most consistent snowfall in the state. Combine 300 inches of snow with hundreds of miles of trails, and you better believe you’ll be snowmobiling or skiing, anything but walking in a winter wonderland.

Swoosh through the snow over to Madison County’s magnificent trails. Sitting southeast of Lake Ontario, over 350 miles of trails are groomed in Madison County every year. Park your car and trailer at any number of hotels along the trails including Graziano’s Inn in Canastota and the Wendt University Inn in Hamilton. Madison County’s trails wind past cascading 150-foot waterfalls, 27 windmills and through thousands of acres of picturesque state forestland for a truly breathtaking snowmobiling experience.

Ski the 13-mile-long Stoney Pond Nordic Ski Trail, where awesome trails through woodsy wonderlands are just waiting for your slaloming. Bring a friend along who has never skied before if you’d like – the trails are mainly designed for skiers with a beginner or intermediate skill level.

For truly one-of-a-kind cross-country skiing, visit the 104 acres of protected land and over four miles of hiking trails at Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, one of the first outdoor sculpture parks in this country. Sitting atop a breathtaking rural landscape of hills and forests, with original, unique works of art tucked in, Stone Quarry Hill Art Park is a very cool venue for winter play.

Slalom over to Boonville in northern Oneida County to take advantage of the lake effect snow off Lake Ontario and the lush forests, rolling farmland, and windmills, all shrouded by plentiful fluffy snow.

While in the area, stop by the Boonville Snow Festival to see the Adirondack Cup Ice Oval Snowmobile Racing by the Northern New York Vintage Snow Sled Racers and the Eastern Pro Tour Circuit, traditionally held the last weekend in January. The event kicks off with a torchlight parade and fireworks, which reflect dazzlingly off the icy snow.

Hit the Val Bialas Ski Center, named after a local three-time Olympian ice skater Valentine Bialas, which offers night skiing and a quaint ski chalet complete with snack bar and double-sided fireplace to beat frostbite. For the downhill ski lover, there are five trails at different degrees
of difficulty as well as a sledding hill for those who go the non-ski route (literally). Seven miles of groomed cross-country trails with varying degrees of difficulty are available also.

For even more breathtaking scenery, with over 50 kilometers of trails running alongside rushing streams and into deep forests, visit the Black River Environment Improvement Association (BREIA). Another great area for skiing is the four miles of marked and mapped nature trails in Verona Beach State Park on Oneida Lake, or try the 10 miles of scenic trails at Penn Mountain State Forest.

Home to 293 miles of groomed trails, Chenango County is smack dab in the middle of the region and encompasses more state land than any other county besides the Adirondack Park. The county’s snowmobile clubs spend hundreds of hours maintaining and grooming the trails for your riding pleasure.

How about a historical snowmobile trip? Bet you didn’t know such a thing existed! Well, it does in the village of Cooperstown, which is well known for baseball, offering some great “off-season” deals.

Otsego County benefits from some lake effect snow, but the nor’easters that hit the Atlantic seaboard have been known to drop 20 to 30 inches of snow at a time in these foothills of the Catskill Mountains. The area makes for some outstanding cross-country skiing in Glimmerglass State Park or Gilbert Lake State Park, ideal for a family fun weekend of outdoor activities.

Another beautiful area to admire the combination of Mother Nature and Jack Frost is the Landis Arboretum, a public garden on 548 acres and six miles of hiking trails overlooking the Schoharie Valley. Forty acres are developed with plantings of trees, shrubs, and perennial plants from around the world while the remainder of the property consists of woodlands and open fields. Your family is sure to have a blast cross-country skiing and snowshoeing here.

For several miles of light-to-moderate hiking trails between Lansing Manor and Minekill State Park, including a section of the Long Path Hiking Trail, cross-country ski or snowshoe on over to the New York Power Authority.

People cross county skiing uphill

Now it’s time to discuss something integral to body heat while you brave the elements. No, not an insulated jacket, we’re talking about one of the newest additions to the line of Schultz and Dooley Brewery Steins from Saranac Brewery, the Snowmobile Stein filled with your favorite brew!

For those of you unfamiliar with Schultz and Dooley, the mug team made their first appearance in an advertising campaign for Utica Club beer back in the sixties. The F.X. Matt Brewing Company, New York’s oldest brewery, selected the Snowmobile Stein as a show of support for Central New York’s popular sport.

Over 230 miles of blustery wintry trails just waiting for you to sail through line Montgomery County. Nestled in between the Catskills to the south and the Adirondacks to the north, trail riders relish in the lavish panoramic views of the Mohawk Valley and abundant local hospitality. Pack your kids’ ice skates for skating behind the Amsterdam City Hall while you’re visiting.

Trails in the area of Whitney Point Lake near Binghamton will take you deep into the Central New York Region’s best snow. For a more relaxing afternoon, Greenwood Park offers cross country skiing and the Chenango and Broome Community College ice rinks have open skate times the whole family can enjoy.

From ice skating, to skiing, to snowmobiling, and sipping all the hot chocolates in between, the Central New York Region offers a variety of wintry weather activities and plenty of toasty fireplaces to warm up next to afterwards.

Bundle up for a fantastically frozen ride through the picturesque Adirondack Mountains in the Central New York Region, known as the “Snowmobile Capital of the East!”