There are so many family-fun things to see and do in the Adirondacks in the winter! For the skiing family, Wilmington is the home of Whiteface Mountain, which was rated as one of the best mountains to ski in the East! The region also offers great hiking, dining, and attractions fun for kids and adults. While there are so many others, read on for five fun places to go with your family this winter!
This blog was originally written in 2015, but is so full of useful info that it was updated in December 2020.
*The reason you may see media of people not wearing masks on our website is because all footage is from prior years. More than ever we all need to be vigilant about maintaining social distance of 6 feet or more and wearing masks when we cannot social distance.
There’s nothing more exhilarating than skiing at Whiteface! With a total of 90 trails for all different skill levels, Whiteface Mountain has hundreds of skiable acres for you to explore. Bring your own equipment, or you can rent right at the mountain. Have a split group of experienced skiers and newbies? Whiteface can handle that! Bear Den helps beginners get going, or you can choose to try a lesson to tighten your skills. Ski/boarder-cross riders can show off their skills in the mini park, while experts can take on The Slides. When you need a break, relax in the lodge with a hot cocoa - or something stronger - and then take a gondola ride to the top and experience the beauty of the Adirondacks below you. Make sure to put “Ski Whiteface” on your Adirondack to-do list!
*Remember, tickets are limited during the 2020/2021 ski season so purchasing ahead is necessary. Also, masks are required when inside, in the gondola, and waiting in the lift line.
Adirondack Wildlife Refuge
A visit to the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge is must for any family traveling to the Whiteface Region. The donation-based organization is a rescue, rehab, and release refuge for animals. Upon entry, you will see the wolf enclosure followed by the bears. An easy to follow trail leads you to the rest of the animals. You will see numerous birds and other Adirondack animals. Staff from the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge are friendly and always willing to teach guests about the animals. While there is no payment to enter, donation boxes are located throughout the facility, which helps them keep caring for the animals.
Hiking in the winter can be just as fun as summer hiking as long as you choose the right trail and pack the right gear. The Whiteface Region has numerous hikes that are perfect for families! Snowshoes are required when snow depth is 8 or more inches. Microspikes are also good to have for any sections that are icy, especially on summits. Hikes like Cobble Lookout, Whiteface Landing, or the Flume Trails are perfect for those with younger kids or first-time snowshoers. For the more adventurous family, try Catamount.
High Falls Gorge
Even if you stopped here during the warmer parts of the year, nothing is like going to High Falls Gorge in the winter. You can go on self-guided tours and see the four breathtaking waterfalls, which freeze in winter into beautiful ice formations. Snowshoes and crampons are available to rent for your tour through around the falls. After your time outdoors, there is complimentary hot chocolate to warm you up, and you should definitely plan on lunch in the River View Cafe. Weekend and holiday visitors get an extra treat: roasting marshmallows over a campfire! High Falls Gorge is definitely a great activity to experience with the entire family!
*Please note: Due to restrictions from Covid-19, High Falls Gorge will be closed for the 2020/2021 winter season and plans to re-open in May, but be sure to visit next winter!
If you are a chocolate lover like me, a great bonus to your visit to the Whiteface Region is stopping at Adirondack Chocolates. Just walking in the door makes your mouth water with the smell of delicious chocolate in the air. With so many choices, you’re sure to find a new favorite each time you visit! Chocolates make great gifts and stocking stuffers – make sure you stop by the next time you’re in town!
Plan your next vacation in the Whiteface Region of the Adirondacks. With so many unique and awesome things to do, you’ll be glad you did!