Skiing From NYC: Top 19 Most Unique Ski Resorts | Stanton House Inn

Skiier against a blurred background in a winter wonderland

For those urban dwellers who call the concrete jungle of New York City home, a snowy escape is just a bus or train ride away. For example, Thunder Mountain, a mere hour and a quarter from New York City, beckons with its white-clad slopes.

 

This guide is your roadmap to the finest ski resorts within a 5-hour drive from the City That Never Sleeps. Surrounding the Big Apple like a frosted doughnut are ski resorts and winter wonderlands, ready to cater to snow bunnies of all skill levels.

 

We’ll navigate carless options, such as the NYC ski bus, and cover the ski season in Upstate New York, which typically kicks off around Thanksgiving and runs through March. Be warned, though, the seasons are rather fickle, thanks to climate change.

 

This guide to skiing near New York City is your ticket to the slopes. We’ve packed it with information on activities, lodging, dining, and more.

 

Read to strap on those skis and hit the powder? Let’s get into it:

The Best Ski Resorts Near NYC, by distance

Think New York City and skiing are worlds apart? Think again. Just a stone’s throw from the city’s hustle, ski resorts await, offering terrain parks, lessons, and challenging trails for all. And when you’re done skiing, there’s a flurry of other winter activities to enjoy. So, gear up and prepare for a winter adventure.

 

Map of the skiing resorts near NYC
Map design by Stanton House Inn with elements from Flaticon

 

Skiing within 2 hours of NYC

Ski enthusiasts experiencing the winter months

An hour’s journey might just get you gentle slopes, good for sledding. But two hours? Now, that’ll land you on some respectable slopes nearby.

 

Mountain Creek

Mountain Creek, New Jersey’s premier ski resort, is a mere 50 miles from NYC. It’s a snow enthusiast’s paradise of NJ day trips, with four mountain peaks, three snow parks, and 46 trails. They also offer year-round ziplining and an alpine coaster. It’s a top spot for ski racing, boasting the region’s largest USSA venue.

 

Mountain Creek provides slope-side lodging and traditional Biergarten dining, complete with a scenic view of the mountain. It’s without question the most convenient on ski spot on the list of the best winter getaways from New York City.

 

Thunder Ridge

Chair lifts above the winter snow

Just 50 miles from the heart of New York City, Thunder Ridge offers a quick, car-free ski retreat for families. With affordable lift tickets and ski rentals, it’s a wallet-friendly ski resort for weekday and twilight skiing or an all-day weekend pass. Despite its size, Thunder Ridge is easily reachable by the Metro-North Ski Train from Grand Central Station. It’s the only skiing day trip along the Metro-North line of which this writer is aware. This resort offers 30 trails, with a balanced mix for beginners, intermediates, and advanced skiers. For the best deal, aim for weekdays.

 

Skiing within 3 hours of NYC

Travel beyond New York City’s limits, and you’ll discover a world of winter sports. The farther you go, the fewer the crowds and the steeper the slopes. Trade the coast for the mountains, and you won’t regret it.

 

Hunter Mountain

Hunter Mountain, a family-run resort, is known for its challenging yet diverse terrain. With 45 trails, a 1,115-foot vertical drop, and round-the-clock skiing, it’s a thrill-seeker’s paradise. It also houses New York’s largest snow tubing park and a variety of amenities perfect for kids.

 

Lodging at Hunter Mountain includes two lodges near the base and ski lifts. For dining, visit The Shipyard Brew Haus at White Cap Lodge or Silvia for seasonally inspired meals.

 

Windham Mountain

Windham Mountain, a family haven and a novice skier’s paradise, offers 54 trails, night skiing, and six terrain parks. If skiing isn’t your thing, try ice skating or cross-country skiing. For carless city dwellers, Windham offers bus packages, with pickups in Manhattan. Located at 19 Resort Drive in Windham, it’s just a 2.5-hour drive from the city.

 

Mohawk Mountain

Nordic skiing

Connecticut’s Mohawk Mountain, nestled within 350 acres of the Litchfield Hills, offers:

 

  • 26 diverse trails
  • A 650-foot drop
  • Eight lifts

 

Catering to all skill levels, it has 50% intermediate trails, 30% beginner trails, and 20% advanced trails with steep slopes. It also provides a separate learning area for beginners. Non-skiers can enjoy snowshoeing and snow tubing in Connecticut. Sixteen trails are available for night skiing. This Connecticut winter getaway is just two hours from the George Washington Bridge.

Belleayre Mountain

Take a gander at Belleayre Mountain, a modest upstate New York resort with 47 affordable, crowd-free trails. Nestled in Ulster County, where the Catskills meet the Hudson, it offers 50 trails across 174 skiable acres. Non-skiers can explore Woodstock, an artsy town with a mezcal bar and a toy shop. Silvia offers seasonal food and libations. The resort boasts 1,404 feet of vertical and trails for all levels. The Catskill Forest Preserve offers cross-country trails. Adirondack Trailways offers round-trip ski packages from Port Authority.

