There’s no better way to get through winter than to embrace it and have some fun along the way. Escape the city and ward off the winter blues with an activity-packed weekend getaway in the scenic Hudson Valley, home to diverse winter recreation adventures for all ages. Whether it’s ziplining over mountains, spotting an eagle, lacing up your skates or hiking the grounds of a historic mansion, opportunities for winter fun abound. Check out some of our favorite winter delights.
New Paltz, New York
Perched high above a lake, Historic Mohonk Mountain House’s award-winning ice rink pavilion epitomizes old-fashioned skating amid spectacular scenery. The pavilion features open sides, wooden roof beams, stone columns and a 39-foot-tall fireplace made from Shawangunk Ridge stone. Enjoy recreational skating or fun games such as broom ball on the 9,375-square-foot refrigerated rink, open to late March. If you’re into cross-country skiing and snowshoe treks, the Mountain House offers over 30 miles of groomed trails with sweeping views of distant mountain summits.
Hudson, New York
Olana Historic Site is one of more than 1,400 historic Hudson Valley locations on the National Register of Historic Places. The magnificent 250-acre estate of Frederic Church, the 19th-century Hudson River School artist, is a cultural and educational hub of sublime beauty, with landscaped grounds surrounded by thousands of trees, lake, meadows and carriage roads. The public is invited to enjoy its stunning views, tours and programs. The Olana Partnership, which runs the historic site, offers winter activities, such as guided snowshoe hikes and tours of Church’s fascinating home. It’s open on weekends during winter. Tours of the main house are popular, so reservations are recommended.
Hunter, New York
Hunter Mountain is best known for its downhill skiing, snowboarding and tubing activities. But for an exhilarating and breathtaking view, thrill-seekers can glide over the entire winter wonderland on a zip line. Soaring 600 feet above ground at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour on a steel cable, the New York Zipline Adventure Tour at Hunter Mountain offers several courses for zipping over streams, waterfalls and wildlife. The Skyrider Tour, featuring one of the longest, fastest and highest zip lines in North America, is not for the faint of heart. For adventurers who have never zip-lined, the family-friendly Mid-Mountain Tour, which lasts approximately two hours and is led by professionally trained, super-safety conscious guides, is a good place to start. Guests can zip from tree to tree, landing on specially built platforms high up in the tree canopy. The ride operates from Fridays to Sundays in winter. Dress just as you would to ski sans the boots, and you’ll be set for an unforgettable experience.
Montgomery, New York
If you are looking for winter fun beyond skiing or boarding, try snow-tubing for some good, old-fashioned fun for the whole family. Slide down an 800-foot hill at Thomas Bull Memorial Park in Montgomery, New York, one of the best facilities for tubing in the Hudson Valley. The park’s operation includes rope lifts and groomed tubing lanes. Inside the cozy lodge at the foot of the hill, riders can warm up by a giant stone fireplace while taking in the stunning views. The park also offers more than three miles of cross-country skiing trails, which can be used for free, as well as skating and sledding.
Croton-on-Hudson, New York
Bald eagles, once on the brink of extinction, descend on the Hudson Valley in January and February as part of their winter migration. Celebrate the return of this magnificent bird with live bird-of-prey shows, children’s activities, food trucks and more at the annual Teatown Hudson River EagleFest on Feb. 9 (snow date Feb. 10) at Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. The gathering, suitable for all ages, offers heated tents and bus rides to some of the best eagle-spotting areas along the Hudson River.