Of all the regions in the Adirondacks, Hamilton County boasts some of the quietest, most peaceful, most expansive wilderness. In the county without a stoplight, where the wildlife way outnumbers the humans, this is the place to go for outdoor adventure in snow-covered forests and on icy lakes, traveling by ski, snowshoe, and snowmobile. Dotted throughout the region are small towns perfect as bases for all of your adventures. Featuring cozy restaurants, historic inns, and friendly faces, our towns are truly special. Welcome to an amazing winter playground; it's time to experience the towns of Hamilton County and classic winter adventure opportunities.
Summer visitors may know this small town for being home to a world famous museum, but winter visitors know it for adventure! Snowshoeing Blue Mountain is a fun challenge, while the trail to Castle Rock is a treat for less experienced snowshoers. Take in the amazing views of the mountains from the ice of the lake, where the ice fishing is fun and beautiful. The landlocked salmon here are known for being big and feisty! Cross-country skiers with experience can hit the famed Northville-Placid Trail here, too! While you're in town, warm up and fuel up for the next adventure at Chef Darrell's Mountain Diner, a sweet retro spot where everything is deliciously home cooked.
There's a special exhilaration about snowmobiling. Ask any Adirondacker about riding and they'll light up with enthusiasm. The snowmobiling is fantastic throughout Hamilton County, and Indian Lake is a terrific spot to hit, with an exciting amount of riding on frozen lakes. Head northwest over Adirondack Lake (oh hey: the ice fishing is good here, too! Just park at Byron Park.) towards Blue Mountain Lake or venture south over the long expanse of Indian Lake. The views of the mountains around the lake are stunning and you'll love the thrill of zooming over the ice! With a small downtown, everything in Indian Lake is easily accessible, even by snowmobile, so you can ride right up to the door of the Indian Lake Restaurant and Tavern for a hot, hearty meal. Watch out for moose; they love it here!
One minute, you're riding along past dense forest, the next you're in a cute, old fashioned downtown. Welcome to Inlet! Live life to the fullest and treat yourself to a relaxed dinner and an overnight at The Woods Inn, a historic inn that began as a camp in the 1800s. From there, you're in the center of everything. Fern Park offers plenty of winter fun, including sledding, cross-country skiing, and skating. It's a destination that is perfect for families! Out on the ice, try your hand at ice fishing on Fourth Lake. If you need gear, stop by the Inlet Department Store or rent skates or stock up on other necessities for adventure at nearby Pedals and Petals! Both stores are locally-owned and operated and offer friendly service.
One of our favorite things about Hamilton County is the abundance of classic, historic restaurants, hotels, and historic sites. One of the must-visit stops in Long Lake is the Adirondack Hotel (the actor Michael Douglas has been known to stop here, too!). Whether you're here for the night or stopping in for a meal, you'll be treated to a pretty and unique stay. Warm up in the bar or enjoy lake views from the airy, vintage dining room. From the hotel you're only minutes from the Mt. Sabattis Recreation Area, an ideal spot for snowy, family-friendly fun. Conquer the sledding hill or glide across the skating rink. You might even catch the annual cardboard sled races! Mt. Sabattis is also the location of the entrance to the Long Lake Snowmobile Trail System, which opens up the backcountry to riders.
Small towns, big outdoors means a lot when it comes to the Piseco and Arietta area, as 95% of the town is New York State Forest! For visitors that means no traffic (unless there's a moose in the road), vast amounts of wilderness, and peaceful adventures. Overlooking Piseco Lake is Panther Mountain, home to Echo Cliffs, a popular hike. In winter, snowshoes are a must on the trail, which gives you great views and puts you in the midst of your own Hamilton County snowglobe! Below, you just might spot snowmobilers crossing the lake. Across the lake, the Northville-Placid trail passes through town. With snowshoes or cross-country skis, this is a great opportunity to try out this famous trail for a few hours. Warmth and great flavors can be had at The Oxbow Inn and the Piseco Lake Lodge Motel, where you'll surely relax.
When you're looking for an outing that involves beautiful history, outdoor activity, and the quiet sounds of a forest in winter, go to Raquette Lake. The lake is expansive but it is busiest and most populated in summer. Winter is the perfect time to savor the sounds of winter birds and the calm of falling snow. Relax with a drink and a snack at the Raquette Lake Tap Room, then strap on your cross-country skis and head to Great Camp Sagamore, a historic Great Camp that practically defines Adirondack rustic style. The camp is closed for the season, but the views of the camp and your time in the woods will be magical. Skis aren't the only way to get around and enjoy Raquette Lake, however! The town is in the midst of several intersecting snowmobile trails that wind through dense forests and over lakes. Riding out here is a great way to see some of the county's expansive wilderness!
It's not speculation to say that your family will have a blast in Speculator in winter. Jokes aside, Speculator offers a variety of winter activities. Oak Mountain is close to downtown and has excellent downhill skiing, but we're partial to the awesome tubing! Kids of all ages love whizzing down the tubing hill and the rope tow makes getting back up to the top a breeze! While you're in town, warm up at one of the town's great dining destinations. Lemon Tree Brewery is a new spot you don't want to miss for it's selection of wines and craft beers, while Logan's Bar and Grill is a Speculator staple for the whole family. When you're in need of fresh air and fresh snow, the Sacandaga Pathway and River Walk is the way to go (that rhyme was totally accidental!). On snowshoes or cross-country skis, this flat trail offers scenic views of the Sacandaga River and surrounding wetlands. Don't forget a visit to the Speculator Department Store for souvenirs!
This one is a triple threat! In the southern section of Hamilton County, the adjacent towns of Wells, Hope, and Benson make up a trio of beautiful spots known for an exceptional cross-country ski center, snowshoeing to a waterfall, and scenic snowmobiling. From Wells, ride your sled on a loop along the Sacandaga River or set out for deeper woods. North of Wells, the Auger Flats and Falls River Walk follows a pretty section of the Sacandaga River that features rapids. In winter, this part of the river is a sparkling wonderland of snow, ice, and water and is popular with snowshoers and cross-country skiers. Speaking of cross-country skiing, the Lapland Lake Nordic Vacation Center has it all: scenery, beautiful trails, and cozy lodging options! Stay in a cabin with the family and enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, skating, and tubing together for a memorable winter getaway.
A glittering region of rugged wilderness, bountiful adventures, and cozy getaways, Hamilton County is a winter gem. However you choose to travel or whichever towns you visit, we're sure you'll have fun and make fantastic, snowy memories. Start planning your stay today!