Adventure

The Best Places to Ski Near NYC

Winter has arrived and it’s time to hit the slopes. Luckily, there is no shortage of winter wonderlands just a quick drive away from NYC. Here, the eight best snowy escapes for both skiers and boarders.

Chelsea is Brooklyn-based travel writer, editor, and photographer. When not home eating her way through NYC, she's gallivanting across the globe, sailing the coast of Croatia or hiking the peaks of Peru. Her superpowers include booking flight deals and sleeping in small plane seats.

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A young woman takes off her skis for a midday break at a ski resort in Hunter, New York
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Hunter

Every ski bum in New York City knows of Hunter. Under a three-hour drive from Manhattan, this favorite Catskills mountain is one of the easiest to get to thanks to day trips arranged by tour operators like OvRride, NYC Snow Bus, Sourced Adventures, and Urban Sherpa. The mountain itself has 240 acres of powder, and its 58 trails are a range of difficulty levels, so everyone can enjoy it, no matter their skill. But the best part is its apres-ski scene. Head to Jägerberg Beer Hall and Tavern for traditional German brats and brews, or Scribner’s Catskill Lodge, right down the road, for its weekend holiday market and happy hour cocktails at Prospect.

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View of Windham Resort
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Windham

Windham is a family-friendly ski resort in the Catskills, just 30 minutes south of Hunter. The mountain has 54 trails, mostly beginner greens and intermediate blues. But for those who want to show off their tricks, there are six terrain parks with more than 80 jumps, rails, boxes, and pipes. Bonus: the slopes don’t close when the sun goes down. On weekends, night skiing and snow-tubing are available until 8 p.m. There’s also a First Tracks program that gives you exclusive access to the runs before the resort opens to the public (and only for an extra $20)! After an afternoon, rest your weary legs at the TapHouse Grill and its secret speakeasy in the back.

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Person skiing on Gore Mountain
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Gore

Nestled in the Adirondacks, four hours north of the Big Apple, Gore is the state’s largest mountain and one of the most scenic winter getaways. Sylvan ski lodges circle the slopes and and charming wood cabins dot the lakes in the surrounding valleys. Gore itself boasts 110 trails and 14 lifts, so it’s no surprise that the lift ticket comes at a costly $94 per day (or $76 if you book online in advance). For those who want to get off the beaten path, consider schussing down the black diamond Cirque, the longest glade trail in the Northeast. After exploring the alpine environment, relax over an ale at Adirondack Brewery or by the fireplace at the brand new Saddle Lodge, a mid-mountain rest stop that was recently renovated and doubled in size.

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Mountain Creek

Only 50 miles from Manhattan, Mountain Creek is an easy choice for a quick ski trip. Although on the smaller side, this bluff is the biggest ski area in New Jersey. It has 46 trails and a 65-acre terrain park with a 50-foot jump (for those who dare to try it). Experts should head to the top of the four peaks while green skiers can stick to the bunny runs at the base. To get here, book a seat via Urban Sherpa or NYC Snow Bus, which sometimes offers discount lift ticket packages and round-trip transportation.

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5

Thunder Ridge

At first glance, this peak may seem more like a molehill than a mountain. With 22 trails and three lifts, Thunder Ridge isn’t the most sprawling of spaces. However, skiers and snowboarders can easily hop on the MetroNorth Ski Train to Patterson, New York, for a slopeside Saturday. The newly renovated terrain park is a perk for serious shredders while beginners can take one of the many family-friendly intro lessons.

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Belleayre mountain outside NYC
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Belleayre

If you want to save some cash on a winter weekend, look no further than Belleayre. This cute Catskills enclave has fewer crowds and an affordable price point for lift tickets ($68 on weekend days, or $36 sales on Wednesdays). This makes it a great deal for newbies who want to practice on the 11 greens and 27 blues. For those who prefer cross-country skiing instead of downhill, there are also six miles of peaceful paths through the Catskill Forest Preserve.

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Image Courtesy of Camelback Resort

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Camelback

In the heart of the Pennsylvania Poconos, Camelback is a convenient half-way point between New York City and Philadelphia. While the 16 lifts and 34 man-made trails tend to be packed (even during weekend after-hours until 10 p.m.), the resort has America’s biggest snow-tubing track right next door. Boarders will love the 20-acre terrain park and the giant air bag, perfect for practicing your Shaun White skills.

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8

Jiminy Peak

Eco-conscious explorers should make a beeline for Jiminy Peak in Jericho Valley. This Massachusetts mountain is the only resort on the continent to generate its own wind-powered energy, as shown by the massive turbine that sits on the summit. Jiminy Peak opened in 1948 and is one of the largest in the state — a good thing since you’ll be sharing the 45 trails and 1,150-foot vertical drop with Bostonians and New Yorkers alike.

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