Outdoor Winter Fun For The Whole Family

Sometimes it can be hard to find motivation to get outside in the winter, to breathe in the fresh, clean, crisp air. However, if you’re a hiker in the warmer months or looking to be re-energized, you just might find snowshoeing a tremendous incentive to get out and explore!

Snowshoeing at the Great Swamp Conservancy in Canastota is a peaceful adventure and a fun workout. It will get the blood flowing, heighten your senses in nature and give you the opportunity to feel free on seven miles of trails through grasslands, swamps and forests.

Thanks to the extraordinarily generous private donation of snowshoes, rentals are only $4 per day! If you already own snowshoes, there is no charge to use the trails, which are open from dawn to dusk, daily. If you prefer cross country skiing, you have the option of renting the equipment for, also, only $4 per day! Once you have the equipment you want, it will be time to enjoy the freedoms of nature.


The easy, flat paths wind through all types of habitat. The Great Swamp Conservancy is designated as an important Bird Area by the Audubon Society. One of the most beautiful and interesting areas is the Great Blue Heron Rookery. Despite the fact that the herons have migrated away for the season, their 50 or so abandoned nests scatter the landscape like something from a Dr. Suess illustration. You may feel as if you are in a new world!

It is quite possible to catch a few glimpses of eagles stopping by to rest or hunt from the heron’s nesting site. Other resident birds color the landscape with their songs as they show you how serene their habitat is.

There is nothing like the stillness of the forest when the snowflakes are lazily falling to the snowy earth. Stopping to watch and listen to the sights and sounds of nature is just as important and fun as the actual snowshoeing itself.


When you have finally exhausted yourself and want to warm your chilled nose, head into the Great Swamp Conservancy’s Museum of Natural History. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and a snack from the Ladybug Cafe to refuel. As you warm up, you can go around the lodge and view prehistoric artifacts that were discovered throughout Central New York over the years!

Snowshoeing on the Great Swamp Conservancy’s easy-to-follow trails - which do not require any special skill set or experience - is a wonderful, affordable day of fun! The Great Swamp Conservancy welcomes the public all winter long to come out and enjoy the land, the winter air, and perhaps even help start a wonderful new hobby of snowshoeing!

Adventure Awaits

Visit Madison County this winter and discover outdoor activities available all across the land. Request your free Outdoors Adventure Map so you know many of the great places to snowshoe throughout the county!

Snowshoeing in Madison County. It’s In Our Nature.

Click to request a map