What better way to embrace the Winter Storm of November 2014 in Buffalo than to strap on a pair of snowshoes and hit the trails. Fluffy white snow has descended upon this city and there is no shortage of trails to explore. If you can walk you can snowshoe is our motto and we show you the best places to discover this sport in the surrounding area. All within a 45-minute drive of the city, loaded with beginner trails and picture perfect settings make these our top five-day trips for snowshoe beginners in Buffalo, NY.
5. Tifft Nature Preserve
Whether you are starting out alone, with a friend or taking the whole family, Tiff Nature Preserve is a great spot to begin your snowshoe adventure. Don’t worry about having your own snowshoes, the visitors centre rents out wooden ones for adults and plastic ones for the wee ones in your life.
With five miles of trails that are mainly flat with some small hills this is the perfect place for beginners. The trails are open from dawn until dusk and keep your eyes peeled for beavers, bat clouds and other cold weather creatures. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate at the end of the day and explore the exhibits within the visitors centre. Learn more here.
4. Beaver Meadow Audubon Center
Another great beginner area for snowshoeing is Beaver Meadow Audubon Center. Plenty of snow in the winter from the lake effect turns this wildlife preserve into a winter wonderland.
With more than eight miles of trails and most of them being short loops, beginners can enjoy the sport while intermediate snowshoers can choose the longer loops. Snowshoe rentals are found at the visitor’s center along with seasonal exhibits, live animals and a library. Bring a friend or your family and enjoy an easy day of trekking the numerous trails. Find out more here.
3. Erie County Forest
With 15 miles of trails and unparalleled beauty, the Erie County Forest is the perfect place to discover the art of snowshoeing. Head there with friends or arrange to meet up with Buffalo Outdoor Meet up Group that often visits this destination.
You will need your own snowshoes to explore these trails. The popular Scarbuck Trail is a great place to start, running almost three miles through beautiful dense woods and into open meadows. Warming huts are in place with fires roaring to take a break and be sure to visit the working maple sugar shack on site. Find out more information here.
2. Niagara Royalton Ravine Park
A peaceful tranquil setting is the perfect place to strap on a pair of snowshoes for the first time and go exploring. All the trails lead down into a valley, across a suspension bridge and up the other side. Learn how to ascend and descend hills, catch spectacular views of the often frozen waterfalls and explore the picturesque pine forests.
You will need your own snowshoes for this trail as there are no rentals on site. Take a different trail each time without the fear of getting lost and explore the beauty of the Niagara Region. Learn more about this park here.
1. Bond Lake County Park
Bond Lake County Park is the perfect spot for beginners as the trails here have no elevation. With more than 13 miles of groomed trails for snowshoers and cross-country skiers you can stay busy here all day exploring this beautiful park. With trails winding through apple orchards, woods and around small lakes the opportunity for wildlife viewing is excellent.
If you grow weary of trekking through the snow, head over to the skating rink or sledding hill for some additional fun. The warming house on site also provides a rest area with restrooms, a roaring fire and tables. Plan ahead and pack a picnic to enjoy the day here. Find out more about the park here.