Winter along the Finger Lakes Trail is a time for new perspectives. Revel in vistas once hidden by the full forest canopy, adventure on cross country skis or snowshoes across snow-covered paths and escape to the peaceful solitude of hiking, a wintry woods.
During the winter season, hikers on the Finger Lakes Trail will be challenged more than any other time of year. They'll also be heavily rewarded. While chipping off a portion of an thru-hike during winter requires more preparation than other seasons, fewer crowds, clear views and besting Mother Nature's chilly temperatures make it all the more special.
As the weather becomes cooler in late November, those enjoying the last bit of fall hiking will start to experience winter before it officially arrives. Planning, therefore, is essential to a successful winter thru-hike.
Plan your Winter Finger Lakes Trail Hike
Check out all of the 'need-to-knows' for planning your hike on the Finger Lakes Trail – we've even compiled a helpful list of winter packing essentials to the left. First-time hikers be advised, planning ahead for a winter hike is essential, no matter if it's a day hike or an overnight trek. Regardless of whether you're an experienced hiker or a first–timer, do your research.
Pack your gear and don't skimp on the warm stuff. Despite an average low of 11°F, temperatures have been known to drop below zero along the trail in winter. When you're packed and ready, head out on the Finger Lakes Trail – where winter will be ready to doll out your next adventure.
XC Skiing, Snowshoeing & Other Winter Fun on the Finger Lakes Trail
Switch up your winter adventures with cross country skiing and snowshoeing the Finger Lakes Trail. With miles of trail and terrain to explore, a trip on your skinny skis during a sunny winter day can’t be beat. Get a new perspective on a favorite section of the trail, or check out New York State Park trail systems that connect to the FLT.
- 11°F - 37°F
- Clear views
- Cross country skiing
- Sledding at Oquaga Creek State Park
- Winter camping
- Midweight to heavyweight base layers
- Down sweater or jacket
- Insulated boots
- Insulated jacket and pants
- Hat, insulated gloves or mittens
- Down sleeping bag
- Hand warmers
- Poles with touring baskets
- Buff, neckwarmer
- Insulated water bottle blanket
- Hunting restrictions
- Some parking areas inaccessible in winter