iloveny-stack.jpgSpecial Offers and Exciting Events for Outdoor Sports and Indoor Fun Throughout the State Albany, N.Y. - Wondering where to go this winter? New York State has something for everyone.  The state has both the nation's largest city and more state-designated wilderness land than any state (except Alaska). Its vacation regions are lauded as some of the most scenic and beautiful in the world, with the Hudson Valley most recently named in National Geographic Traveler's "Best of the World: 20 Must-See Places for 2013." New York also has more ski mountains than any other state, ranks in the Top Four for National Skier Visits per year, and has more than 100 downhill and cross-country ski centers. All of this translates to more of what people love to do on vacation and winter brings its own special ways to have fun. While winter snow and ice provide the foundation for a host of outdoor sports, there's plenty of excitement indoors as well. Here's a sampling of some of the ways to enjoy winter inside & out in New York State.

The Great Outdoors

Skiing with value. The Catskills Winter Sampler includes one unrestricted adult lift ticket good any day of the 2012-2013 season at each of the 4 premier ski destinations in the Northern Catskills: Belleayre, Windham, Plattekill, and Hunter mountains. At only $199 (plus a small S&H fee), the Catskills Winter Sampler is a great way to experience the best of the Northern Catskill's skiing and riding! New York's 4th Grade Ski & Ride Passport Program enables 4th Graders to learn to ski or ride for free or if you already know how, simply fill out the application and ski or ride up to three times at participating mountains, when accompanied by an adult.  Award-winning ski resorts for learning and family fun.  You don't have to be an Olympic competitor to enjoy New York's ski areas as ski schools and trails cater to all levels of ability and with 50-plus downhill ski centers across the state--more ski areas than any other state in the nation-New York offers plenty of choices. Host of two Winter Olympic Games, Lake Placid, in the Adirondacks, is one of the world's winter sports capitals. Skiers and snow boarders at Whiteface Mountain can take on the greatest vertical drop east of the Rockies (3,430 feet), while Gore Mountain, has a vertical drop of 2,547 feet. Highlighting the Chautauqua-Allegheny region, Ski Magazine recently named Holiday Valley among the "Top 10" ski areas and Peek'n Peak, with trails and terrain parks for all levels, was chosen as the "Favorite Family-Friendly Resort" in the Northeast in 2011 by visitors to In the Catskills, Belleayre Mountain was voted "Best Place to Learn to Ski in the East" by Ski Magazine, and Hunter Mountain was nicknamed the "Snowmaking Capitol of the World" for its pioneering role in snowmaking, while at Windham Mountain, skiers can enjoy one of the region's highest vertical drops at 1600 feet.  Additionally, the 2012 Snow East magazine reader survey ranked Bristol Mountain  fourth in the "Favorite Ski Resort in the Northeast" category. 10,000 miles of Snowmobile Trails. Across New York, more than 40 state parks offer snowmobile trails, with 90 miles of groomed trails in the Chautauqua-Allegheny region's Allegany State Park alone, and plenty of rider-friendly lodging and eateries along the way. Here, Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Services offers rentals and tours. In the Adirondacks, Old Forge, dubbed the "Snowmobile Capital of the East," connecting to a system of over 500 miles of groomed trails and designated streets, in Central New York, that become marked snowmobile routes, many of which also connect to the untrammeled trails of the Tug Hill Plateau area. Guided tours of the trails can be arranged through outfitters such as Snow Tours, Inc. and Lake Placid Snowmobiling Inc. 50-plus Cross Country Ski Centers. New York State is also a haven for cross country skiers, with its 50 cross country ski centers encompassing thousands of miles of groomed trails at state parks, forest preserves and downhill ski resorts. In addition, many resorts and inns offer rentals and access to trails. Bristol Mountain, in the Finger Lakes, offers night skiing where the trails to the summit are lit with nightlights. Skiers can even follow the 31 miles of groomed trails used during the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. On the slopes without a ski. You don't have to be a skilled skier or snowboarder to fly down the slopes. Snow tubing is an electrifying family-friendly experience at ski areas such as Kissing Bridge in the Greater Niagara region, resorts such as Rocking Horse Ranch in the Catskills and with specialized companies like Tubby Tubes in the Adirondacks. . Most offer lifts to the top to maximize the "down" time. Many mountain inns and resorts also offer snowshoeing and sledding  while Lake Placid allows thrill-seekers to zip down the Olympic bobsled run, learn to shoot and ski like a biathlete at the Olympic Sports Complex, or work on their triple Lutz at the Olympic Center skating rinks. For night time excitement, visitors to Lake Placid can choose from a variety of activities, including a star-lit dogsled ride.   Top Ice Picks. From the well known Shawangunk Mountains of the Hudson Valley and Catskills, known to locals as "The Gunks," to the Adirondacks High Peaks, the state ranks high with ice-climbing mountaineers and backcountry explorers. While it takes both skill and guts to scale an icy cliff, even novices can experience the thrill when guided by licensed experts such as Mountain Skills Climbing Guides and HighXPosure Adventures in "The Gunks," and Adirondack Rock & River and Alpine Adventures around the High Peaks.  Those looking to stay on land are in luck, too, as the state has many top spots for ice fishing. Taking Adventure to the Extreme. New kinds of winter adventures are also catching on across the state. The persistent winds and abundant lake-effect snowfall in the Adirondacks Tug Hill area create ideal conditions for snow kiting, a cross between skiing and paragliding. The frozen waterways and consistent winds of the Thousand Islands-Seaway region make it another hot spot for this thrilling winter sport, with lessons and equipment available from T.I. Adventures. Bag Jumping is becoming popular at Peek'nPeak and other resorts, where boarders soar off a ski jump and land on an air bag similar to those once used by Hollywood stuntmen. Festivals Galore. Visitors can celebrate the spirit of the season at the many winter festivals taking place across the state. At the Saratoga Springs Winterfest, the weekend of February 1-3, 2013 will be filled with music, nibbling, snow sports and fun, with  wine tastings and bonfires, skiing and snowshoeing, plus free hot cocoa and Chowderfest, where visitors can taste different soups and chowders for a $1 a cup and vote for their favorite! A combination winter and wine festival, the Long Island Winterfest, otherwise known as Jazz on the Vine, will take place from February 9 to March 17 on the East End of Long Island where attendees can enjoy exceptional jazz performances in winery tasting rooms for 6 fun-filled weekends.   Now celebrating its 116th anniversary, the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is the longest-running event of its kind and features sports, dances, performances, two parades and two sets of spectacular fireworks above the world-famous Ice Palace.

