Ski season is getting underway! Whether you’re a city dweller or a nature lover, beginner or pro, New York State has a ski area perfect for you. In addition to challenging high peaks, scenic trails, and fresh powder, New York State offers some of the most affordable skiing in the northeast, as well as fun winter activities for the non-skiers among you. And, with more than 50 ski centers spanning the state, there’s a ski area just a short drive away!
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Masks are encouraged, but optional in most settings per New York State guidelines. Individual businesses or attractions may require mask wearing. Visit I Ski NY for snow reports, discount programs, important messages about planning ahead and what to expect when you hit the slopes. Call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions are open and available.
Originally published: 12/15/2021
With a ski area featuring four Adirondack Mountain peaks, 115 ski trails, a vertical drop of 2,537 feet, and enough terrain for even the most demanding skier, Gore Mountain in North Creek is New York State’s largest ski resort.
On the mountain: At Gore, getting to the top is easy via the mountain’s 14 lifts, which include an eight-passenger gondola and two high-speed quad chairs. Gore also has trails for snowshoeing and Nordic skiing.
Off the mountain: Don’t worry about building up an appetite after a day on the slopes–dining options range from full-service sit-down restaurants featuring amazing views, right through to grab-and-go cafeteria-style options. For off-the-slope activities in North Creek, satisfy your sweet tooth with delicious chocolates, including truffles, caramels, peanut butter cups, bark, bars, and seasonal delights at Barkeater Chocolates.
For a family-friendly year-round resort in the Catskills within a few hours’ driving distance of New York City, head to Windham Mountain Club in Windham.
On the mountain: Windham Mountain features 1,600 feet of vertical drop and is spread out over two mountains, with 54 runs on 285 skiable acres. The ski area is also a great destination for snowboarders, with six terrain parks featuring every imaginable hump, bump, or crazy rail to attempt. Make sure to check out the SkyTechSport Simulator, which lets you feel the excitement of what it’s like to tackle a downhill slalom race! And bring the kids to the adventure park where there is snow tubing and snowmobiling just for kids!
Off the mountain: Windham is perfect for both day trips and weekend getaways. Members can enjoy the charming inn, luxury spa, fitness center, premier golf course, lavish amenities, and world-class dining experiences. The club recently introduced four new dining options: an upscale food hall with hot entrees and a full bar; Seasons, a venue with a focus on Lebanese-Mediterranean cuisine; Cin! Cin!, a nod to the Italian Alps with a robust wine list; and The Windham, a private members dining club.
Windham Mountain is also part of the worldwide IKON ski pass program.
Holiday Valley in the storybook village of Ellicottville is like several ski areas folded into one, with long straight cruisers, steep short black diamonds, and twisty routes down through large evergreens.
On the mountain: The resort features 60 slopes spread over four different faces with a 750-foot vertical drop and 13 lifts. It also has three base lodges, four terrain parks, Holiday Valley Tubing Co., a half-pipe, several glades, and a great learn to ski program for children. You’ll find a lively apres ski scene in lodges, nearby restaurants, and pubs. For a good ski-in, ski-out accommodation, try the Inn at Holiday Valley which boasts some rooms overlooking the hills, and an outdoor hot tub. A recently added ski feature includes the debut of the brand-new Yodler high-speed quad chairlift, making skiing at the resort more enjoyable for both beginning and advanced skiers.
Off the mountain: In Ellicottville, you’ll find wonderful restaurants and bars, in addition to unique boutiques and galleries. Stop by the Winery of Ellicottville and enjoy a wine tasting, wine by the glass, an artisan chocolate pairing, or get your bottles to go. Unwind with some salt therapy at western New York’s first authentic European-built Himalayan salt cave at the Ellicottville Salt Cave & Spa.
Find the Holiday Valley getaway that’s perfect for you with these Ski & Stay Packages!
At just over 1,200 feet, Bristol Mountain’s vertical rise is the highest vertical between the Adirondack Mountains and the Rocky Mountains of the west.
On the mountain: This Canandaigua ski area features 138 acres of total skiable terrain, with 39 runs across a variety of terrain and ability levels. The Morning Star is for the speed demons and racers, complete with a Nastar Race system, while Upper Galaxy is great for those who like long, wide-open cruisers, and thrill-seekers will like the Highpoint Terrain Park. If you prefer cross-country skiing, those trails wind their way around the top of the mountain. Services include rental equipment, a full snow sports retail store, an equipment tuning center, and ski and snowboard lessons are available for all ages and experience levels. Food and beverage options include Carver’s Kitchen, the Satellite Lounge (over 21), the Cannery, and the Morning Star Cafe, the slopeside waffle house.
Off the mountain: Enjoy a wine tasting in a 100-year-old barn overlooking vineyards of Cabernet Franc and Riesling grapes at the Heron Hill Tasting Room on Canandaigua Lake. Satisfy your thirst or hunger (or both) at Twisted Rail Brewing Company, featuring tasting rooms offering a great selection of fresh craft beer, wines from Heron Hill Winery, and spirits from Black Button Distilling, as well as delicious hand-crafted pub food.
