GET ACTIVE WINTERTIME IN WESTERN NEW YORK
Western New York is a great place to get outside during the wintertime. Sure, it’s cold, but bundle up, grab a cup of hot chocolate, and start reveling in the wintertime! (It only comes once a year after all).
Located in Glenwood, New York (just about half an hour outside of Buffalo), Kissing Bridge is a great place to head for a day of skiing. Kissing Bridge is home to numerous runs, a couple of terrain parks, and is suitable for all levels of skiers. More information is available at kbski.com. Both day and night skiing is available. If you don’t have your own equipment, Kissing Bridge has a rental shop on site. There are a couple other options for great downhill skiing and they are only about a ten-minute drive from the Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino. Holiday Valley is a large ski resort located in Ellicottville, and has 58 day slopes and 37 night trails. Both day and night skiing are available. There are slopes for all levels of skiers, as well as instructional classes for all ages. Rates vary on weekdays and weekends, and passes can be purchased for different time increments (four hours, eight hours, night, weekend) There are 13 chair lifts, and several lodges with food and drink options. Ski rentals are available right at Holiday Valley if you don’t have your own equipment. More information at holidayvalley.com Holimont is also located in Ellicottville and is North America’s largest private resort offering 52 runs and eight lifts. During the week, non-members are allowed, and rentals are available on location. More information at holimont.com.
Just down the street from the Holiday Valley ski area is the Holiday Valley Tubing Company. The tubing area has 12 different lanes and a towrope to get you up the hill. During open hours at Holiday Valley, there is a free shuttle service that runs to and from the tubing area. Winter time hours are Thursday and Friday from 4:30 to 9pm, Saturdays 11am to 9pm and Sundays from 11am to 6pm. Make sure to dress warm and dress in appropriate snow clothing (no cotton). Prices vary depending on how long you want to slide for. More info at holidayvalley.com /explore-our-mountain/other-winter-activities-tubing.
Kissing Bridge also has a tubing park, and it is actually Western New York’s largest downhill tubing park. This tubing park is not suitable for children under the age of seven.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING/SNOWSHOEING
If you are not up for the fast speeds of downhill skiing, why not try cross-country? It’s definitely a great workout and when you are in Western New York, it will be scenic as well. The Allegany State Park is full of different trails that can be used for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or when the weather gets warmer, hiking. The park has 18 trails that span over 20 miles, most of which are used year round. Stop by the visitor center and grab a map so you can see an outline of all the trails and how to access them. A good reference is also enchantedmountains.com. Holiday Valley also offers cross-country course area. To get to the hills on top, you need to buy a two ride cross-country ticket. If you are closer to Buffalo, don’t fear, there are still tons of options for great cross country skiing, check out Akron Falls, Chestnut Ridge Park, Como Lake, Ellicott Creek, Elma Meadows, Emery Park or Sprague Brook. They are all free to access and are generally open from morning until dusk.
Even in the wintertime, the newly revitalized canalside in Buffalo has tons of stuff going on. In addition to a huge skating rink, they offer curling, pond hockey and broomball leagues. Ice skate rental is available for only $4, and admission to the rink is $6 for those over 13 and $4 for ages six to 12. There are also ice bikes available for rent (a fun combo of ice skating and bike riding) at a cost of $10 per half an hour. The Harborcenter in downtown Buffalo offers public skating every Sunday evening, if you like the idea of staying inside while you skate. TM TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 63