Grafton Lakes State Park Readies for Winter Festival

Grafton Lakes State Park Readies for Winter Festival

Grafton Lakes State Park Readies for Winter Festival

Grafton Lakes State Park and the Friends of Grafton Lakes State Park will host the 31st annual Winter Festival and Ice Fishing Contest on Saturday, January 23, featuring outdoor events, indoor exhibits, food vendors and family-friendly activities. Main events run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The park will have rides with the Northland Newfoundlands, horse-drawn carriage outings in the park, and hands-on activities ranging from nature jeopardy to kooky science experiments. The event will also have live animal exhibitors and the chance to try ultimate frisbee on the beach. Adults can join in a guided snowshoe outing or hike, and if conditions permit, all ages can borrow snowshoes for a free demo around the park. Fans of four-legged creatures will enjoy a guided morning walk for dogs, as well as a chance to meet the tail-wagging canines from Rensselaer County Search and Rescue. The ninth annual Polar Plunge benefitting the food pantry for Our Lady of the Snow charges into Long Pond at 1 p.m. To pre-register for the Plunge,  please call Maureen Cox for more information at 518-281-6575 or email maureencox12@gmail.com.

Visitors who need to warm up can savor some hot food while enjoying indoor exhibits. Live birds of prey, kids’ nature crafts and a variety of regional community and conservation organizations will entertain and inform patrons. The annual ice fishing contest draws several hundred anglers and will run from 5:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on all the ponds in the park, ice conditions permitting. Participants can register until 11 a.m. that morning. A $10 entry fee and a New York State fishing license is required for adults 16 and older to participate. Children may enter at no charge and winning entries will receive gift  certificates and other prizes. If ice is inadequate, the contest may be potsponed until February 13. Grafton Lakes State Park is located off of Route 2, 12 miles east of Troy, N.Y. For more information, call 518-279-1155.

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