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Finger Lakes Winter Activities

Outdoor Winter Recreation in the Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes is the place to be for outdoor enthusiasts all year round, and the winter is no exception. The region’s propensity for snow, chilly temps, and glacially-designed topography make it an ideal hub for seasonal recreation.

Skiing & Snowboarding

Whether you’re carving through snow that’s freshly fallen or man-made, the region’s ski resorts have an abundant supply. Unsurprisingly, there are a variety of ski and snowboard destinations to check out for winter lovers who have a need for speed, and snow. No matter what area of the region you decide to explore, there is skiing and snowboarding fun to be had:

  • Located in picturesque Canandaigua and boasting a state-of-the-art snowmaking system, Bristol Mountain Ski Resort is a well-known destination for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. The resort offers 1,200 of vertical, two high-speed quads, and 35 slopes and trails that will leave you breathless and ready for more. For nighttime runs, many of the slopes also offer lighting.
  • Central New York’s family-centric Greek Peak Mountain Resort is open during all four seasons and offers 54 trails, six aerial lifts, two surface lifts, beginners’ slopes, and terrain parks, as well as a state-of-the-art ski- and board-tuning facility.  For sledding action, don’t forget to check out the tubing center, or hit the Nordic Center for cross-country and snow shoe trails.

Cross-Country Skiing/Snowshoeing/Hiking/Ice Skating/Sledding

With snow come a variety of opportunities to go out in nature and get your blood pumping in the chilly air. The Finger Lakes has an abundance of state parks to explore. Whether you’re hitting the trails on just your two booted feet, or strapping on the cross-country skis or snowshoes, there are beautiful wild places to discover that are conveniently located across the area. The region’s glacial history offers inspiring gorges and waterfalls to take in and interesting terrain to cover. For additional seasonal fun, parks like Taughannock Falls State Park have designated sledding and ice-skating areas. Check here for a list of state parks in the region and the specific recreation they provide.    


Speeding across ice and snow behind the “wheel” of a snowmobile is a popular winter pastime, and New York State has 10,000 miles dedicated to this specific sport.  Within the Finger Lakes region, a number of trails offer wintery lake views, including along Ontario, Honeoye, Keuka, Seneca, and Canandaigua Lakes, in addition to trails that meander through the beautiful Fillmore Glen State Park in Moravia. It’s sure to be an exhilarating way to sightsee while covering more ground.

Ice fishing

If ice fishing is the sport for you, the Finger Lakes offers many opportunities to catch perch, walleye, trout, or a variety of other fish species depending on what lake or pond you decide on. Check the Department of Environmental Conservation website for rules and regulations within each county, and then head to the ice. If you’re new to the sport, make sure to tag along with someone else as it takes special equipment and skill to make sure your fishing trip is safe and enjoyable.

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