New York may be best known for its tall skyscrapers and sprawling city, but there are plenty of great places to ski as well. The different destinations aren’t just full of fun runs, they also have a lot of great places to relax. What’s more, you’re also able to get the specific experience you want thanks to the different small family-run areas and large mountain resorts.
If you want to find a good place to ski in New York, you’ve come to the right place. Each resort covered in the following sections is a top destination for anyone living in or visiting the state. No matter how you like to ski or who you ski with, you’ll find something that meets your needs.
We begin our list with the largest ski resort in the entire state. Though it’s a long way from New York City, Gore Mountain is certainly worth the trip. That’s because it has a ton to offer potential skiers. The entire resort is spread across four peaks in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains and contains 110 different trails and a vertical drop of 2,547 feet. That’s plenty of terrain for any intermediate or experienced skier.
However, Gore Mountain doesn’t stop there. This tops our list thanks to its 14 lifts, which include an eight-passenger gondola and two high-speed quad chairs. There are plenty of ways to get to different locations regardless of how you want to ski. There are even snowshoe trails for those who like to adventure and want to do something other than head downhill.
Beyond that, there are six different dining options at Gore Mountain. You can sit down for a nice dinner once you’re done with the slopes, or you can grab a quick bite if you’re in a hurry. No matter how you want to eat, there’s something here for you. The excellent food makes Gore much more than just a mountain.
Those looking for an impressive vertical drop will love Whiteface Mountain. This resort has 3,400 feet of decline, which is excellent for those looking for some great downhill runs. Not only that, but there is a lot of different terrain all over the mountain. That gives you more options and enables skiers of all types to find the runs they want.
One of the biggest bonuses of Whiteface is that the mountain is almost always covered in snow during the winter thanks to the impressive 98 percent snowmaking coverage. The resort also has a Cloudsplitter gondola to take you all the way to the top. Before you get ready to ride, you can enjoy an incredibly impressive view of the nearby Adirondack mountains.
There is a 2.1-mile-long intermediate run on the ski hill if you’re in for a long trip or a steady workout, but there is quite a bit (20 percent) of beginner terrain as well. While the resort is definitely geared towards more experienced skiers, it’s always nice to have options. The nearby town of Lake Placid also has a lot of lodging, dining, and excellent entertainment options when you don’t feel like hitting the slopes or if you want a break.
One of the biggest issues when traveling to ski New York is how long some resorts sit away from the city. Hunter Mountain has no such problem. While it’s still a drive, the Catskills-based resort is less than three hours from Manhattan. That means you can touch down in the morning and be checked into your lodging by early afternoon.
The reason we included this mountain on our list is that it has a lot to offer skiers of all different ability levels. The four-mountain resort has plenty of runs for beginner, intermediate, and advanced skiers. There are some smooth hills that anyone can do, as well as some notoriously tough runs that will take you through glades or other tough terrains.
Nearly 70 percent of the trails are serviced by 13 lifts and you can check out any of the four terrain parks for great runs. They also offer snow tubing for people that want a break, as well as guided ice-climbing expeditions to the top of the mountain. If you need a day off, you can also check out the luxurious Mountain Club Spa. There are many places to stay, and the surrounding towns have plenty of good food to eat.
Another resort you can easily reach from New York City, Belleayre is a great place for beginner and intermediate skiers. While there are other options for more advanced riders, this resort is reasonably priced, simple to get to, and has a lot to offer. It’s state-owned and one of the best day-trip areas for locals and travelers alike.
Belleayre is the largest mountain in the Catskills, which means it has plenty of space and a wide range of unique terrain. The entire area is secluded, which gives beginners or just-learning intermediates a place to get better without large crowds or a lot of external pressure. That does mean a lot of the space feels quite isolated. However, if you do want to make a trip out of Belleayre, there are many different places to eat and sleep just a few minutes away.
If you’re looking for a more small-town-like feel, Holiday Valley may just be your New York ski destination. This resort is only 290 acres. However, there is a lot more than first meets the eye. Not only does it have diverse, varied terrain for all different skiers, but it has a lot of amenities as well. You can ride all day and then find plenty of places to relax, eat, or sleep.
Holiday Valley sits south of Buffalo and just 30 miles from Lake Eerie. While that prime location does create more crowds than similar resorts, it also ensures a good amount of snowfall during the colder months of the year. You’ll always find excellent powder here. The small town atmosphere is hard to beat, and there’s even night skiing available for those who like to ride once the sun goes down.
New York may not be the jewel in the crown of the skiing world but, as the above resorts show, the state has plenty to offer. Each of the above locations provides a great experience for skiers of all different ability levels and they even come with great extracurriculars as well. They truly provide you with the full package.
What resorts do you like to visit in New York and why? Let us know in the comments below!
Joseph Scalise is an avid writer, editor, and snow sports enthusiast who loves to spend his time outdoors. He began his love of writing early on in life and continued to pursue it as he grew older. While his time behind the computer doesn’t get him into the wild unknown as much as he would like, he never misses a chance to head up (or down) a mountain, across a river, or through a lush forest. When he’s not planning new trips, you can always find him typing away on his next project.