Big Bear

Thrill seekers enjoying the last light of the day

Big Bear at Masthope Mountain, it’s more than just a scenic beauty. With 18 trails and seven lifts, it’s a winter wonderland accessible to all. And thanks to its close proximity to New York City, it’s the perfect spot for a spontaneous ski trip. Whether you’re a family or a seasoned skier, Big Bear has got you covered.

 

Camelback

Imagine the Poconos, a weekend sanctuary for New York and Philadelphia city dwellers. Just 90 minutes from Manhattan, you’ll find Camelback Mountain and Shawnee, offering 39 ski trails across 166 acres. For the leisurely lot, there’s snow tubing, dog sledding, and ice skating. Camelback caters to families with 18 trails for beginners, 11 for intermediates, and 20 acres of terrain parks for the adventurous. Open till 10pm on weekends, it’s a thrill-packed escape.

Plattekill Mountain

Nestled in a box canyon, Plattekill is the Catskills’ snowy haven. With an elevation of 3,500 feet and north-facing slopes, it’s the first high mountain east of Lake Ontario. Plattekill boasts an average of 175 inches of snowfall annually. It’s a paradise for serious skiers with nearly half of its 38 trails designed for advanced and expert skiers. Despite a limited number of trails for beginners, all summits offer green runs. Plattekill limits lift tickets daily and operates chairlifts only on specific days.

Jiminy Peak

Skis and ski poles in the fresh snow at Camelback Mountain

Nestled on the Massachusetts-New York border, Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort is a family favorite with its beginner-friendly trails and Terrain Based Learning program. Jiminy Peak offers a challenging vertical rise of 1,150 feet and nine expert trails, including three double black diamonds. Additional features include three terrain parks, a kid-friendly park, and a mountain coaster. The resort, powered entirely by renewable energy, provides family-sized condos at the base and various amenities at the Country Inn.

Catamount

On the border of Massachusetts and the Berkshire, Catamount is a skier’s playground. You can ski across state lines in a single run, an exhilarating chase against gravity. It’s got a 1,000-foot vertical drop, 10 expert runs, and the Berkshires’ longest trail. The mountain also houses easy and intermediate trails, a beginners’ zone, and three terrain parks. On weekends and holidays, the mountain lights up for night skiing until 10 pm. And let’s not forget the 5,000-foot-long zipline, one of the country’s longest. Catamount remains one of the few family-owned mountain resorts in New England.

Skiing within 5 hours of New York City

Embarking on a journey of this length allows you to explore some of the East Coast’s premier skiing destinations.

Gore Mountain

Gore Mountain is where breathtaking views meet adrenaline-pumping trails. Try snowshoeing through the East’s largest marble-cave entrance or skiing at dusk. Recent upgrades have made all four peaks easily accessible. Visit Gore Mountain for a daring adventure.

Mount Snow

Chair lifts on the slopes of Mount Snow

Westerners may turn up their noses, but for us East Coasters, Vermont is ski country. Mount Snow, a jewel in Southern Vermont, offers 600 skiable acres and snowfall that makes the city’s look feeble.

 

The resort is armed with 250 high-output snow guns and an annual snowfall of 156 inches, ensuring the trails are always ready for action. It has 20 lifts and 80 trails spread across 588 acres. Beginners have their own area and slower lifts, while intermediates have 54 trails to play with. The North Face is a challenge for the experts, with 10 expert trails and one double-black. Snowboarders have 10 terrain parks and a halfpipe to enjoy.

 

Non-skiers can visit the local villages, sample local fare, or embark on a snowmobile tour through Green Mountain National Forest.

Whiteface Mountain

View of Little Whiteface Peak from the Top Station

Not every peak can claim Olympic fame, but Whiteface Mountain in upstate New York can. The host of the 1980 Winter Olympics, it’s more than just a mountain—it’s a symbol of sporting excellence. Whiteface has the highest vertical drop on the East Coast (3,430 feet), and sits a mere 30 minutes from the charming town of Lake Placid.

Stratton Mountain Resort

Stratton, the birthplace of snowboarding, now harnesses the sun’s energy to power its lifts. It’s a mountain with a peak that reaches for the heavens and a vertical drop that’ll make your heart race. With over 99 trails, it’s a playground for skiers and snowboarders alike. They’ve partnered with MOOver, southern Vermont’s free transportation system, making carless access a breeze. It’s not all downhill, though. There’s fat bike rentals on groomed trails, a thrilling snow tubing park, and 5k of lit trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. In short, it’s a winter wonderland that’s hard to beat.

Skiing within 6 hours drive from New York City

The subsequent ring incorporates further expanses of New York State, along with a few more unique ones that don’t usually spring to mind when thinking about skiing options near NYC.