The Great Indoors

Indoor Water Parks. Multi-storied water parks bring a taste of splashy summer fun to New York winters. In the Finger Lakes, the Hope Lake Lodge & Cascades Indoor Waterpark at Greek Peak Mountain features a wave pool, three-story slide and indoor/outdoor pool. In the Adirondacks, Six Flags Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Water Park in Lake George offers simulated white-water rafting, surfing, a lazy river float and a multi-story tree house along with over 160 interactive water features and twisting body slides. The Hudson Valley's Rocking Horse Ranch has an indoor water park with a 250 foot log flume, huge geysers and interactive fountains while the Greater Niagara region's Palm Island Indoor Waterpark, in the Clarion Hotel in Batavia, has two body slides, a play lagoon and an underwater-lit pool with a waterfall and spa. Flaunting fashion. New York City isn't the state's only world-class shopping center. With over 800,000 square feet and 220 stores, Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in the Hudson Valley is one of the largest outlet centers in the world. At the nearby Palisades Center Mall, shoppers can even take a break to ice skate at the indoor rink or catch a movie at the theater. For bargain seekers, Factory Outlets of Lake George in the Adirondacks comprises four major shopping centers, while Tanger Outlet Centers has two locations on Long Island. In the northern part of the state, Canadian and U.S. visitors enjoy malls such as Champlain Centre in the Adirondack region, and Buffalo's Walden Galleria, Amherst's Boulevard Mall and the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls in the Greater Niagara Region. A Destination Mall. An indoor destination in its own right, complete with its own raceway and amusement park, the spanking new Destiny USA mall in Syracuse is already a top attraction, with more than 215 luxury outlets, retail stores and restaurants-and more coming all the time. The 2.4 million-square-foot center, one of the largest in the nation, is also home to Pole Position Raceway, an indoor kart race track, and WonderWorks, an educational indoor amusement park. A State of Spas. When you want to feel warm and pampered right to your core, there's nothing like a good spa. As early as the nineteenth century, New York State was known for therapeutic mineral springs, and today there are over 560 spas throughout the state.  Among those that have received national attention is the Mohonk Mountain House in the Catskills, just named the number two resort spa in the country by Conde Nast Traveler magazine. Great food and more. The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in the Hudson Valley is among the most important culinary education institutions in the country. Whether you want to make reservations for a special meal or take a class on your favorite cuisine, the CIA is a cozy place to enjoy great food.       Top-ranking wine state. New York ranks number one in the nation in grape production and is one of the top wine-producing states. Many wineries offer tastings throughout the year. The Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes, Long Island, Greater Niagara, and Chautauqua-Allegheny are among New York's many regions with winery trails. For more fun winter ideas and information in New York State, visit    About New York State New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York's attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls to the wine trails of Hudson Valley and treasures like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Whether it's wide-ranging outdoor activities for the whole family like ice-fishing, snowmobiling, skiing and snowboarding, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers big excitement and tons activities for all travelers. I LOVE NEW YORK is now the first and only state in the nation with more than a million Facebook fans! Become of fan of I LOVE NEW YORK's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @I_LOVE_NY. For more information, visit for all of our winter activities. Media can find press releases and more at

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CONTACT:       Melanie Klausner M. SILVER ASSOCIATES (212)-754-6500, ext. 243   Eric Scheffel Empire State Development (518) 292-5274