In the Catskills, a two-hour drive from the city, the 1,600-foot vertical slope of Windham Mountain covers such varied terrain that it allows seven double black diamond trails for experts, plus a dozen gentle races for beginners and almost half of the 54 trails for beginners and almost half of the 54 trails for beginners. Nearly all of the 285 skiable acres, more than any other ski resort on this list, are covered by artificial snow, which has been improved over the past two years through significant investments in equipment. The lighting extends the ski day on Friday and Saturday nights. With the same 1,600 feet of unevenness as Windham and about 2.75 hours from the city, Hunter Mountain includes three mountain slopes that offer an enormous variety of terrain.
Its 320 skiable acres are covered by state-of-the-art snow machines that complement the natural snowfall of the Catskill. The mountain is known for its high-quality maintenance and cleaning. The 67 trails are divided into 25 percent for beginners, 30 percent for intermediate, 30 percent for advanced and 15 percent for experts, and there are three terrain parks. A zip line tour rises 600 feet above the resort.
With a respectable vertical drop of 1,040 feet an hour's drive from New York, Mountain Creek offers the longest tracks of all the resorts that are less than two hours from the city. The 46 trails, which are accessed by eight elevators, extend over four mountain peaks and are 100 percent covered by artificial snow. All 167 skiable acres are lit up for nighttime skiing; the resort has a zip line and a 30-lane tubing park. Although it is one of the smallest mountains on the list, with only 100 skiable acres and 500 feet of vertical drop, Thunder Ridge earns a place among the largest resorts because it is the closest to the city and the easiest to reach by public transport.
With the Metro-North ski train from Grand Central Station and the free shuttle service from Patterson train station, it's approximately 1.25 hours from the city to the mountain. The resort's 30 family-friendly slopes include six for advanced skiers, and the rest are divided equally between beginners and intermediate skiers. All are covered by artificial snow, as is the land park. An advantage for families is the reasonably priced lift tickets.
Weekdays offer the best value for money for adults. Camelback, a family-friendly mountain with a vertical of 800 feet, designates 18 of its 39 trails for beginners and 11 for intermediate ones; even the rest, marked for experts, offers no spooky descent. Twenty of its 166 acres are dedicated to terrain parks that offer more challenges to cyclists and freestyle lovers. The 50-square-foot airbag makes it easy to land for jumping.
On Friday and Saturday nights, all trails and parks are open until 10 p.m., and the oversized tubing park is open until 9 p.m. Only 20 percent of the trails are for beginners, but unlike many mountains, Plattekill has green tracks from each of its peaks, so everyone can enjoy the full mountain experience. Open only from Friday to Sunday and from Monday to Friday after at least 12 inches of snow has fallen, Plattekill restricts the number of chairlift tickets each day to reduce queues on its two chairlifts at the summit. Belleayre Mountain, which is also uncrowded and is one of the most affordable ski resorts in the Catskills, has an impressive 1,404-foot vertical, with 50 trails on 175 acres of mixed terrain.
More than half of the trails are for beginners and the rest are divided into approximately one fifth each for beginners and experts. About three hours from the city, Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort is a self-contained ski area in the Berkshires, close to the Massachusetts-New York border. Nearly half of the 45 trails are for beginners, and are combined with the excellent field-based learning program to make the resort a family favorite. Jiminy Peak obtains 100 percent of its electrical energy from renewable sources, mainly from the gigantic wind turbine at the top; it is the only ski area in North America with this distinction.
An advantage for families is the ability to stay at the resort right at the base, with family-friendly condominiums at the Country Inn at Jiminy Peak, plus restaurants, shops and other services. Also in the Berkshires, and in the middle of Massachusetts, Catamount extends on both sides of the state border, so you can ski in two states with just one track. Its vertical is 1,000 feet and the terrain is varied enough for 10 expert races and the longest in the Berkshires, a 2.5-mile cruise from the top. The rest of the mountain is divided equally between easy and intermediate trails, an area dedicated to students and three land parks.
The 15 trails and the land park, a total of 55 acres, are illuminated for skiing and horseback riding at night until 10 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Snow production covers nearly 100 percent of the trails. Of course, the 650-foot vertical of Mohawk Mountain may not offer the longest runs (the longest is Deer Run, at 1.25 miles), but it includes an astounding variety over 112 acres of skiing terrain.
Half of the 25 slopes are for intermediate skiers, with 30 percent for beginners and 20 percent for advanced skiers. Mohawk also has a separate learning area for beginners. The location in the snow zone of the Green Mountains promises an average annual snowfall of 156 inches. The addition of more than 250 high-power snow guns (more than any other ski resort in North America) keeps trail conditions at their best.
The 20 mountain lifts, including the Bluebird Express, the first six-passenger bubble lift in the East, access 80 interconnected trails on a 588-acre network. Intermediate levels are a priority at Mount Snow, with 54 trails; beginners have their own area with slower ski lifts and can even ski from the top on a long, gentle cruise. Experts head to the North Face to ski on its 10 expert slopes and a double black one, served by two triple chairlifts. Surfers love the 10 terrain parks and a halfpipe.
The free ski and snowboard school for beginners and the chance to ski an hour away from New York City combine to make Mount Peter an ideal destination for families. In the Hudson Valley, Mount Peter is also known for its snow production in all the mountains and its expert preparation, as well as for night skiing on each of its 10 trails, the terrain park and the beginner's area. Peter Road Warwick, New York Campgaw Mountain, the closest ski resort to New York, with 100 percent artificial snow, also stands out as a first-rate destination for learning to ski or snowboard. Just 18 miles north of the George Washington Bridge, the mountain has short chairlift lines and uncrowded trails, served by two double chairlifts and two carpet lifts.
At just 290 acres, Holiday Valley may be small, but don't be fooled: the resort takes full advantage of what it has to offer something that resembles a great mountain experience with modern lifts, hillside accommodation, a lively after-hike scene that other mountains envy, and much more. Located south of Buffalo and 48 km from the shores of Lake Erie, Holiday Valley benefits from the “lake effect” and receives more natural snow than most New York ski areas. Its location draws crowds not only from Buffalo, but the friendly staff helps maintain a cozy small-town atmosphere in the comfortable town. Hunter Mountain is an obvious choice for city residents who want to hit the slopes without having to go on a long hike.
Located 2.5 hours away, in the Catskill Mountains, it's just a short drive or bus ride from New York, making it an ideal location for both day trips and weekends. The mountain itself is every snow rabbit's dream, encompassing 320 skiable acres on 13 different ski lifts, 67 trails and a 1,600-foot vertical drop from the top. You get extra points for being on the Epic Pass, the Vail Resorts ski pass that allows access to 37 resorts in North America. Take this as a signal to, *really*, take your ski trip out of the group chat and book a stay at one of these resorts, all six hours or less from New York City.
About two hours from New York, Camelback is located in the Poconos, a popular weekend getaway destination for residents of New York and Philadelphia. From the 3,000-foot tower at the top and the points below, skiers and surfers can enjoy a variety of difficulties and plenty of places to work on their game. There are plenty of ski resorts just a short drive from New York City, with something everyone can enjoy, even those who have no intention of ever putting on a snowboard or ski tie. Explore a winter wonderland of snow-capped Adirondacks and, if you feel like it, try the water slides, a 35-acre off-road terrain with double black diamonds, open only to expert skiers when conditions are safe.
In the western Finger Lakes region of New York, south of Rochester and east of Buffalo, Bristol Mountain has 1,200 feet of vertical descent. Bellayre, a state-owned ski area near New York, is a reasonably priced mountain ideal for day hikers from the big city. In addition to its eight trails for beginners and intermediates and an expert learning program, its specialized children's program for children from four to six years old makes Campgaw Mountain a good option for family skiing near New York City. Located right on the Massachusetts state border and easily accessible from New York City and Boston, Catamount offers a family-friendly experience nestled in a picturesque bowl in the Berkshires.
Skiing near New York City is even easier thanks to agreements that resorts have made with transportation companies, which offer bus transportation back and forth, sometimes as part of a package with lift tickets and equipment rentals. The lack of a real town limits some of the amenities, but there are condos conveniently close to the slopes and a variety of options within 8 km of the resort. A short walk from the city is this family-friendly ski resort that offers something for all members of the family, even children and grandparents, making it perfect for those large group trips. This state mountain, which is the least crowded of the Catskill tourist resorts, is a practical and affordable option, especially for those who are frightened by the idea of crowded slopes and long chairlift lines.