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The Best Places in Upstate New York to Enjoy Snow


Whether you enjoy playing outside in fresh snow, or prefer watching snowflakes fall while you’re snuggled up by a fire, I think we could all agree that everything looks prettier blanketed in the white stuff. So, where are the best places in Upstate New York to feel like you’re walking in a winter wonderland?

Our ski resorts are a great place to start. Break out your skis and prepare for a fun day filled with fresh powder – along with their lodges and lounges for warming up and taking in a different view of the snowfall. Several of the local mountains have already opened for the season, and most are making snow in preparation for visitors.

Another great place is Chautauqua County – which sits in the southwestern tip of New York and sees more than 200 inches of snow annually. It only makes sense that they host an annual Winter Festival with seasonal activities and contests. This year it takes place on February 17-19, 2017.

Dash through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh – no seriously! Sleigh rides are offered through the historic grounds of Chautauqua Institution during January and February, running every half-hour from 1 pm to 3 pm and are a fun and exciting way to enjoy the winter weather. Stop at the Chautauqua Bookstore on Bestor Plaza to pick up tickets. Afterwards, there are plenty of cozy places for you to enjoy the frosted scenery from indoors. Stay at Great Tree Inn Bed & Breakfast, a charming farm house located on ten beautiful acres with seven uniquely themed guests rooms and two fireplaces for you to warm up next to. Parking is even available for guests who arrive on snowmobiles.

A little to the east in Belmont, NY is Phillips Creek State Forest. Guests are invited to strap on their boots, cross-country skis or snowshoes and explore the trails for snowy sights.

Then head north to Wayne County, along the shores of Lake Ontario. Wayne County is home to over 200 miles of snowmobile trails through open fields and state land, as well as old railroad beds and wooded areas. For those looking for a little less adrenaline but just as much excitement, Montezuma Audubon Center in Savannah, NY offers trails for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Open from dawn to dusk, Montezuma gives you a glimpse into winter wildlife, including owls, harriers and hawks.

The age-old saying, “Ithaca is Gorges” is true for any season. The town’s 150 waterfalls – that are packed within 10 square miles – are as beautiful in the winter as they are in the summer. For instance, Taughannock (pronounced Tuh-GA-nick) Falls State Park is simply stunning when snow is sprinkled through the gorge and icicles hang from the ledges. The gorge trail is currently closed but drive out to the overlooks for a good view. Downtown Ithaca’s unique shops and restaurants create the perfect backdrop for watching light flakes fall. You’ll feel like you’re strolling through your favorite holiday film.

Now it’s time to bundle up and enjoy the frosty flurries that accompany this time of year.