Having Your First Snowshoe Adventure At Finger Lakes
05 Apr 2021
Finger Lakes is a beautiful spot packed with exciting recreational activities. Come the winter, the pristine snow that falls in the Finger Lakes region is just begging to be explored. Snowshoeing gives you the freedom to explore this beautiful landscape in crisp winter conditions, but there are a few things to know before you go. Read on and we’ll provide everything you need to know, from how to get kitted up to the best snowshoe spots around Finger Lakes.
Before you head out on your snowshoeing adventure you’ll need a few pieces of kit. Here’s how to get suited up snowshoeing at the Finger Lakes.
Of course, the first piece of equipment you’re going to need is a pair of snowshoes themselves. These have evolved a great deal since the early days, and more closely resemble a hi-tech mini snowboard than a badminton racquet.
All modern-day snowshoes will feature a flat base that distributes your weight across soft-packed snow and allows you to glide on top. These bases are then surrounded by rubber or moulder plastic supports. The dimensions of this base will vary, but we recommend an 8 by 30 inch base for beginners. You’ll float comfortably across soft snow, whilst this size won’t be too unwieldy when you come across hard-packed ice. You can read online reviews of snowshoes before purchasing.
Trail Shoes or Boots
Snowshoes are over-shoes that fit on top of your footwear, so you’ll need the right pair of boots before you head out on the snow. Depending on the temperature you’ll want anything from an insulated boot to a lightweight trail running shoe – if you’re heading out a mild day, these small trainer-like shoes are a great choice. And don’t forget warm socks!
Gaiters are a plastic ankle fitting that fits between the top of your boot and the knee. They’re incredibly effective at preventing snow and ice from slipping into your shoes and giving you a chill. Even on a warm day you’ll be kicking up snow as you snowshoe – once this starts melting around your toes you’ll wish you’d worn your gaiters.
You’re out in the snow so wrap up warm! When you’re out in the cold all day you need to dress appropriately, starting with your base layers. Thermal underwear that hugs close to your body is effective at keeping the heat in, and with the right long-johns or leggings, you can stay warm all day. Before you head out check the weather and wrap up appropriately – if there’s any chance of rain then a waterproof in your pack can save you from hypothermia.
The Best Snowshoe Spots Around Finger Lakes
Whether you’re looking for a short walk or a big adventure, the Finger Lakes region is waiting to be explored. Here are the best spots for a snowshoe outing.
Cumming Nature Center
Cumming Nature Center is just outside of Naples and it offers first-time snowshoe exploring for beginners. You can rent a pair of snowshoes for just $5 here and set off on an accessible 3-mile loop into the beautiful reserve adjacent to the nature center. Once you’re finished with your snowshoe excursion be sure to check out the “living museum” in the center itself!
Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area
If you’ve invested in your own snowshoe gear and you’re looking to get off the beaten track, the Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area offers adventures for all levels. Escape the crowds in this vast almost 12,000 acre wilderness! For your first day snowshoeing try the Bob Cameron Loop for a gentle 2.6 mile hike, or plunge into the Van Lone Loop for peace, quiet, and a remote feeling.
Green Lakes State Park
Snowshoeing is so accessible in Green Lakes State Park. As snow falls, the 18-hole golf course here is transformed into a snowshoeing paradise where you can romp around listening to the snow crunch underfoot. If you’re ready for adventure, the state park’s trails are open all winter long enabling you to explore miles of pristine wilderness.
Roy H. Park Preserve
Over 20 miles of trails criss-cross Hammond Hill State Forest and this beautiful pine woodland offers a peaceful getaway in the winter. For beginners to the snowshoe game, there’s an introductory one-mile trail that weaves its way through stunning meadows from the south entrance of the park.
Oakley Corners State Forest
The trails at Oakley Corners State Forest offer something for all abilities and thanks to a useful color grading system it’s easy to find your way around an adventure that suits your skill. Check out the Yellow Trails if you’re a snowshoe beginner and you’ll find gentle slopes at stunning paths.
Wrapping Up (Warm)
Wrapped in white, the Finger Lakes turn into a winter wonderland. Explore this landscape on your snowshoes for a great new adventure.