Year-round, there is a lot going on in the Whiteface Region, whether it’s downhill skiing, special events, breakfast with Santa, or celebrations of fly fishing. With so much natural beauty all around us, with trails and parks, lakes and streams, outdoor adventures are always high on our list of must-do activities. But what happens when you’re between seasons, when one day there’s fresh snow on the ground and the next a warm-up turns trails icy? Between-season ups and downs can be frustrating, for you, and for us (we want you to have fun, after all!), so here are a few ways to be flexible and make the most of your time when the weather doesn’t want to cooperate!
"Craft" your own beer trail
Is it raining? Are the trails icy? Warm yourself up from the inside out with a craft beer tour! In the Whiteface Region you can gently imbibe throughout the day, or even over a weekend with a leisurely tour of great spots to try unique craft beer and cider.
Some of our favorites include:
- Pourman’s Tap House in Wilmington. Cheekily named after a local mountain biking trail, Pourman’s is known for a great selection of beer and fun pub food, like loaded tater tots and flatbreads! Beer selections include classic favorites, plus specials from Adirondack breweries.
- Rudy's Scar Bar and Grille in Wilmington. Rudy's is our secret weapon. Live music, insane mac and cheese, and a beer menu that includes great local specialties and sweet imports make for a super fun spot just off the beaten path.
- R.F. McDougall’s Pub in Wilmington. Located at the iconic fly fishing destination, The Hungry Trout Resort, R.F. McDougall’s has the look and feel of a classic pub. Relax by the fire and try a new ale or cider. But don't get too comfy: you have more destinations to try!
- 20 Main Tavern in Au Sable Forks. If you’re looking for a spot where the locals hang out and relax, then this Adirondack classic is for you!
Follow Ross’ directions: pivot!
Maybe you’ve planned this vacation for weeks, or even months. You’re super excited to get here and get out on the trails for some Nordic skiing. But when you get here, Mother Nature has been temperamental and the trails are too icy. A fun solution: try snowshoes! A great pair of snowshoes is the perfect foil for the crunchy stuff! Whether you bring your own or rent a pair locally, many trails, such as The Flume, are just as beautiful on snowshoes as on skis. Plus, by snowshoeing you get to go at a slower pace and take in the scenery a bit more.
Speaking of snowshoes, no matter what the weather, High Falls Gorge, a stunning, naturally-carved valley in the Ausable River is a must-do, even on icy days or rainy days. A series of paths and bridges follow the river and even cross over it, offering amazing views from inside the gorge. The gift shop and information center provides microspikes that can easily slip over your boots or shoes, so you don't need to worry about bringing any extra gear. This is a fun, family-friendly destination that will perk up any day of changed plans.
Those sound like successful pivots!
Meet the makers
Even if shopping isn't your favorite activity, many locations in the Whiteface Region are unique and extra interesting and a great way to explore the area and meet a few locals. Shops here are full of local art and are owned and operated by artists themselves. When you pop in to browse, you can meet the artists and learn more about what inspires them and how they practice their craft. From pottery to painting, photography to chocolates, there's an array of artisans to meet here! A few of our favorites are:
- Young's Studio & Gallery in Jay. Owned and operated by potter Sue Young, this cheerful spot is full of Young's nature-inspired tableware and floral pendants, plus locally-sourced yarns, ornaments, jewelry, and more. It's all handcrafted and Sue is a charming host!
- Jay Craft Center in Jay. It's a family affair here, featuring a range of pottery from owner Cheri Cross, her partner, and son! The center's sunny location — formerly a grange hall — also spotlights works by local photographers, painters, and carvers.
- Arts and Antiques in Au Sable Forks. Explore this great shop and meet co-owner Susan Cassevaugh, a talented painter (her sister paints, too!) whose work adorns the walls. This is an easy spot to lose track of time, as there is so much to look at!
- Adirondack Chocolates in Wilmington. Originally known as the Candy Man (some of us still use that name!), this is an Adirondack institution of sweetly-scented awesomeness. Indulge in handcrafted truffles, almond bark, and more!
Whatever the weather is when you arrive in the Whiteface Region, we're sure you'll handle it with aplomb and have a great getaway filled with surprises and unexpected fun!