LAKE PLACID – The calendar may be creeping closer to March, but checking our ski trails and cross country sites, winter in Upstate NY is nowhere near the finish line. Quite the opposite, actually, as base depths are still very thick thanks to steady snowfall over the past six weeks in and around Lake Placid and the Northern Adirondacks.
This is the perfect time of the year to consider some playtime at Whiteface Mountain, Titus Mountain, Mount Pisgah and the plethora of Nordic skiing complexes that surround us. For some reason, as soon as we conclude Presidents’ Week, many figure the winter is over. That’s when they need to consult us. Temps start rising, days are longer, sunlight is more direct, and believe it or not, there have been many seasons when the best snowfall occurs in March. If that’s the case, and after what we’ve seen fall here since January, you’ll need to bring a snorkel to cruise down our ski slopes.
The current long-range forecast (through the first week of March) will bring us many daytime temps in the 30s – just perfect for any outdoor activity – with a few days of freshening snow.
If you are interested in a day trip from the Mirror Lake Inn, Titus Mountain, about an hour away in Malone, N.Y., is an award-winning family ski and snowboard center. They are owned by the Monette family, avid snow sports enthusiasts.
I bit closer to us in nearby Saranac Lake (12 miles away) you’ll find the Mt. Pisgah Ski Area. This is a throwback to the era of neighborhood ski hills, where everyone knows everyone. It’s literally in a community near the village. You ride up the hill courtesy of a T-bar, and have the option of enjoying snow tubing. They don’t make ski/ride areas like this anymore.
Back in Lake Placid, step onto frozen Mirror Lake, which is right in front of the Mirror Lake Inn. Skaters and hockey players can take advantage of the rinks just outside our Cottage Cafe. But you can also cross country ski on the same lake, grab a pair of snow shoes from our front desk (while they last) and get in some invigorating exercise, there are two dog sledding vendors, and of course, the ever popular toboggan chute at the far end of Mirror Lake from us. The only activities with a cost are dog sledding and the use of the toboggan chute.
If the weather holds up, we envision much of this scenario playing out into April. In fact, skiing at Whiteface Mountain until tax day and beyond occurs most years, and cross country skiing could be right there with it this season.
So as we said at the outset, keep those skis, skates and snow shoes around a while longer. Don’t give up on winter just yet.