All the outdoors you can fit
There's still a lot more outdoors than indoors here, and this region uses every acre. The big ski centers are a short drive away, but smaller hills make great family outings for skiers and snowboarders seeking gentler slopes. Skating rinks offer bracing good fun while snow-clad forests beckon snowshoers and the cross-country crowd. State Parks offer many trails to explore, and snowmobilers will find plenty of frozen tundra to tackle.
Discover a state park
Many of New York's top state parks call this region home. Grafton Lakes State Park keeps its trails nicely groomed for snowmobilers, snowshoers and cross-country skiers. When conditions permit, ice fishing lures diehard anglers for perch, northern pike and walleye. Mine Kill State Park features snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing for winter visitors, while the Helderberg Escarpment at John Boyd Thacher State Park reveals a breathtaking panorama of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys, plus 12 miles of trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and snowmobiling.
Looking for a good skate? Sharpen your blades or rent a pair, and hit the ice at Albany's Empire State Plaza. Skaters are rink-bound as soon as the ice hardens at arenas throughout the region. Even wobbly ankles are just a lesson or two away from effortless gliding through the winter air. Or watch a game of pickup hockey from the safety of a bench.
Picture postcard moments
A stroll through Schenectady's Stockade District
evokes centuries-old winters. This ancient residential neighborhood is one of America's oldest, surviving wars, sweeping fires and savage massacres. Today, its narrow lanes are still lined with pre-revolutionary homes. In Saratoga Springs, a drive down Union Avenue's Mansion Row hints at the lavish history of this famous town. Every stately mansion here has its stories, legends and even ghosts. Take a ride on the Saratoga-North Creek Railway for beautiful views and as a new means of exploring the region.
There's a lot to celebrate here. December sees Troy's Victorian Stroll, Albany's Winter WonderLARK event with trolley rides, and the annual Capital Holiday Lights in the Park a Washington Park drive-through event with show-stopping holiday light displays, live music and family fun. Schenectady's Holiday Parade is the largest nighttime parade in the northeast. Both Albany and Saratoga Springs host vibrant First Night celebrations, and Saratoga's Winterfest brings live music and special events to mid-winter. January brings the Grafton Winter Festival to Grafton Lakes. In February, make time for the Saratoga Springs Flurry Fest, and get a sneak peek at spring colors during the New York State Museum's New York In Bloom event. For more events in the Capital Saratoga region click here.