Does having the most ski resorts in the country make New York State the capital of skiing? We think so! When it comes to skiing and snowboarding—and pretty much all things fun in the snow—New York’s options are plentiful and diverse. We’ve compiled a list of the best skiing destinations to fit your unique needs, whether you’re a beginner, a pro, or trying to please a bunch of different people! Read on to find your dream ski trip in New York.
Masks are encouraged, but optional in most settings per New York State guidelines. Individual businesses or attractions may require mask wearing. Call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions and amenities are open and available.
Originally published 1/10/2020
Families have been enjoying the slopes on Belleayre Mountain ever since the 1940s, when New York skiing enthusiasts convinced state leaders to develop its trails. Belleayre stands out for its extra wide trails and the fact that, while lively, it’s never overly crowded. This means you have plenty of room to learn and just enjoy the experience without worrying about bumping into anyone. While you’re there, don’t miss a ride on the scenic gondola ride with panoramic views of the Catskill Forest Preserve. Highmount, Catskills
Bristol Mountain in the Finger Lakes is a fantastic destination if you’re new to skiing or haven’t had many opportunities to try it. Of the 138 acres of skiable terrain, Bristol’s 39 trails break out into 31% beginner, 56% intermediate, and 13% advanced level. Almost every trail also features lights for night skiing. So even if you’re still figuring out how to make “pizza” vs. “french fries” with your skis, Bristol has plenty of fun options for newbies. Best of all, it has state-of-the-art snowmaking technology, so when the weather doesn’t cooperate with your skiing plans, Bristol has you covered. Canandaigua, Finger Lakes
Okay thrill-seekers, this one’s for you! Catamount Mountain Resort has some of the most diverse and challenging slopes around, including a 1,000-foot vertical drop. Even though it’s particularly loved by experienced skiers, beginners will find lots of long runs that they can conquer. Plus, several of the trails take you through the woods for a lovely change of scenery. Come here if you’re looking for a challenge! Hillsdale, Hudson Valley
Gore Mountain is one of the Adirondacks’ hottest spots for alpine skiing and snowboarding. It has a mix of trails across levels (11% beginner, 49% intermediate, 40% advanced) and plenty of gorgeous glades, including the longest gladed trail in the Northeast. Because the runs are so long, you can spend more time skiing down the mountain than getting up it, so you will feel totally immersed in the sensation. Gore also has an incredible gondola ride that provides a nice break from the wind and cold while offering stunning views of the snowy slopes before it’s time to zip down again. North Creek, Adirondacks
Not only is Greek Peak great for getting the whole family skiing, but it also has just about everything else you could want in a winter family getaway. The largest ski resort in Central New York boasts 55 trails (44 ski trails, 11 glades), with plenty of choices for beginners and experts, as well as terrain parks. Besides skiing, there’s a snowtubing center with more than 18 lanes, as well as year-round zip lines in the adventure park. You can also try a ride on the Nor’ Easter Mountain Coaster or enjoy cross-country skiing or snowshoeing at Greek Peak’s Nordic Center. Greek Peak also has a fantastic adaptive snowsports program at its Greek Peak Adaptive Training Center. With Greek Peak’s “Intro2Snow” program, you receive a Beginner Zone lift pass, a group lesson, and your rental all at one low package rate. You can receive private lessons from a coach or instructor and find any type of equipment to fit your needs. The program includes reduced lift prices on Sundays. Warm up after all the winter activities at Greek Peak’s indoor water park featuring water slides and a wave pool. Cortland, Finger Lakes
Holiday Valley has a number of perks that draw skiers from all around neighboring states and Canada. When it comes down to the skiing, Holiday Valley offers varied terrain, a total of 60 slopes over four mountain faces (39 of which are open for night skiing and riding), and 13 lifts (including four high speed quads), so there’s plenty to keep things exciting, trip after trip. After you’ve happily exhausted yourself on the mountain, unthaw yourself in one of the cozy lodges and head on down into the charming town of Ellicottville for your après-ski. There are restaurants, bars, and even the award-winning Ellicottville Brewing Company, where you can warm up and relax. Ellicottville, Chautauqua-Allegheny
Skiers and snowboarders will be happy exploring Hunter Mountain’s 320 acres of snowy slopes. But plenty of times you want to take the family on a ski trip and run into a big problem: not everyone wants to ski! Hunter Mountain has some truly exceptional alternatives to its great skiing. First, they have a separate snow tubing park with its very own carpet lift so you don’t have to drag your tube up to the top. The lanes are about 1,000 feet long and all ages can partake. You can also cozy up in the spacious base lodge or pamper yourself at the full-service spa. Hunter, Catskills
Mount Peter offers skiing, snowboarding, and tubing a quick one-and-a-half-hour drive from New York City! It’s also the oldest operating ski area in New York State and one of the few remaining family-owned ski areas in the country. Skiers and snowboarders will find 13 expertly groomed trails, while those who prefer sliding down the mountain in an innertube will enjoy the 600-foot tubing run. Day-trippers can enjoy views of the Warwick Valley, grab a bite at the ski area’s pub, and head back to the city for après-ski at home! Warwick, Hudson Valley
At Peek’n Peak, every black diamond trail has a corresponding green circle trail so that everyone can get down the mountain in whichever way works best for them. There’s also a seven-lane tubing hill, four terrain parks, and excellent skiing and snowboarding instruction if you’re looking to learn. But Peek’n Peak is more than a ski destination, it is a resort and spa! It has a beautiful pool complex with hot tubs great for soaking sore muscles. Take your relaxation even deeper at the spa with massage therapy, body treatments, facials, and more, by appointment only. Plus, thanks to the lake effect of Lake Erie, the area tends to get a lot of snowfall each winter. Clymer, Chautauqua-Allegheny
If you want to introduce the little ones to skiing, the family-owned Plattekill is the perfect place. Introduce your little ones to skiing with private lessons when kids will receive one-on-one attention from quality instructors and the staff is widely known to be warm and friendly. The Mountain Meisters group lesson, for children ages 7-12, prepares kids for more advanced levels. Roxbury, Catskills
As a primary venue for the Winter Olympics held in Lake Placid in both 1932 and 1980, Whiteface Mountain is your one-stop shop for nearly every type of winter sport you can think of. Of course, you’ll find fantastic skiing. In fact, Whiteface has the longest single intermediate run and the highest vertical of any lift-serviced mountain in the Northeast. The trails are well-groomed and the snow is well provided. But you can also explore cross-country ski trails, take a scenic gondola ride over the mountain, and take a spin on the actual Olympic Speed Skating Oval. You can even try out bobsledding on the Olympic track! Bonus: from the observation deck on Little Whiteface Mountain you’ll catch stunning views of the forest, surrounding mountains, Lake Champlain, and the village of Lake Placid. Wilmington, Adirondacks
Windham is just over a two-hour drive from New York City. You’ll find something for all types of skiers with its 54 trails, including a 1,600-foot vertical drop, and a wide range of lesson programs for adults and kids. There’s also fantastic snow tubing with a conveyor lift, and even snowmobiling just for kids! Windham also has one of the largest varieties of on-mountain dining. Families can enjoy a nice meal at the Seasons, its restaurant with a view, or newly-opened Cin!Cin! for Italian cuisine and alpine ambiance; both restaurants require advanced reservations. Windham is also home to the Adaptive Sports Foundation, the largest adaptive snowsports program in the Northeast! The center provides coaching and educational opportunities for participants ages five and up, as well as equipment rentals. Windham, Catskills