Adirondack Snowfall Primer

The Adirondacks are well known for their abundant snowfall. Although the occasional Nor’easter gets most of the press, elevated terrain and proximity to the Great Lakes are important contributors to Adirondack snowfall.

Starting in November and continuing into the winter, modest low pressure systems pick up moisture from the Great Lakes and deposit the snowfall onto the Adirondacks. The western Adirondacks can get 6-12 inches of snow from these systems.

Occasionally, well developed bands of lake effect snow extending from Lake Ontario can dump 1-2 feet of snow in Big Moose, Old Forge and Inlet. Further east, places like Lake George get very little snow or maybe a few inches at most.

With the lake effect snow, you can usually ride in the Western Adirondacks immediately after the conclusion of big game hunting season in early December. Riding in the northern and central Adirondacks starts before Christmas. Locations further south and east usually wait until the New Year as coastal storms become more important.

Snowfall can vary greatly from winter to winter, but most places in the heart of the Adirondacks average over 100 inches of snow per winter:

Adirondack Snowfall


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