You don’t have to hibernate this winter, wintertime in the 1000 Islands means it’s time to get outside and play in the snow. A winter wonderland full of hot cocoa, skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding and good old-fashioned snowy fun! Grab your hat and mittens and rekindle your love of winter!
Bundle up and hit the slopes or trails!
Make a trip to Dry Hill Ski Area, the area’s favorite spot to ski & snowboard or embrace your inner child and try their tubing.Dry Hill has nine trails for varying skill levels, a snow tube park and lodge with snack bar and lounge. Night skiing is available at Dry Hill for those wishing to hit the slopes under the lights. Season passes, lessons and more are available.
If you prefer walking or gliding, you can still enjoy fresh air and crisp snow. Slip on some snowshoes and discover the quiet beauty of snowshoeing or XC skiing along pristine trails with snow-covered trees at the Minna Anthony Nature Center, Thousand Islands Land Trust and the Indian River Lakes Conservancy trails.
Be a tourist!
There’s no need to drive for hours and hours to feel like you’re a tourist on vacation. Find some time this winter enjoying all the activities taking place close to home. Gather a group of friends and and check out a local winter festival like the 15th Annual Feb Fest Downtown Kingston, or the 30th Annual Polar Dip! Don’t forget your toques! Better yet, use the cooler weather as an excuse to stop by nearby attractions that can get crowded at other times of year — like the NYS Zoo , the Aquatarium or your favorite restaurant or coffee shop — and take your time, enjoy and take in the winter wonderland right in your backyard.
Drop a Line!
The only place in New York State with no limit on tasty, flaky perch! From Henderson Harbor around to Alexandria Bay and further downriver, anglers can pull perch to their heart’s content. Hotspots like Chaumont Bay, Eel Bay and South Bay are among the most popular – and for good reason – but just about anywhere will produce more jack perch than you really want to clean.
If jigging walleyes and tip-ups for northern pike are more your thing, well we do that pretty well here too. Daily limits through the ice are a reality in many of our bays. Not sure where to go? Dial one of our many bait shops and find out where the fish are biting!
Sledding, horse-power and kid-power!
While our neighbors to the south get a lot of attention for their network of snowmobile trails, the northern reaches of Jefferson County provide plenty of open running across private easements. Most of our trails are concentrated along the southern towns that make of the Northern Edge of the Tug Hill – places like Rodman, Worth, Rutland and others – but you can also find good riding on the edges closest to the lake and river. Check around for places to stay with easy-on, easy-off trail access.
If toboggans and saucers are more your thing, be sure to bring your sled because you’ll find plenty of options at our state and municipal parks as well as golf courses. One popular spot is the Olmstead-designed Thompson Park in Watertown, which also has trails and pavilions to check out in the winter.
Whether it’s at an indoor rink or on a frozen pond, there are plenty of both in the 1000 Islands. Recruit your family or friends and lace up your skates for free skating outdoors at Springer Market Square. If you prefer to practice your pirouettes indoors check out the Watertown Municipal Arena. Rentals are available at both. Have your own blades, ask a local about Winter Park rink in Clayton or Rotary Park rink in Brockville! Don’t forget the hot cocoa!
Take in a Hockey Game!
Professional hockey has a home in Watertown, where the local Wolves play most weekends. The team draws fun crowds to the city’s recently renovated arena, providing a fun night out for the family to take in some low-level pro hockey. Or catch some Canadian hockey and watch the Kingston Frontenac’s play at the Leon’s Centre!
One of the easiest and enjoyable trips you can take is much closer (and a lot more affordable) than you think. Grab the girl’s for a weekend of R&R, you’ll have a vacation where you’ll actually get to relax. Go on a group hike, explore the shops, or get comfy and break out the board games.
Or picture this remedy to a cold weekend: lounging in a hotel, kids swimming in the pool and reduced rates to boot. Our hotels generally offer lower rates in winter and several have cabin-fever style packages that include meals and other perks.