Winter is typically a slower time of year for Saranac Lake when compared to the busy summer season, but there are still lots of things to see and do in Saranac Lake winter. Several popular events and plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun bring the community together to enjoy the winter wonderland.
An artsy community, Saranac Lake has its own Adirondack flair with a focus on the arts, music and nature. From events like the renowned Saranac Lake Winter Carnival to exploring winter trails on bikes, skis or snowshoes, Saranac Lake winter has something for everyone. There is no shortage of new adventures to fill snowy days for both visitors and locals.
For the lowdown on local events, activities, and eats, check out Adirondack Premier Properties’ Saranac Lake Winter Guide below.
Events – Saranac Lake Winter Guide
First Friday – First Friday Of Each Month
First Friday is a monthly celebration of cultural diversity, history, food, business and arts. Organizers invite the community and visitors to downtown Saranac Lake from 5-8 pm to enjoy local entertainment, art venues, restaurants and other diverse businesses of Saranac Lake!
First Night Returns as North Country New Year – December 31st
After a brief break, Saranac Lake is excited to announce the return of the village’s New Year’s celebration, renamed North Country New Year! Meet up with family and friends to see acts and shows throughout the town. Planning for this year’s celebration is still ongoing. Although the event will be smaller in scale than those held in the past, it will still pack plenty of New Year’s and Saranac Lake winter fun!
ADK Tour de Ski – January 6
Experience a brand new exciting series of cross country ski races throughout the Adirondacks! ADK Tour de Ski races occur on weekends throughout January, February and March, and feature 6 different venues with multiple distances. The January 6th race occurs at Dewey Mountain in Saranac Lake.
Empire State Winter Games – February 1st – 4th
Cheer on some of the best amateur talent in New York at the Empire State Winter Games. These athletes come to venues in Saranac Lake, Lake Placid and Wilmington to compete in their respective sports. Locals and visitors alike gather to watch Women’s hockey at the Saranac Lake Civic Center, Winter Biking at Dewey Mountain and Snowshoeing at the Paul Smith’s Visitors Informative Center (VIC). Get out and support these athletes competing in beautiful Saranac Lake winter venues!
Winter Carnival – February 2nd – 11th
Don’t miss the largest event that happens in Saranac Lake — almost every year since 1897! Saranac Lake Winter Carnival brings the community and visitors together, gathering outside and in to truly enjoy everything that winter has to offer.
This 10-day event features musical acts, winter sports, fireworks, Ice Palace, Royalty (Notable community members from elementary school to adults) and a parade! Every year the carnival’s theme is celebrated and promoted on buttons/ posters designed by Garry Trudeau. The Carnival’s spectacular ice palace is also custom designed and constructed to celebrate the carnival theme. 2024’s theme is Haunted Carnival — time to dig through your best past Halloween costumes and outfits!
Colby Classic Ice Fishing Derby – first weekend in March
The Saranac Lake Fish & Game Club‘s Colby Classic Ice Fishing Derby is a must do for Saranac Lake winter anglers! Register at the Lake Colby beach before setting out to fish 7am-4pm each day. Prizes awarded for longest perch, trout, salmon and northern pike. All perch, trout and salmon must be taken from Lake Colby. Norther Pike can be fished in other local waters. Door prizes for many entrants!
Solar Eclipse – April 8th
See the total solar eclipse from your favorite Saranac Lake winter viewing spot! Beginning at around 2:14pm the partial eclipse will begin. Check out NASA for more details on the 2024 solar eclipse and when to view in your area.
Activities – Saranac Winter Lake Guide
Skiing and Snowboarding
Saranac Lake winter offers a wonderful mountain for downhill skiers and snowboarders at Mt. Pisgah Recreation Center! This mountain features 6 trails accessible via t-bar. The t-bar is helps new skiers and boarders build their skills by popping off at various points on the run.
If cross country skiing is more your speed, Dewey Mountain, Paul Smith’s VIC and many local trails provide wonderful opportunities to explore. Dewey Mountain’s 7.5 km of trail systems, Paul Smith’s VIC’s 40km of trails, and the Adirondack Rail Trail provides ample opportunity for skiers to explore nature!
Generally in Saranac Lake winter, the cross country ski trails are also available for snowshoeing. Snowshoers are welcome to explore the 7.5 km trail system at Dewey Mountain. Paul Smiths VIC is similar to Dewey allowing snowshoers to enjoy their trail system with 10km of it set aside for snowshoeing only! Finally, there are many local trails that can be enjoyed by snowshoe including the Adirondack Rail Trail and smaller trails on state land.
Ice fishing is also very rooted in the Saranac Lake community, with the Colby Classic Ice Fishing Derby bringing ice anglers from all over to town. Some other locations ideal for ice fishing in Saranac Lake winter include the following nearby waterways:
- Stoney Creek Pond
- Lower Saranac Lake
- Lake Clear
Gather up friends and family to enjoy the snow! Whether you have your own sled or decide to hit a mountain to ride, get out there! Many local Adirondack families spend a lot of time on their sleds building memories and stories to share for years to come!
