Upstate New York is known for its picturesque landscape, and some of the most beautiful scenes can be found in the Finger Lakes National Forest in Hector. The approximately 16,000-acre forest encompasses gorges, ravines, pastures, and woodlands. While the Finger Lakes National Forest offers outdoor recreation in all four seasons, the freshly fallen snow brings a magical quality to the woods, and the hiking trails are transformed into a winter wonderland for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and good old-fashioned fun.
As New York’s only national forest, this expansive green space sits between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. The Finger Lakes National Forest is known for its diversity of native forestlands, shrublands, and grasslands, including areas of native older forests, diverse wildlife habitats, maintained recreation areas, and livestock. There are more than 30 miles of interconnecting trails ideal for winter sports. The most popular trail is the Burnt Hill and Interlaken routes—perfect for snowshoeing in the winter months.
Exploring the Finger Lakes National Forest is only made better with a stay at our Ithaca Bed and Breakfast, one of the best places to stay in the Finger Lakes. Our charming eight-room inn is the perfect home base for your outdoor adventures. You can bundle up, head out into the cold, and relax knowing you have a cozy and warm suite awaiting your return. Be sure to join us for a homemade, seasonal breakfast each morning, a lovely perk included with your lodging and the best way to start your day. Start planning your winter getaway and book your room today!
Winter Adventures at the Finger Lakes National Forest
As a guest at our Itathca Bed and Breakfast, one of the best places to stay in the Finger Lakes, you’ll just have a quick 15-minute drive to the favorite trails at the Finger Lakes National Forest. The area surrounding Ithaca and the Finger Lakes region is the ideal climate for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and winter hikes. Get ready to soak up the crisp air and sparkling sunshine, and get some exercise in too.
Here are our favorite things to do in the Finger Lakes this winter:
- Finger Lakes National Forest: With over 16,000 acres, Finger Lakes National Forest is between Seneca and Cayuga lakes. The park offers 30 miles of interconnecting trails, perfect for novice and intermediate snowshoers, where you can enjoy stunning views of gorges, ravines, pastures, and woodlands.
- Cayuga Nature Center: Just about ten minutes from our Ithaca Bed and Breakfast, this nature center is on the shores of Cayuga Lake. It offers snowshoers five miles of scenic trails across 120 acres of natural gorges and wildlife.
- Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area: You’ll be able to get your steps in and break a sweat at this nature area in the Finger Lakes, which has more than 20 miles of trails on nearly 11.300 acres. This area is part of the Appalachian Highlands, an exceptionally rugged land with elevations reaching 2,000 feet.
- Greek Peak: The Cross Country and Nordic Center at this central New York mountain resort offers an array of trails for all skill levels. You can also partake in skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing for all the best winter adventures. There are gear rentals available here as well.
- Montezuma Wildlife Refuge: Snowshoe along the trails here, and keep your ears and eyes open for local wildlife at this preserve. Common sightings include white-tailed deer, foxes, and many bird species like woodpeckers, nuthatches, cardinals, chickadees, and bald eagles.
- Sampson State Park: Located on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake, this 2,000-acre park offers a beautiful lakefront view and is known for its sunsets. There are about 13 miles of trails here for snowshoers to explore.
- Taughannock Falls State Park: Just minutes from our Itathca Bed and Breakfast, one of the most stunning and magical state parks offers remarkably beautiful waterfall views in the winter. The breathtaking falls soar 215 feet in a tall rocky gorge with ice formations and misty spray. The trail system here is excellent for snowshoeing, but be aware of weather conditions before you go.
One of the Best Places to Stay in the Finger Lakes
There’s nothing better than planning a romantic winter getaway to Upstate New York. You can spend your mornings and evenings at our cozy Ithaca Bed and Breakfast and your days out exploring the Finger Lakes National Forest, other hiking areas, wine tasting, and enjoying elegant meals at our fantastic restaurants around town. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and even sledding are such unique activities to get your heart rate up, break a sweat, and enjoy the winter wonderland of the Finger Lakes.
Our Ithaca Bed and Breakfast is truly one of the best places to stay in the Finger Lakes, especially for our luxurious guest rooms and suites, beautiful and wholesome breakfasts, and pampering services at our on-site spa. The Syrah Suite, pictured above, is a wonderfully appointed second-floor room with cathedral ceilings, soft lighting, a plush queen bed, fine furnishings, and an en suite custom tiled bathroom with a heated floor and a curved wall in the shower with body sprays.
If you’re traveling with another couple, the best rooms to book are the Syrah and Chardonnay rooms, just across the hall from one another. You’ll want to book a couples massage at the Spa at Gothic Eves to make your stay all the more memorable and relaxing—plus, as an extra bonus, book a sauna session or a soak in our backyard hot tub. We even have the perfect “Hot! Hot! Hot! Romance Package” to add to your stay. Start planning your next winter adventure in the Finger Lakes National Forest, and book your room at our Ithaca Bed and Breakfast today!