Winter in the 'Dacks
It starts Memorial Day Weekend and goes nonstop until the leaves in Upstate New York finally start to change color and fall: the mad dash to make enough money to stay afloat through the comparatively silent "offseason" in the Adirondacks.
As the year goes on, town slowly empties, it starts getting dark at 5:00 p.m., and you find yourself sitting in the shop watching Netflix for five hours out of your eight-hour shift (...not that I've ever done that...). If you've been through a winter here, then you're already prepared to spend the foreseeable future seeing the same 10-15 faces in the same few spots around town.
I would say that it's time to get creative, but there's really no need. We just do the same thing that we do in the summer: go outside and enjoy the Adirondack Park.
I know it sounds like a cheesy broken record at this point, but the best things that this place has to offer are outside, on the lake, in the woods.
That being said, here's how to dive headfirst into winter in the 'Dacks:
The Pinnacle trail and the mountains of the Keene Valley are still there. Take some extra time to prepare and check the conditions (hello, Internet and apps like AllTrails and Gaia GPS). Make sure you have the right equipment and strap on those snowshoes.
Go ski or snowboard at Gore Mountain. Check out Beck's or Basil and Wick's on the way home for great Aprés-Ski atmospheres.
Get out on the lake. FIRST and most importantly, check to make sure that the damn ice is safe (link below with ice safety tips). Once you're out on the hard water, you'll quickly learn that you're either an ice person that falls or one that doesn't. While ice skating and ice fishing are popular options, I just enjoy how easily the cooler slides across the ice so that I don't have to carry it and instead I can focus my attention on that ever-elusive balance that everyone talks so much about. Guess which type of ice person I am...
Inevitably, some days are just too cold, windy, or dreary to be outside. On those days, go to Bolton Landing Brewing Company. If you mention Yankees baseball or Notre Dame football and the owner, Brendan, doesn't start mentioning obscure players and statistics that you've never heard of before, I'll buy your beer.
You can also beat the cold at Frederick's, where you'll find at least a few of those 10-15 familiar faces sipping their happy hour beers around a roaring fireplace. If nothing in this post strikes you as an enjoyable north country day, you can always workshop some ideas with them. I guarantee you'll leave with more ideas than you know what to do with and even more Local stories (speaking from experience, here).
If you like the cold and the snow even a little bit, then you'll find just as much to do during an Adirondack winter as an Adirondack summer. If you hate the cold and the snow, then Memorial Day Weekend is right around the corner. The hustle and bustle of those summer crowds will kick back up before you know it.
Trust me, either way, for better or worse, the countdown to summer has been on since that last leaf hit the ground and that final summer home closed up for the winter.
Ice Safety Tips: