“Life in the Finger Lakes” Continues
By Jim Moore, Chief Finger Lakes Enthusiast,
When winter’s frost transforms the Finger Lakes region into a snowy wonderland, outdoor enthusiasts need not stow away their gear. Instead, they can embrace the season by exploring the numerous winter hiking and cross-country skiing opportunities around Keuka and Seneca Lakes.
Keuka Lake: A Winter Wonderland
Keuka Lake, nestled amidst rolling hills and picturesque vineyards, offers fantastic winter adventures. The Keuka Outlet Trail, stretching along the Keuka Lake Outlet from Penn Yan to Dresden, is a winter hiking gem. As the snow blankets the trail, it transforms into a peaceful, snow-covered wonderland, perfect for a tranquil stroll. It’s also an excellent spot for cross-country skiing.
Seneca Lake: Exploring Nature’s Beauty
Seneca Lake, the largest of the Finger Lakes, boasts numerous winter hiking and skiing opportunities. The Seneca Lake State Park in Geneva is a popular spot. Trails that were once bustling with summer activities now take on a serene ambiance. The lake’s beauty becomes even more apparent as you trek through the snow-covered landscape.
The Finger Lakes National Forest: A Hidden Gem
Located between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes, the Finger Lakes National Forest offers a remarkable winter playground. With over 30 miles of interconnecting trails, this forest is a haven for both hikers and cross-country skiers. You’ll find trails suitable for all skill levels, from leisurely walks to challenging skiing adventures.
Stay Safe and Prepared
Before venturing out into the Finger Lakes winter wonderland, ensure your safety. Dress warmly in layers and bring essentials like water, snacks, and a map of the trail system. Check the weather forecast and trail conditions, and let someone know your itinerary. Always hike or ski with a buddy when possible.
Winter in the Finger Lakes: A Hidden Delight
The Finger Lakes region is well-known for its summer splendor, but the beauty of this area doesn’t vanish with the arrival of winter. Instead, it transforms, revealing a quieter, more contemplative side. Winter hiking and cross-country skiing around Keuka and Seneca Lakes provide an opportunity to experience the Finger Lakes’ breathtaking landscapes in a whole new light. So, don your winter gear, head outdoors, and discover the hidden delight of Finger Lakes winters.