sledding snow sports Black Creek

Snow Sports: 6 Ways to Stay Active in Winter

Skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, skating, and snow tubing are great snow sports to help shake the winter doldrums.

And while I wouldn’t normally consider walking a sport, it definitely presents a unique challenge in winter, leveling up your skill requirements for balance, flexibility, and resiliency similar to skiing.

Exposure to fresh air, exercise, and sunshine are key to staying healthy through the colder months, both physically and mentally.

Snow Sports To Try

  1. Snowshoeing
  2. Skiing
  3. Sledding
  4. Snow Tubing
  5. Ice Skating
  6. Walking
Holiday Spirit: Snowshoe snow sports

1. Snowshoeing

If you’re looking to spend more time outdoors, try snowshoeing! There are a few places around Rochester to rent snowshoes and learn how to use them.

Mendon Ponds Park Monroe County XC Skiing snow sports

2. Skiing

Skiing around Rochester is as much winter recreation as it is a social experience, competition, and a tradition. A few of these destinations also offer cross country ski rentals.

Rochester-Area Day Trip: Mendon Ponds Park Monroe County Sledding snow sports

3. Sledding

Monroe County Parks have the best sledding hills around Rochester! The great thing about sledding is that there are no barriers to entry.

4. Snow Tubing

It’s basically sledding without having to walk to the top of the hill!

Greystone Tubing Walworth
“Snow machines will be cranking out the powder, and groomed lanes guarantee a fast, smooth track for tubers of all ages. At the top of the hill, our staff monitors lane traffic and ensures safe spacing. When it’s your time to fly, get ready for a nearly one-minute adrenaline rush of a ride.”

Holiday Valley Ellicottville
“Snow tubing is fun for everyone; all you have to do is sit down, hang on and experience the exhilaration of pure winter fun! The Snow Tubing Park has up to 20 lanes including that are 900 feet long and drop 100 vertical feet, plus a conveyor lift to bring you back up the hill! A special Little Tubers area is available, weather permitting, for younger children at a cost of $5. A cozy warming hut is at the base of the hill with a snack bar, fireplace and restrooms. Or you can warm up and rest outside at the giant bonfire pit.”

Greek Peak Cortland
“The Outdoor Adventure Center features a gravity-fed Mountain Coaster, guided Zip Line Tour of 4 Dual Zip Lines (2 Lines November-March), a High Aerial Challenge Course (High Ropes – seasonal), a Eurobungy Trampoline (seasonal), a “Summer Kid Zone” featuring Bounce Houses and a Kiddie Climbing Wall, and an 18 lane Winter Tubing Center. We also offer custom team building programs by reservation for sports teams, organizations, corporate retreats & more!”

Ice Skating at Churchville Park snow sports

5. Ice Skating

There are several options when looking for ice skating rinks around Rochester. Even some of the outdoor rinks offer skate rentals.

Taughannock Falls winter hiking gorge trail
Taughannock Falls
Turning Point Park walking winter
Turning Point
ice volcano
Cumming Nature Center
Cumming Nature Center
Mendon Ponds Park birdsong trail
Mendon Ponds
Seneca Park Zoo winter walking
Seneca Park Zoo

6. Walking

There’s no need for any extra equipment to simply get outside and take a walk, except maybe some crampons if the trail is icy. Wander around the neighborhood on a sunny day, or pick a trail to explore.

Here are a few suggestions for a winter stroll:

30 Winter Walks Around Rochester

These ideas for winter walks should motivate you to step outside for some fresh air and, with any luck, sunshine. Bundle up!

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First Day Hike: 10 NYS Parks to Visit January 1, 2021

Celebrate the New Year outdoors with a First Day Hike! Each of these local New York State parks offer a self-guided hike on January 1, 2021.

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“Hit the Trail Passport” for the Rochester Area

Pick up your “Hit the Trail Passport” booklet at Wegmans, or print your own! You’ll have everything you need to start your hiking adventure.

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Letchworth State Park

If the temperatures have been below freezing for several days in a row, head to Letchworth and check out the ice volcano at the Glen Iris.

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Taughannock Falls State Park

Taughannock Falls is the only gorge trail that remains open all year long, and is one of the most accessible waterfalls in New York State.

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71 Hiking Trails Around Rochester

A few rustic trails around Rochester that will inspire you to take a hike. A diverse collection of rail, waterside, and inland trails.

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49 New York State Parks Within a 2-hour Drive of Rochester

Venture into one of these New York State Parks within a two hour drive of Rochester and discover what makes them each unique!

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21 Monroe County Parks

Monroe County parks are free, so take advantage of 12,000 acres of natural, zoological, horticultural, historical and geological experiences!

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52 Nature Centers, Preserves, Refuges, and Observatories Around Rochester

Our nature centers, wildlife preserves, management areas, etc., all serve to protect and sustain life, while making nature accessible.

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To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold.


What are your favorite snow sports?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!


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COVID-19 NOTE: Some of the information you find in our articles may currently be inaccurate due to closures and cancellations.

Please follow the most current recommendations from the CDC and New York State for spending time away from your home. The great outdoors can provide a well needed respite & escape during stressful times. Please move quickly through parking lots, trail heads, and scenic areas. If crowded, choose a different park, trail, or time to visit. Please day trip responsibly.