GRAFTON LAKES STATE PARK TO HOLD 35TH ANNUAL WINTER FESTIVAL
CROPSEYVILLE — Grafton Lakes State Park and the Friends of Grafton Lakes State Park will host the 35th Annual Winter Festival on Saturday, January 25, 2020. The Winter Fest will feature outdoor events along with indoor exhibits, food vendors, and family-friendly recreational activities. The event is free of charge and runs from 10:00 AM-4:00 PM.
Adults can join in a guided snowshoe or cross country ski outing, or borrow snowshoes for a free demo around the park. Fans of four-legged creatures will enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, a guided morning walk for dogs, as well as a demonstration by the Parks K9 Unit. For the kids, Winter Fest offers its popular snow bowling hill, snowshoe races and a snowball toss, as well as sled rides with the charming Northland Newfoundlands. Other outdoor offerings this year include free snowmobile rides, snow fort building, and an ice dive demonstration. Refreshments will be available in the main parking lot.
The Polar Plunge, benefitting Our Lady of the Snow Parish’s food pantry, kicks off the main events at 10:30AM. As always, the Plunge includes a playful prize for the silliest costume offered by the Friends of Grafton Lakes State Park, so start planning your January beach attire! To pre-register for the Plunge, please call Ray Dozois for more information at 518-663-5648, or call the park office at 518-279-1155.
Visitors who need to warm up can escape the cold by stopping inside to enjoy indoor exhibits in our new Welcome Center. Engaging and creative activities include kids’ nature crafts, a balloon artist, and a variety of regional community and conservation organizations whose displays will educate and entertain patrons. For those who love wildlife, New York raptors and North American reptiles are this year’s live animal presentations at the Festival.
Due to unsafe ice conditions from warm weather Grafton Lakes State Park has rescheduled the 35th annual Ice Fishing Contest for Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 5:30 AM – 2:00 PM. Join in on the fun as several hundred anglers brave the cold temperatures for their chance to make a winning catch on several of the park’s ponds.
Registration for the contest begins at 5:30 AM and ends at 11:00 AM (or 12:30pm for youth) on February 8th in the park’s maintenance building, accessible via the Main Entrance. There is a $10 entrance fee required for all participants age 16 or older, with no fee for children under 16. All participants 16 and older must have a valid NYS fishing license to fish in the park at any time, including during the contest.
Big cash prizes are awarded for adults with 1st place fish and the longest length catch in all three categories of trout, walleye/chain pickerel, and yellow perch. Winning entries will receive gift cards and other prizes.
Certified bait will be available on site from Hudson River Bait in the registration area. Bait is also available from Conroy’s Bait Supply in Watervliet and Flying Arrow Sports in East Greenbush. Do your part to help keep the waters at Grafton Lakes healthy and productive by using certified bait.
Tournament areas are located on Second Pond, Mill Pond, Dunham Reservoir, Shaver Pond, and Long Pond. Please note that due to preparations for Winter Fest, ice fishing is not permitted adjacent to the beach on Long Pond.
For more information about Grafton Lakes State Park events, call the park office at 518-279-1155, check out our Facebook page at “Grafton Lakes State Park”, or visit our website at nysparks.com.
Grafton Lakes State Park is located off of Route 2, twelve miles east of Troy, New York. Please use the park’s main entrance on Grafton Lakes State Park Way for this year’s event and pick up event information at the ticket booth as you enter. There is no entrance fee for the Winter Festival. For more information about this event, please call the park at 518-279-1155. A full schedule of events will be available in early January at the park’s website (www.nysparks.com).
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual state parks, historic sites, golf courses, boat launches and recreational trails, which are visited by 71 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter