Sometimes a couple hours in the cold just won’t cut it, especially if you’re looking to hit the hundreds of miles of snowmobile and ATV trails or ice fishing spots in and around the greater Syracuse area. Home to dozens of groomed backcountry snowmobile trails, hundreds of lakes, ponds and reservoirs, Onondaga County is the perfect place to kick-off or wrap-up your weekend adventure or days-long excursion into the wonderful wilderness gateway that surrounds Syracuse.



With the snow comes snowmobilers, and being the land of snow, it comes as no surprise that the greater Syracuse area is a fantastic place to hit the trails with your sled or ATV. With our region’s combination of heavy snowfall and cool temps, miles of manicured trails are open to explore nearly all season long. Thanks to snowmobile clubs across the state and the New York State Snowmobile Authority, serious sled enthusiasts can plan their annual treks or new winter traditions by mapping out the many paths our area and neighboring counties offer. Start your expedition in the southeastern hills of Onondaga County, venturing through 60 miles of snowmobile trails set among the beautiful woodlands and ski areas of Pompey, Fabius, Tully and DeRuyter. Just south of the city of Syracuse is Truxton and the Labrador Hollow Unique Area, with another 43 miles of state corridor trails, connecting to 43 secondary trails in neighboring Cortland and Madison counties. Or pick up the 363-mile Erie Canalway Trail at one of the Syracuse canal locations and head east or west along the scenic and historic route that shaped our city and state’s history. Check out more snowmobile and trail info here.


Ice Fishing

Just north of the city of Syracuse is Oneida Lake, a champion spot in year-round sport fishery in the state of New York, where ice fishing during the winter months is just as popular as the spring openings of walleye and bass seasons. Check out the New York DEC site for access and fishing information. A great spot for bluegills, Otisco Lake in the Finger Lakes region of Onondaga County is a great place to set up your shanty and take in the infamous scenery of this renowned area. And Cazenovia Lake just outside of Syracuse is another fantastic scenic spot to sit while waiting for pickerel and bluegill. Anglers can always call or access the Central New York Fishing Hotline for current fishing info.


All-Weather Biking

Do as the locals do and take the day to make the most out of the snow, ice or whatever conditions Mother Nature throws your way — grab a fat bike and be prepared to go anywhere, anytime, regardless of weather. Created for adventure and exploring otherwise un-rideable terrain, fat bikes are a great way to get out and sightsee all of Syracuse no matter what kind of accumulation the day brings. Stop over to Syracuse Bicycle at 2540 Erie Boulevard East in Syracuse or Mello Velo to rent (or buy!) your set of wheels for a half day or full day. You can also make an entire week or weekend out of exploring the city hills and suburbs with two or five full day rentals. These bikes were made for some of the wildest winter climates, why not test it out in one of the country’s snowiest cities?


Skiing + Snowboarding

Since 1958, 4 Seasons Golf & Ski Center in Fayetteville has been teaching youth to ski and golf for over 60 years. This perfectly-sized beginner hill is ideal for little learners or new beginners — there's also a chair lift! Passes can be purchased online, and snowboarders and tubers can join in the fun too! Labrador Mountain and Song Mountain are two more fantastic ski/snowboard resorts to check out this winter. Labrador Mountain offers nearly 20 miles of trails. Best of all, when you buy a pass for one of these mountains you’ll have access to both! After a long day on the slopes, the on-site bar/restaurants at both mountains will be waiting warmly for you.


Ice Skating

With three skating rinks throughout the City of Syracuse, there's plenty of space to get your glide on. Check out the Clinton Square Ice Rink downtown — the skating season at Clinton Square begins the last week of November and runs until March 1. The rink is open weather permitting, so call 315-423-0129 in advance. All youth 12 & under must be accompanied by a parent/guardian). One of the city's most popular destinations to hit the ice, the John Dunn Ice Rink at Meachem Park located in the Valley on the city's south side is fully enclosed and open year-round. Many local organizations, including Valley Hockey, Corcoran Hockey, and several youth organizations call this rink home. Sunnycrest Park Ice Rink in the Eastwood neighborhood is owned and operated by the City of Syracuse and operates its skating season in November, running through March 31. Each rink is unique and affordable, with adult admission of $5, 12 & under/seniors 55+ at $3, and skate rentals for $5


Enjoy the Outside From Within

If you're looking to embrace the outdoors while keeping warm, enjoy a full day of luxury mixed with the elements at the renowned Mirbeau Inn & Spa in the charming lakeside village of Skaneateles. No cold feet here - you can pamper yourself all day or weekend with enviable spa treatments, and even get outside for a dip in the open-air, serene aqua terrace. 


If you're looking for more ways to get outside and enjoy everything from ice skating among the city lights to scoping out the zoo animals in snow, check out our 7 Best Winter Activities in Syracuse here.


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