Winter in Ellicottville: 5 Outdoor Activities OTHER than Downhill Skiing

Ellicottville is known as one of the top Eastern North American winter destinations, attracting downhill skiers to it’s two major ski resorts, Holiday Valley and HoliMont, during the winter months; however, there are more ways to enjoy this snow laden oasis! Here are 5 outdoor alternatives to enjoy this winter in Ellicottville, NY…


Also known as the Enchanted Mountains of Western New York, Cattaraugus County offers over 350 miles of snowmobile trails. Make sure to visit the 68 miles of well-groomed trails in scenic Allegany State Park, which is the largest State Park in New York, and the third largest State Park in the nation! Download a complete trail map here.

Need a ride? Visit Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Services to book a Polaris snowmobile rental or guided snowmobile tour. There’s no excuse to why you can’t be out enjoying the most scenic trails throughout Western New York this winter!

Want the kid’s to join? Make sure to attend one of the two FREE State of New York Snowmobile Safety Courses offered this December. Once completed, youth riders ages 14-17 may operate their own snowmobile without adult supervision (without the safety training course an adult must be within 500ft of the child). Youth ages 10 through 13 may operate a snowmobile if they complete the snowmobile safety training course AND are accompanied by an adult. For information on the Little Valley Snowmobile Safety Course click here or for the course offered in Franklinville click here.

Sleigh Rides/Horseback Riding

Prefer to admire Ellicottville’s winterscape from a different mode of transportation? How about a horse drawn sleigh ride! Nestled in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains is the Crosspatch Horse Ranch. This family owned and operated working horse ranch offers sleigh rides, for up to 6 people, all winter long.

Want to take control of the reins? Schedule a winter trail ride for the family! They will gear you up, match you with a horse that suits your abilities and lead you through the trails for a day of horse-filled fun.

Have your own horse? Crosspatch welcomes you to join them on any of their special rides and events! Make sure to give them a call at (716) 938-6313 or visit

Snowshoeing/Cross Country Skiing

For an enjoyable change of pace, explore Ellicottville’s countryside with snowshoes or cross country skis! Daily cross country ski, snowshoe and helmet rentals are available at Mud, Sweat N’ Gears, Dekdebruns or Holiday Valley’s Rental Shop. For terrain, choose from the Art Roscoe area of Allegany State Park, Holiday Valley or Griffis Sculpture Park. Holiday Valley also sells a cross country ticket for $15 to take you up to the top of Holiday Valley, from there you can ski the 3 miles from Cindy’s all the way to Spruce Lake. The Art Roscoe area is noted as one of the finest double-track trail systems in the Northeastern United States. The 20 miles of well-designed trail network offers free beginner and intermediate trails throughout the forest. Scenic vistas around the trail offer an exceptional skiing experience and beautiful panoramic views. Griffis Sculpture Park provides a unique experience as you snowshoe between the steel outdoor sculptures of Larry Griffis, Jr and other international artists. The 450 acre Ashford Hollow park features over 250 large scale sculptures dispersed throughout miles of hiking trails.

Tubing at the Holiday Valley Tubing Company

Not a skier? Visit Holiday Valley’s tubing hill that proves to be fun for all ages. No experience necessary: just sit down, hang on and experience the thrilling exhilaration of pure winter fun! Don’t worry about wearing yourself out from walking back up the hill, just grab a hold of one of the handle tows to ride the tube right back up to the top! The Tubing Area is 4 miles from Holiday Valley, but take advantage of the FREE shuttle service that picks up and drops off at the Resort Services Center turn around. There is a minimum age/height requirement of 7 years old and 42” tall; however, the little ones are welcome to join in on the fun at the “Little Tubers” hill, weather permitting.

Mountain Coaster at Holiday Valley

Looking to pick up the speed? Hop on the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster near Holiday Valley’s Tannenbaum Lodge and get ready for a fun twisty-turney ride down the mountain through the trees! The coaster is similar to a roller coaster, but being closer to the ground, it follows the contours of the snow covered terrain by zig zagging down the mountain. Choose to ride alone or with a friend, and control your speed by levels located on the side of the car. The Mountain Coaster opens December 19th, and riders must be at least 3 years old and 38 inches tall to ride with an adult or 8 years and 54 inches tall to ride alone. For more information or to purchase your pass visit Holiday Valley’s website.

Give us a call at 716-699-4800 to speak with a seasoned reservationist about booking your own private vacation home rental so that you can fully experience all of the outdoor winter activities that Ellicottville has to offer!

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