Bristol Mountain

Canandaigua, nestled in the Finger Lakes, offers a year-round spectacle. Summer sun on the lake, winter’s icy grip on the slopes of Bristol Mountain. With 1,200 feet of vertical fun and trails for all, it’s a draw. The town’s charming spots invite exploration, as do the Finger Lakes waterfalls in warmer weather. But it’s a 5 and a half hour drive, so buckle up for the adventure.

Massanutten Resort

Now, let’s wander south to Massanutten Resort. It might raise eyebrows among the Northeastern elite, but give it a whirl. It’s a charming spot, with everything from zip lining to ukulele classes. Ideal for beginners and families, it’s a cozy retreat with a bonus Indoor Water Park. A 5-hour 45-minute drive from Union Square, it’s a timeless adventure waiting to happen.

Skiing about 7 hours drive from New York City

Okay, these destinations may not be ideal for day trips given the distance. However, they make for excellent choices for extended ski vacations. It’s the perfect opportunity to reserve a cozy lodge for your stay.

Sunday River

Set your sights on Sunday River, nestled in Maine’s Mahoosuc Mountains. It’s a trek from NYC, but worth every mile. With 135 trails and 870 acres, it’s a skier’s dream. Don’t miss the “Wicked Air & Après Light,” a show-stopping spectacle of stunts and 3D projections. And for the beer lovers, Shipyard Brew Haus at White Cap Lodge is a must-visit.

 

Bear in mind, it’s a 7-hour journey from the city.

Loon Mountain

Picture this: Loon Mountain, nestled in the White Mountain National Forest. With 2,100 vertical feet, diverse terrain, and three majestic peaks, it’s a skier’s paradise.

 

But there’s more at one of the best winter getaways in New England:

  • Snow tubing with hearty laughter.
  • Snowshoeing for the adventurous.
  • Cross-country skiing for the curious.
  • And a zipline ride over the frozen Pemigewasset River for the brave.

 

And yes, you might spot a moose. After all, it’s a six-hour drive into the wilds of New Hampshire.

Transportation to the Slopes

People taking carless options to get to the ski resorts

Reaching the ski resorts from New York City has never been more straightforward! With a variety of transportation options that don’t require a car, you can easily make your way to your chosen ski destination. Let’s delve into these options and set you on the path to an unforgettable skiing journey.

Carless Ski Destinations

Who needs four wheels in NYC when ski adventures await via public transport?

 

All these snowy sanctuaries offer carless options. So sit back and let the journey to the slopes begin.

Ski Bus Services

Enter the ski bus services:

 

They transport you from Manhattan’s heart to the mountains’ soul. Kick back and enjoy the ride.

 

Fancy a private adventure? Rally 50 friends and book a trip with the NYC Snow Bus. Conquer Mountain Creek, Hunter, and Windham together.

Tips for First-Time Skiers

Budget-friendly ski destinations in New York

So you’re a ski newbie? Here’s the lowdown: Dress warm, not stylish. Rent gear before buying. Take a beginner’s lesson. Start slow, stay safe. Most importantly, enjoy the ride. Happy skiing!

The Best Ski Resorts for Families

Family ski resorts, such as Mount Peter Ski Area and Camelback Mountain Resort, cater to all ski trips. With tubing, skating, and beginner-friendly slopes, they’re a lift ticket to unforgettable family adventures. And be sure to read our guide to the most dog-friendly getaways near NYC, if you want to bring the entire family. So, rally the troops and hit the slopes!

Tl;dr

A family skiing together at one of the top ski resorts for families in New York City

Just beyond New York City’s steel canyons lies a snowy world for greenhorns and ski veterans alike. But skiing is just the overture in this winter symphony. Bundle up, embrace the chill, and make your mark on the frosty canvas. When the ski season ends, you’ll have plenty of tales of winter adventures to recount. And don’t forget to read our guide to winter activities in New York City, for those weekends your budget or lack of desire outweigh your drive to leave town.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does New York have good skiing?

Does New York offer good skiing? With its mountains dressed for the dance between man and nature, the answer is a resounding yes!

Where do people go skiing in NYC?

Set your sights on the Catskill Mountains. Here, Windham and Hunter Mountain reign supreme, welcoming all ski enthusiasts, novices to veterans. Gear rentals, lessons, and eateries await. Whether it’s a weekend escape or a day trip, your winter wonderland adventure begins here.

What month is best to ski in New York?

In January and February, New York’s slopes are at their prime. Come March, they turn a tad too warm and wet for perfect skiing.

Are there beginner lessons available at ski resorts near NYC?

Absolutely, a multitude of ski resorts near New York City provide beginner lessons, making it incredibly accessible for novices to get a grasp of the sport.

What additional winter activities can I find at winter resorts?

Beyond skiing, the winter landscape is a carnival of delights. Snow tubing, skating, and more await. Perfect for families, friends, and lovers. Breathe in the mountain air, marvel at snow-draped vistas. Beginner or expert, the mountain calls to you.

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