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Over the Mountains with Ed Kanze: February Flurries

With 6-million acres of wilderness, the Adirondack Mountains hold unlimited potential for adventure and with so many possibilities it can be hard to decide how to explore it all. To help you plan your experience we asked Ed Kanze, Naturalist and Adirondack Guide, what's special about February in the Adirondacks.

What's good about February in the Adirondacks?

  • Forget what the calendar says. February marks the beginning of spring.
  • The sun rises earlier and lingers later in the afternoon, making days longer.
  • Winter Carnival brings nine days of fun and games to the village of Saranac Lake. Despite the cold, this is a great time for city folk to bundle up and savor small-town life at its warm and lion-hearted best.
  • Temperatures moderate.
  • On mild days, snow fleas pepper the surface of the snow. These ancient insect-like invertebrates don't bite and show that winter is losing its grip.
  • Milder temperatures make for some of the most pleasant winter outings of the year.
  • Skiing and snowshoeing conditions remain fabulous.
  • Buds swell on trees that flower and leaf out early, especially maples and elms.
  • Sought-after winter birds are still here in number. Listen for barred owls hooting at night. They seem to say: "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-allllllllllll." By day, chickadees start singing their spring love songs.

Your Friend,
Ed Kanze
Naturalist and Adirondack Guide

Experience the Adirondacks for Yourself

Want to take Ed up on his recommendations? Here's how!

Ranger, Lake House's plush mascot, visiting the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Ice Palace.
Have you ever seen a castle made of ice?

Celebrate the of Early Signs of Spring

We'll take any excuse to stay outside a little longer! It might be the shortest month of the year, but with longer days and more moderate temperatures we mean to make the most of it. So pack your bags, the family, and Fido and head up to Lake Placid for a getaway packed with family fun!

  • Whether it's uniquely Adirondack games like ice bowling or the frying pan toss, or decidedly different parade features like the Saranac Lake Lawnchair Ladies, or the always spectacular storming of the ice palace (yes - a real palace made of ice cut from Lake Flower), you've never seen a celebration like the annual Saranac Lake Winter Carnival.  
  • Join us Presidents' Week for s'mores at the fire pit, kicksledding on Mirror Lake, larger than life board games at Lake House, and free cross-country skiing at Cascade Ski Center. Area attractions will be hosting special holiday hours (weather permitting), including the Olympic speed skating oval, the Mirror Lake Toboggan Chute, the Wild Center, and Paul Smiths VIC.

Person cross country skiing in a snowy wood.
Traverse forest glades from a pair of Nordic skis.

Explore Outdoors

  • When you stay at High Peaks Resort, admission to Cascade Ski Center' groomed cross-country ski and snowshoe trails are included with your rate (rentals available but not included). With on-site lessons and the most extensive Nordic shop in Lake Placid, it's never been a better time to take up a new winter sport!
  • Some of our favorite trails for cross country skiing and snowshoeing can be found at the Paul Smiths Visitor's Interpretive Center. Open to the public seven days a week with cross country ski and snowshoe rentals on weekends, the Paul Smiths VIC is the perfect spot if you want to explore more with options for a variety of snow sports and experience levels.
  • Looking for a bit more adventure? Want to ski the Adirondacks like a local? There are lots of cross-country ski trails that are near Lake Placid but feel like a world away.
  • Hiring a licensed Adirondack Guide is the finest way to experience the Adirondacks! These intrepid locals carry on a 200-year-old tradition of leading explorers through the Adirondacks, telling stories, imparting wisdom and ensuring you have an exceptional experience in our northern woods.

Skiier at Whiteface Mountain
The most wonderful time of the year for Alpine skiing.

Enjoy Prime Alpine Ski Conditions

  • Boasting new construction and extensive remodeling, the experience at Whiteface Mountain is better than ever. With the greatest vertical of any lift-serviced mountain in the Northeast, mile after mile of impeccably groomed cruising trails, 98% snowmaking coverage, and a comprehensive ski and snowboard school - there's more fun at Whiteface than you can have in a weekend.
  • If you're looking for a small-town ski hill experience where you can enjoy a few hours of skiing, shopping, and exploring then Saranac Lake's Mt. Pisgah is the perfect spot for you! Great for beginners who want an unintimidating experience and advanced skiers who want to get a few active hours into a full day of Adirondack charm.
Adirondack Guide & Naturalist, Ed Kanze

A naturalist and proprietor of the Adirondack Naturalist Company, a licensed Adirondack guiding service, Forbes Life magazine pronounced Ed "the Adirondack guide nonpareil." Ed has served as a ranger and writer for the National Park Service in Maine, Florida, Mississippi, and South Dakota; as a field instructor for National Audubon Society ecology workshops; as Senior Naturalist at Teatown Lake Reservation in Ossining, NY; and as Curator of the Trailside Nature Museum in Cross River, NY.

Adirondack Activities

Check out all the fun things to do in Lake Placid and the Adirondacks during your stay at High Peaks Resort.

Contact Guest Services

A visit to the Adirondacks can be anything you would like! Our concierge has relationships with our region's most prominent and sought after professionals and organizations to provide you with limitless ways in which you can enhance your visit.

If you are interested in information on Adirondack activities, don't hesitate to contact us!

Lake House lawn in the fall
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Sunset through a set of wide bay windows