Credit: Courtesy of Catamount Mountain Resort
With one-third of its trails rated as beginner, Catamount Mountain Resort in Hillsdale is a favorite destination for families.
On the mountain: The mountain features a 1,000-foot vertical drop, 44 trails, two terrain parks, and a progression park. Eight lifts include a summit quad and two wonder carpets. Other features include night skiing, 93% snowmaking, private and group lessons for adults and children, rentals, and childcare. While Catamount is a great place to learn how to ski, lots of terrains exist for those looking for intermediate-level runs. It is also noted for its double black diamond-rated Catapult run, one of the steepest ski runs in the entire Northeast. Fresh powder is here, there, and everywhere thanks to extensive upgrades to Catamount’s snowmaking system, and the tubing park features a magic carpet lift and lights for night tubing. Catamount is also part of the Indy Ski Pass program.
Off the mountain: Book lovers shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to stop in at Rodgers Book Barn in Hillsdale for an amazing selection of old, unusual, and specialty books. A Hudson Valley-Berkshires area destination for home goods and gifts, Hillsdale General Store is a historic 1855 old-time country emporium, offering products that don’t go out of style and which you’ll still be happy to have in 40 years.
Family-owned and operated since 1963, and designed for skiers and riders of all ages and abilities, Maple Ridge Ski Area in Schenectady is the perfect place for families to affordably learn to ski and ride!
On the mountain: Maple Ski Ridge features a 270-vertical-foot hill that’s ideal for their six-week lesson programs. The programs are an excellent way to introduce someone to a new snow-sport or work on strengthening their abilities! Each six-week lesson program comes with a pass for the day to allow students additional time to practice newly learned skills. As it celebrates its 60th anniversary, Maple Ski Ridge is adding new state-of-the-art snowmaking machines and has also been designated an Indy Pass site.
Off the mountain: Throughout the winter season, Maple Ski Ridge holds special events to help bring the community together and add a fun twist to winter fun! While in the Schenectady area, you can check out a show at Proctor’s Theater, experience the wonders of the ocean at Via Aquarium, try your luck at Rivers Casino & Resort, and quench your thirst and appetite at one of the city’s fine restaurants, featuring everything from classic Italian bistros to Mediterranean, Asian Fusion and everything in between!
Credit: @ocnewyork on Instagram
Just north of Rome in Westernville, Woods Valley Ski Resort has all the necessities you would expect from the big areas while offering great value with affordable skiing and riding.
On the mountain: Their state-of-the-art snowmaking and nightly grooming provide the perfect surface, and with 3 lifts servicing 14 trails and 3 terrain parks, there’s plenty of variety for the novice to the expert. Looking for a low-key winter adventure? Experience the rush of snow tubing, perfect for all ages, and sit back and relax as you ride the Wonder Carpet back up to the top after each run! Visitors can get cozy in the upgraded lodge and lobby, warm up by the fireplace, or savor a meal and drink in the dining area and bar.
Off the mountain: Enjoy a wide range of delectable dishes in an inviting environment full of history and character at the Delta Lake Inn in Rome. For a relaxing place to kick back and enjoy freshly brewed beer, highly rated New York State wines, and even hard cider, try Copper City Brewing Company, also in Rome.
Worried about snowfall? This ski area, in Western New York’s famous Colden Snowbelt, receives an average annual snowfall of 180 inches!
On the mountain: At Kissing Bridge in the Erie County hamlet of Glenwood, you can experience 39 slopes spread out over 700 acres. That includes plenty of great terrain perfect for beginners or intermediate skiers or riders, plus several challenging slopes for advanced skiers. Best of all, with 9 lifts, you’ll spend more time on the slopes and less time in the lift line!
Kissing Bridge’s SnowSports School instructors bring a wealth of skiing and snowboard knowledge, as well as their passion for the sport, to each and every lesson they teach, and are well trained and inspired to provide you and your family a friendly environment for group, private and children’s lessons.
Off the mountain: After a day on the slopes, enjoy fine dining at The Harvest Room, where you can sit fireside or enjoy a slopeside view. Discover local art, music, theater, and more at Springville Center for the Arts in nearby Springville. History buffs can explore one of the rarest collections of Roycroft artifacts, including beautifully bound and illuminated books, furniture and copper work, as well as oil paintings by Alex Fournier, and leatherwork by George Scheidemantel, at the Elbert Hubbard Roycroft Museum in East Aurora.
Credit: @emburgess8 on Instagram
On or off the slopes, you’ll find fun and adventure for the whole family on a trip to Dry Hill Ski Area in Watertown.
On the mountain: Since 1960 Dry Hill Ski Area has been Watertown’s favorite family ski, snowboard & tubing area, offering affordable family skiing, night skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. Dry Hill also features ski and snowboarding instruction, a rental shop, food service, and the Fireside Lounge, where guests can enjoy the après atmosphere next to a roaring, warming fire.
Off the mountain: For off-the-slopes thrills and challenges, check out The Escape Works Inc., an immersive physical adventure game in which you are locked in a room with friends, relatives, or coworkers and you have 60 minutes to escape by following clues, solving puzzles, and accomplishing tasks.