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Let the winter adventures begin!

Do you tire of winter before it even begins? Or how about just after the holidays? Think that there is nothing to do when it's cold outside besides sit under a blanket and try to keep warm? That's not what we think here in Cattaraugus County, the Enchanted Mountains of Western New York. We have many reasons to love winter and the other three seasons of the year. We are at the top of the list for counties who receive the maximum snowfall in NY State. It's no wonder we know how to have fun in the snow! How does cascading over the snow on a trail-dominating snowmobile sound? Or exploring the back woods, breaking your own trails on your snowshoes? You can do all that right here, and we’re sure you’ll soon warm up to winter with all the fun activities available right in our backyard.

With December upon us, that means snow can happen at any time! The trails open up right after hunting season ends - the week before Christmas vacation. Plan ahead to enjoy the upcoming season of fun by calling for a free snowmobile map. Our trails will take you through deep woods freshly covered with snow, around small towns with businesses that welcome snowmobilers, and sometimes even over a frozen lake! The map will guide you throughout the miles and miles of trails (almost 400!) in Cattaraugus County and its neighboring counties as well. You won't have to worry about getting lost, and if you don't feel like travelling far, the trails here offer more than enough dashing through the snow. The number to call for the map is 1-800-331-0543.

If you don't have a snowmobile, we’ll be happy to recommend where you can rent one - even ones that will be delivered right to where you are staying. We can also recommend places for you to stay right off the snowmobile trails. Allegany State Park has winterized cabins that range from rustic to high-end cottages that include all the amenities of home, besides food. You can spend the day out riding in the snow, then come back to a comfy, warm cabin. If you have a large family or your snowmobiling club wants to vacation together, try one of the newly restored Group Camps in Allegany State Park. The cabins are all located together, there's plenty of bathroom space (handicap accessible also) and a large kitchen/dining area so you can all have meals together.

Prefer the slower paced enjoyment of the wintry outdoors instead of riding snowmobiles? You can take up snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. We have plenty of places for that as well! Allegany State Park has a large trail system for cross-country skiing, better known as the Art Roscoe Trail System. This network of trails offers almost 25 miles worth of loops, giving you opportunities ranging from a casual walk to an all-out workout. You can rent skis right across from the trail system in the Summit Warming Hut. Snowshoes are not permitted on this trail system, but are allowed anywhere else in the park. Find your favorite summer hiking trail and attempt it in the winter. Compare the differences of the seasons and add even more memories to your favorite hikes. You can also cross-country ski at Holiday Valley in Ellicottville, known for its downhill skiing. Cruise the ridgelines at the top of the mountain or circle around the golf course down below. Both offer spectacular views. They also rent out cross-country skis if you are in need.

Pfeiffer Nature Center boasts miles of trails just waiting to be explored. The trails are well-groomed and kept clean all winter long. They have rentals, but the number is limited, so call ahead. There are two properties of Pfeiffer Nature Center: the Lillibridge Property and the Eshelman Property. The Lillibridge Property will take you through an old growth forest with red and white oaks estimated to be around 150 years old. Thorton Thruway leads you to the Southern border of the property where you can see one of the oldest Black Gum trees in the East - more than 500 years old! The Eshelman Property offers hikes of shorter distances but goes along a creek then up a hill for a great view of the valley, before meandering by the meadow. A great place to see animals!

Of course, we also have ice skating, ice fishing, and plenty of indoor options for you as well, which can be discovered at EnchantedMountains.com, including upcoming events! No matter what you decide to do in the Enchanted Mountains during winter, you will find yourself shouting 'Let it Snow!'