Lake George is considered one of the most attractive summer vacation spots for residents of NYC, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and even Montreal.
However, very few people from these areas realize that it is an amazing and unique winter destination as well!
What is there to do in Lake George in the winter? Lots! It literally becomes a winter wonderland, full of fun activities for all ages! If you are suffering from cabin fever a winter weekend getaway in Lake George will surely be able to cure you!
I must admit that before moving here from Italy I was anxious over the thought of spending winters here, however, Winter has now become one of my favorite times of the year!
In this article I would like to explain some of the reasons why this is the case. The list of outdoor activities in the area is long and diverse, so I will not be listing them all, however, I’d like to mention a few of our favorite winter activities in this post. I’ll start with my favorite:
SNOWMOBILING AROUND AND ON LAKE GEORGE
Snowmobiling is by far my personal favorite winter activity, and here in Lake George there’s plenty of over the top places to enjoy it!
If you have never been snowmobiling, then you have no idea what you are missing! Snowmobiling is an incredible way to enjoy the outdoors with your family and friends.
Not only is and a great sport that provides exercise and invigoration, but it is also a great way to relax and take in some great winter scenery that would be very hard to get otherwise. If you need execration and excitement you’ll find it. However, if you are searching for solitude and a place to deal with the tensions of modern life, you’ll have no problem finding that either!
Below is a video that illustrates this well, while it wasn’t filmed in Lake George it shows the emotion that snowmobiling can give. I found it very motivating, although I don’t recommend trying a lot of the moves that are shown!
There are hundreds of miles of groomed state maintained snow mobile trails in the area. Many of these trails can be reached right from the lake!
Flying across the ice of the lake is invigorating —to say the least— if you follow some basic precautions you can do so without any worries of falling through.
The lake freezes usually freezes through hard enough to support the weight of a train! However, before you decide to go on the lake take a look at the suggestions that can be found on the following link from LakeGeorge.com: Snowmobiling In Lake George.
THE WINTER CARNIVAL ON LAKE GEORGE
Everyone should experience the Winter Carnaval celebration on Lake George at least once. That’s right “ON” Lake George! There are many fun activities that take place on the lake during the weekends of February —this year will start half way through January.
The lake comes alive not only with snowmobiles, but also with quads and dirt-bikes. There is usually a race track that is prepared for official races on the ice. The track is usually open to the public during the week so you can try driving your own car ON Lake George!
The video below gives a good idea of what it’s like to bring your car on the lake!
A children’s favorite —also one of mine ;-)— is the dog sled team that for a small fee will take you for a ride on the lake on a sled pulled by an authentic dogsled team!
The outhouse races are comical and entertaining even though they are a bit strange! There too many other activities to mention here, however, I plan on dedicating a post to the subject in the near future. For now you will probably enjoy the following page dedicated to the winter carnival: LakeGeorgeWinterCarnival.com As of the date that I wrote this article they still had the information from 2016, here soon they will update it. However it will give you a good idea of what to expect.
If you plan on staying a while and want a change of scenery, within driving distance is Saranac Lake, which also has an amazing winter carnival. In 2012 National Geographic actually named it the second best winter carnival in the world! First celebrated in 1897 it is also the longest-running event of its kind in the eastern U.S.! Its’ 10-day festival is packed with sports, performances, parades and spectacular fireworks.
SKIING THE ADIRONDACKS
The Adirondacks offer some great skiing and around Lake George there are several great options! Many adventurers have chosen Lake George as a sort of home base to try out several ski resorts on one trip!
West Mountain is only about 15 minutes away, you can get to Gore mountain in about 40. Vermont has some great skiing also, Killington and Bromley are both about an hour and a half away, so a day trip would be easy to do.
Gore Mountain —with a total of 109 trails and over 2,500 vertical feet— is a serious ski destination that will not let you down! There are a total of 14 lifts, an eight passenger Gondola and luxurious quads dedicated to keeping skiers from waiting in lines and put them on the slopes where they belong!
West Mountain, while a bit smaller than the other options is still a great place to spend time with your family in the great outdoors and it is right next door to Lake George. They have over 126 acres and their more than 30 trails range from easy and gentle to challenging, expert terrain.
Killington Mountain Resort & Ski Area is within distance of Lake George to make it a great day trip. It is the biggest ski area in the Eastern United States! So you won’t have to worry about feeling cramped! It also boasts the largest vertical drop in New England —3,050 feet— so if you are looking for an adrenaline rush it is the place for you!
A little further North is Whiteface Mountain, which is considered by many to be the winter sports capital of the world! In fact it boasts hosting the Olympic Winter Games not once, but twice! Not to mention the countless World Cup events that have takin place there!
You might want to spend some time enjoying the posh shops of Lake Placid while you are up there!
ENJOY THE ADIRONDACK WINTER WONDERLAND
Some other activities that might attract your attention are: snowshoeing, cross country skiing, ice fishing, polar plunging, ice skating, enjoying a drink at an ice bar or even just sledding with your kids in the park!
I could go on and on about the wonders of the winter up here but I think I’ll stop now 😉 Remember this is coming from someone that a few years ago didn’t like the cold!
I am sure that you will enjoy your trip up here this winter if you decide to go ahead and give it a try!