Depending on how you feel about winter, our Adirondack winters can seem long. However, if your feelings are in the positive, the tail end of the cold season is the best if you like to cover country on snowshoes and skis. By late March the days have grown longer and the sun is higher in the sky, giving even the colder days a feel of real warmth in the late season sun. The snow is at it’s deepest, and due to thaws and settling, it’s hard packed; making for phenomenal snowshoe trekking and cross country skiing.
It’s a great time to climb the High Peaks or the numerous smaller mountains that get less use. The deep snow covers boulders and obstacles that otherwise slow travel in the warmer months, say nothing of the mud, which can make for miserable travel in wet times. But remember to always be prepared for fast changing weather at higher altitudes, for winter conditions are surely more dangerous.
What I enjoy most at this short but marvelous window of winter conditions is to get off the beaten path and explore the Adirondack backcountry with map and compass. A great deal of skill and confidence is needed, but with proper planning one can see hidden ponds, flow-grounds, and trail-less peaks. Gliding across snow pack and ice, one can venture across bogs and wetlands that are impossible any other time of year, giving a unique experience and perspective of the Adirondack wilderness. Some my fondest memories have been traveling across the lonely frozen Adirondack landscape on a sunny day in late March.