Outdoor activities and ski resorts to visit on your next adventure, open now!
With snow in the forecast, there’s no better time to take advantage of some outdoor fun. Between the Catskill and Adirondack mountains, New York State offers some of the best ski and outdoor resorts in the Northeast. And thanks to Amtrak, you’re always just a train ride away from most of them. (Insider tip: most skis can be checked on Amtrak trains for free!) Several New York resorts are debuting new trails this season. So whether you want to ski or snowboard on some fresh powder, go snowshoeing or tubing, trek into the woods with some cross country skis or even ride in a horse-drawn sleigh, the outdoor opportunities are endless!
First up on the list is Belleayre Mountain, a popular site for snowboarders and downhill skiers and an ideal location for day-trippers from New York City. Featuring 171 acres, 50 unique trails, 5 glades, a terrain park, and a progression park, it’s no surprise that this Belleayre Ski resort is known as one of the best Catskills resorts. Whether you’re new to snow sports or you’ve been riding the slopes for years, Belleayre offers something for everyone. It has plenty of trails that vary across all skill levels, and the lower half of the mountain is dedicated to beginner and intermediate skiers, so they have plenty of room to learn without interference from more experienced skiers. You’ll love riding down some of New York’s most challenging steeps, exciting bumps, and winding trails. Worried about getting lost on the trail? Trail maps are available for Belleayre Mountain’s many trails. In addition to great trails, you can hop on one of the park’s gondolas to catch panoramic views of the wintry Catskill Forest Preserve. Belleayre also offers a variety of snowsports programs, including private lessons, kids’ lessons, competition programs, and more. Ski rentals and snowboard equipment and several dining options are also available on site. Trying to find a day with the best conditions? Belleayre’s website contains a regularly updated snow report, enabling guests to pick the perfect day to hit the slopes.
Hunter Mountain Resort
Hunter Mountain is the largest of New York’s ski resorts. The 240-acre park spans four different mountain faces and features 67 trails, 13 lifts, four freestyle terrain parks, and plenty of nearby accommodations. Regardless of your skill level, you can sign up for the award-winning ski school’s individualized lessons or check out their day and season-long programs. Lift tickets are limited, so be sure to check their website before planning your fabulous winter escape. Wondering what else there is to do at Hunter Mountain? The ski resort is home to plenty of fun activities, including snow tubing and live music and drink tastings. If you prefer a more relaxing getaway, Hunter Mountain offers the finest mountain resort lodging with beautiful views, heated pools, saunas, and more. Only two and a half hours from NYC by car, Hunter Mountain makes for a great weekend trip that will have your whole family wanting to come back at the first sign of snow.
Just a few miles north of Hunter Mountain is the often less crowded, but equally beloved, family-friendly Windham Mountain. Spread across two peaks and 285 skiable acres, Windham offers beginner-to-expert terrain perfect for alpine skiing and cruising, as well as six terrain parks where freestylers can practice tricks and tucks in a safe, secure setting. The park features 54 trails and 12 lifts, including a brand new, high-speed, detachable six-passenger chairlift, and has one of the largest varieties of on-mountain dining. Windham Mountain’s Snow Sports School offers a wide variety of programs and instruction options for children and adults to ensure that each student excels on the slopes. Additionally, snow tubing is another excellent activity at the ski resort.
In the western Finger Lakes region of New York near Canandaigua Lake, is Bristol Mountain, located east of Buffalo and slightly south of Rochester. Bristol’s 1200′ vertical rise, the highest between the Adirondacks and the Rocky Mountains, makes for breathtaking views at the mountain’s summit and a variety of inclines for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Although a bit smaller in comparison to our previous parks with only 138 acres of total skiable terrain, this mountain still offers riders 34 different slopes, two terrain parks, two Nordic loops, and two high-speed quad lifts. The state-of-the-art snowmaking system covers almost all of the terrain, and 96 percent of trails have lighting during the night operating season, so the fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. This snowmaking machine also means you won’t have to rely on the Rochester weather. Other services include rental equipment, a full snowsports retail store, and an equipment tuning center. Bristol Mountain lodging is also available so that you can make the most of your stay.
