Popular Spots for Uncommon Winter Activities in the Finger Lakes, Part 2

02/10/2022

The mid-winter snow is falling! You might be familiar with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, but what about fat biking or skate skiing?  If you can get your hands on the right gear and have a good sense of adventure, the Finger Lakes region has excellent options for cold-weather fun. Check out these uncommon activities and popular spots for mixing up your winter routine.

A group of people riding bikes in the snow
Photo: Nate Hunter

Fat Biking

Yes, you heard that right—fat bikes. No need to wait for optimal trail conditions when you can ride through snow, mud, sand, and other loose terrain. The larger surface area of a fat bike’s tires provides more traction and stability and facilitates weight dispersal, perfect for slippery environments. So, no more dreaming of dry trails all winter long. Saddle up and ride at these popular spots where small groups of ambitious bikers are sure to be found.

Shindagin Hollow State Forest

Green Lakes State Park

Morgan Hill State Forest

Photo: Cat Massa

Skate Skiing

With a side-to-side movement similar to ice skating, skate skiing is a style of cross-country that allows for a faster and more rigorous pace. Skate skiers use a V-shape technique and shorter skis to achieve a gliding motion as they move through the winter landscape. To cover more ground and achieve an invigorating speed, groomed trails are the preferred terrain. Here are a few locations for your skate skiing adventures:

Harriett Hollister Spencer Recreation Center

Highland Forest

Cumming Nature Center

A group of people running in snowhoes
Photo: Finger Lakes Runners Club

Snowshoe Running

Trail running doesn’t have to end when the snow starts falling thanks to running-specific snowshoes. Smaller and lighter than hiking models, running snowshoes are designed to grip the snow without excessive flopping. It’s a strenuous exercise involving whole-body movements that will keep you in excellent shape through the winter. Conquer the cold at one of these locations, just remember to run on the side of ski trails to avoid making postholes.

Hammond Hill State Forest

Finger Lakes National Forest

Oakley Corners State Forest

See the Map!

*Don’t let a lack of equipment hold you back from these activities! Check your local outdoor retailer for equipment rentals.

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