Saranac Lake winter offers many local hills that community members and visitors frequent. Additionally, Mt. Pisgah offers tubing where riders are towed uphill on a pulley to get off and race down one of two lanes.
Saranac Lake is truly an artist’s town. From murals to art exhibits, there are many opportunities to view local talent. On Main Street, there are 5 different art exhibits- NorthWind Fine Arts Gallery, Adirondack Artist Guild Gallery, Small Fortune Studio, Adk ArtRise & Mark Kurtz Photography. Each offers its own variety of art, with Adk ArtRise offering classes also. If you explore further off Main Street in Saranac Lake winter, Bluseed Studios hosts artist exhibitions throughout the year as well as offering classes and space to rent.
Where to Eat – Saranac Lake Winter Guide
Origins Coffee Co.
77 Main Street Saranac Lake, NY | Tuesday – Saturday 7am – 2pm | Sunday 8am – 2pm
Origins Coffee Co. is a specialty coffee shop on Main Street that offers an array of coffee and morning drinks with a seasonal menu of custom drinks. It also offers breakfast and lunch items, from baked good and breakfast sandwiches to soups and paninis. Stop here to get set for your next adventure.
Blue Moon Café
55 Main Street Saranac Lake, NY | Everyday 7:30 am – 2pm
Blue Moon Café is also open for breakfast, lunch and has a themed date night menu on Friday. For breakfast, you can find your favorite diner favorites with come locally sourced items! Lunch time you will find snacks, soups, sandwiches and quesadillas to keep you moving through the day.
Riverside Café at Nori’s
138 Church Street Saranac Lake, NY | Everyday 7 am – 7 pm
Enjoy your espresso or smoothie and a meal in the airy dining room at the Riverside Café! The Riverside Café offers daily variation of breakfast burritos, wraps, sandwiches. When you finish with your breakfast, pick up your organic and natural groceries at the market on the other side.
19 Broadway Saranac Lake, NY | Monday – Saturday 11 am – 7 pm
In downtown Saranac Lake, you will find Barley Sandwich offering hand carved sandwiches and salad bowls perfect to fuel your ski day or snowy adventures around the Adirondacks.
74 Main Street Saranac Lake, NY | Tuesday & Wednesday 3 pm – 8 pm | Thursday – Sunday 12 pm – 8pm
If you are looking for a larger variety of food, Downhill Grill is your best bet. Offering soups, salads, burgers, Mexican and entrees, it has a little something for everyone. There is also a nice bar with two TV’s. Open for Lunch and Dinner!
7 Broadway Saranac Lake, NY | Thursday – Monday 12pm – 9pm
New to Saranac Lake, Our Plates’ Chef Charles who has worked in restaurants throughout the Tri-lakes brings his own flare to culinary experience in Saranac Lake winter. The menu takes inspirations from Soul, Dominican, Korean & Houndran dishes!
Casa del Sol
513 Lake Flower Ave Saranac Lake, NY | Tuesday – Saturday 4 pm – 9 pm
A little bit of Mexican food in the Adirondacks! Finish off your Saranac Lake winter adventures at Casa del Sol with your Mexican favorites as well as a nice margarita.
5034 State Route 3 Saranac Lake, NY | Thursday – Sunday 4 pm – 8:30 pm
A local favorite for date nights. The Red Fox offers Steak, Seafood and Italian. Enjoy Prime Rib Au Jus, Salmon, Lobster Tails and Chicken or Veal Parmesan with homemade marinara sauce. Enjoy your meal by one of the fireplaces to warm up and relax after your Saranac Lake winter fun.
33 Broadway Saranac Lake, NY | Friday – Monday 5 pm – 8:30 pm
Looking for something a little different? Fiddlehead Bistro on Broadway in Saranac Lake might be the perfect restaurant for you. It is a little more pricey than other restaurants, but offers daily menus with locally sourced products. Appetizers and entrees include vegan and gluten free options.
Left Bank Café
36 Broadway Saranac Lake, NY | Tuesday – Saturday 5 pm – 8:30pm
A taste of France in Saranac Lake! Left Bank Café offers a Prix Fixe Menu as well as a takeout menu. Whether you would like to relax in the French setting or fuel up before continuing your adventure, they have you covered.
Nona Fina’s Pizzeria
151 River Street Saranac Lake, NY | Tuesday – Thursday 10:30 am – 8 pm | Friday – Saturday 10:30 am – 9 pm | Sunday 3 pm – 8 pm
What is better than a lakeview while dining? Newly opened Nona Fina’s Pizzeria is across the street from Lake Flower and offers everything from a quick slice of pizza on the go to a nice sit-down Italian dinner.
Here at Adirondack Premier Properties, we are experts on all things real estate in the Adirondack region, and hope our Saranac Lake Winter guide is helpful as you plan your snowy adventures. If you are looking to rent, buy, sell or invest in real estate, give one of our experienced Adirondack Premier Properties agents a call today.