Feb 25, 2019

Snow Fun in Upstate New York

 There is no doubt about. When the snow covers the ground and trees it can be beautiful and when the snow is soft and fluffy it is a great time to take a walk. The world cushioned by the snow seems serene and pure; there are many ways to enjoy
the snow including getting friends and family together to create a snow fort or creature. 

Many of the local parks offer special activities. It is interesting how snowshoeing has become so popular in recent years. Beaver Lake has Moonlight Snowshoeing hikes both guided and unguided. Don’t know how to snowshoe? No worries, they offer lessons. They also offer cross country skiing and one can always hike on one’s own.  Every Saturday at 7 pm in January and February the City of Oswego had a 90-minute lantern and moonlit snowshoeing
expedition. The Amboy 4-H Environmental Center also offers programs. Of course, you can head out on your own to many areas to snowshoe, cross-country ski, and hike. Highland Forest Parks offer Horse-drawn Sleigh Rides. Rice Creek in Oswego has nature walks several times each month. 

Ice skating, outdoors, has been enjoyed for centuries.  The most
iconic place to ice skate in New York State is Rockefeller Plaza. Been there done that.  But, locally there is ice skating in Syracuse’s Clinton Square. Don’t have skates? Not to worry they have rentals.  You can make your own backyard rink.  I remember when my children were young a neighbor did just that. There are instructions on the internet. The creek out back of our house use to flood over and freeze making a good place for them to ice skate.  It has been cold enough lately. 

The Super Bowl of ice fishing is in Minnesota where 10,000-plus create what amounts to a village on the ice to vie for $150,000 in prizes.  Locally the prime ice fishing area is Oneida Lake where they try to hook walleyes, perch, and pan fish. There are shallow bays and ponds in and around Lake Ontario such as Sandy Pond where they hope to catch pike, bluegills and crappies.  There are special ice fishing tents so fishing can be done in comfort. Obviously, one need to be cautious, the ice should be at least eight inches deep.  

Down-hill skiing has long been a money-maker for New York State. The Lake Placid area hosted the Olympics in 1932 and 1980.The only other places to have hosted the winter Olympics twice are St. Moritz and Innsbruck. There are a slew of places to enjoy the thrill of downhilling: Toggenburg, Labrador, Dry Hill, and Snow Ridge are only a couple. Most also have snowboarding. They offer rentals and lessons so no excuses.  Sledding and tobogganing can be done wherever one can find a hill. 

If it isn’t the quiet and serenity of a winter wonderland but the thrill of racing across groomed trails then you are in luck.  There are over 360 miles of trails and some of the trails connect with those in the
Adirondack Park region. Along the way there cozy accommodations, restaurants and other attractions. Tailwater in Altmar, which was designed to accommodate the fishing crowd, now caters to snowmobilers during the winter providing easy access to the trails.  If racing is in your blood check out the SnoCross schedule with races scheduled throughout the state. March 2 and 3 the races will be at the Oswego County Fairgrounds in Sandy Creek. Let the winter fun continue.