How to Have the Best Winter Possible in Western New York
With frosty temperatures and dependable mountains of snow, Buffalo has come to be known as one of the winter capitals of the world.
As the new year rolls around, it's time to make some resolutions. Don't let the cold winter weather get you down and keep you locked inside. It's time to get out and explore. The city has endless activities that are not only perfect for the colder months but will inspire you to embrace them. So grab your snowshoes and parka, it's time to check out what Western New York has to offer during the chilliest time of year.
A peaceful stroll through a quiet, snow-covered field sounds like the perfect activity to collect your thoughts and recharge for the new year ahead. Thankfully, Buffalo is filled with great spots for snowshoeing where you can get away from the hustle and commotion of the city and truly enjoy the great outdoors. Delaware Park, right in the heart of town, offers the tranquility that you're looking for without the commute. With 23 parks within a 10-mile radius of downtown, there's no shortage of peace and quiet. Try Ellicott Creek Park, Beaver Island State Park or Hunters Creek County Park for wide open spaces and plenty of room to yourself.
This goes hand-in-hand with snowshoeing as the local parks are perfect for either a brisk hike or more subdued snowshoeing. While clearing your mind may be on your list of items to address in the new year, venturing out into nature and getting more physically active is a great combination. Spots like Tifft Nature Preserve and Wilson-Tuscarora State Park offer scenery right from a Christmas card and miles of hiking trails.
Strangely, Forest Lawn Cemetery in Delaware Park is also a great location for a winter walk. Designed to reflect a park setting similar to New York's Central Park, Forest Lawn is serene and beautiful, to say the least.
The sledding in Western New York is totally unparalleled. With its regular lake effect snow and chilly temperatures, Buffalo maintains the perfect powder for nearly the entire duration of the winter months. With more than13 official locations for prime sledding terrain, you'll never have far to go to hit the snow. The top locations to keep in mind? Chestnut Ridge, Colden Tubing, and Shakespeare Hill in Delaware Park, all offer the best slopes in many peoples' opinions.
The city boasts not one, but two different public ice rinks in the heart of downtown. There's Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza in the middle of the city's Theatre District and the rink at Canalside, on the waterfront. Each hosts a festive Christmas tree lighting that's unparalleled to any within a hundred-mile radius, but that's for the holiday season.
The rink at Fountain Plaza is open through mid-March at Canalside, the rink is much larger at three times the size of the rink in New York City's Rockefeller Center.
With endless acres of snow-covered fields, Buffalo offers a ton of locations for cross-country skiing. Delaware Park is a favorite location among locals because it's right in the center of town so there's almost no commute, but the open fields are perfect for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. After you've all tired out, head to Hertel for a hearty breakfast or grab a cup of coffee at one of the many local espresso shops on the stretch. Shopping local could be another resolution for the new year.
If you're looking for a truly original experience then Ice Bikes at Canalside is the perfect solution. The concept originated right here in Buffalo and they can't be found anywhere else. The design allows riders to easily glide on the ice with support braces that prevent you from toppling over. While it may seem like a complicated endeavor, powering the bike is a good introduction to winter athletics that allow you to get outside without straining yourself too much. Plus, you're having fun in the process.