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Top Things to Do in Lake George from October through January

From experiencing Adirondack fall foliage from the seat of a helicopter to an adrenaline-packed “escape” from a historic war fort, when the temps in Lake George cool down, the destination heats up.

October through January is the time when Lake George takes a collective breath to relax, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to do. This Adirondack destination is home to plenty – with not a long line in sight. Take in the beauty of the area through leaf peeping, snowshoeing, and all manner of events that get people outside enjoying the crisp northern air.


Leaf Peep like Never Before

Driving down the winding routes of the Adirondacks is practically a national pastime come fall. And while there are plenty of gorgeous drives and hikes, consider leaf-peeping from a new perspective: above. North Country Heli-flite out of Fort Ann (15 miles east of the southernmost tip of Lake George) offers two-hour tours above the Adirondacks that are rife with photography potential as you cruise over lakes and mountains from the safety and comfort of a Robinson R-44.

Head to a Haunt

Throughout the month of October, Six Flags in Queensbury is taken over by ghouls and monsters for the annual Fright Fest. If you’re a fan of haunted houses, there are three to choose from; Skull Manor, Nightmare at Crackaxle Canyon and Carnevil, which delivers flesh-hungry clowns round every corner. Hop on the thrilling rides, walk through “Scare Zones,” rife with spooky attractions, or attend a show of vampires and zombies dancing in the dark. Have tots in tow? The Boo Fest by day offers a less frightening – but still equally fun – experience! 

Snowshoe Your Heart Out

Located just outside of Glens Falls, Cole’s Woods was home to the first lighted cross-country ski trails in North America, when they premiered in December of 1971. The historic site still boasts a full seven kilometers of trails that are lovingly maintained through volunteer efforts by Friends of Cole’s Woods and lead through woodlands and up hills to reveal excellent views of the Adirondacks and the nearly-frozen lakes below.

Sip on the Coolest Drinks Around

For two weekends each January, The Sagamore Resort transforms 18,000 pounds of crystal-clear ice into one of the hottest (and coolest) lounges in the Adirondacks. Aptly named the Glacier Ice Bar and Lounge, here, guests can sip on the coldest cocktails around in one of the most unique settings (in previous years, there was even a Volkswagen bus for visitors to get behind the wheel and take a spin). But you’ll also find even more wintertime fun here: Guests can also rent outdoor igloos, attend ice-carving demonstrations, tuck into s’mores by a bonfire and so much more!

Experience History (And Escape A British Fort!)

Calling all history buffs! Fort William Henry was built back in the 1750s, and it served as a staging ground for attacks against the French, who sieged and destroyed the fort. Luckily, this wasn’t the end for Fort William Henry! In the 1950s, a replica was built at the site; now, it’s one of Lake George’s most popular attractions. Visit this living museum, take a “haunted history” tour, or register for the annual “Fort by Firelight.” Groups are led through the fort in darkness and surrounded by the sound of cannon and musket fire as they try to evade invaders and escape the fort. There are only a limited number of spots, so register early!

Get Hooked on Ice Fishing

If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at ice fishing, now’s the time! The ice fishing season runs from mid-November through the end of April, during which anglers can expect to pull out northern pike, pickerel, tiger muskellunge, and walleye. Beginners are encouraged to venture out on a guided trip where experts will guide you through the basics and provide you with the necessary equipment. Local businesses like Austin Charters and Lockhart Charter Fishing will give you all the intel you need to really enjoy this chilly spot while taking in the incredible scenery – a big bonus to the whole experience.

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