gore mountain ski resort
Further north in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains is Gore Mountain, a sprawling, four-peak winter resort about an hour’s car ride from the Ticonderoga station on Amtrak’s Adirondack’s line. Compared to other mountain resorts, Gore is recognized and hailed for its safety protocols, leading sustainability initiates and unbeatable Adirondack views. The mountain’s varied terrain makes it an ideal location for glade skiing, but downhill skiers and snowboarders also visit to challenge themselves in the eight terrain parks, which range from laidback set-ups to competition courses. The mountain offers equipment rentals, affordable private lessons, a variety of unique lodging partners, and plenty of on-site cafes to choose from and warm up in. Although Gore Mountain has plenty of great lodging suggestions, be sure to check out VRBO and Airbnb. Whether you’re a season pass holder or a first-time, same-day ticket purchaser, enjoy twilight skiing and cross-country/snowshoe trail access under the lights at the historic North Creek Ski Bowl, where all four peaks connect. With 14 lifts and 110 trails, there’s always more to explore at Gore. Keep your eye out for the new 60’ wide intermediate trail “Backwoods” this 2022/2023 season!
The host of two Winter Olympics–and often called the best ski experience on the east coast–Whiteface Mountain is a special place. This massive mountain boasts the greatest vertical drop east of the Rockies, with 94 trails stretching over 25 miles and encompassing three snowy peaks. The 288 skiable acres feature four terrain parks, 12 lifts and one gondola, glade skiing areas, and mile after mile of groomed cruisers connected by renowned side country. Despite the mountain’s impressive size, 98% of the terrain has snowmaking coverage. Winter weather in the Adirondacks usually makes for the perfect snowy conditions. Challenge your endurance on the 2.1-mile-long Wilmington Trail, the longest single intermediate trail in the Northeast, or take in the amazing panoramic views of the surrounding Adirondack Mountains from Whiteface’s peak, where on a clear winter day you can spot Lake Champlain to the east. Be sure to be on the lookout for two new trails this season: Ausable Run and Yellow Dot. When you’ve exhausted yourself on the slopes, explore the lakeside Olympic village and off-mountain attractions you can’t find anywhere else, such as bobsledding down an Olympic track or groomed Nordic skiing. You’ll also find more dining and hotel options in Lake Placid than in any southern Vermont hamlet! Check out your unique lodging options here.
holiday valley ski resort
Once you arrive at Holiday Valley Ski Resort, you will understand why it was ranked the sixth-best ski resort in the East by SKI Magazine. Located in the charming village of Ellicottville, just an hour south of Buffalo, Holiday Valley has become an annual vacation staple for countless families since its founding in 1957. Whether you’re visiting for a day-trip or a weekend getaway, this ski resort is the ideal winter destination. The 290-acre resort boasts 60 slopes and trails, 13 lifts, three base lodges, two hotels, an aerial park mountain coaster, and numerous amenities. During the winter, Holiday Valley also offers cafeterias in all 3 base lodges, a coffee bar and the Waffle Hut at the base of Cindy’s lift. Explore the mountain’s several terrain parks that feature everything from half and quarter pipes to rails and tabletops, or you can opt for a casual cross-country skiing or snowshoeing session instead. Thanks to the 39 available night trails, the fun only has to end when you want it to (or when the cold gets to you)! Once you’ve tired yourself out on the slopes, ease your tired muscles and melt away your stress at the Ellicottville Oasis Spa, located in Holiday Valley’s Tamarack Club.
catamount mountain resort
Catamount Mountain Resort is a four-season resort straddling the NY/Massachusetts border in the Adirondacks, just 2 hours from NYC, and home to some of southern New England’s best steeps and beginner and intermediate terrain. Since undergoing its stunning transformation in the summer of 2018, Catamount has become one of the best mid-sized ski areas on the East Coast. The resort offers guests a new lift, new lodge, hundreds of new snow guns, four snow-making ponds, miles of pipe, countless other upgrades and the surrounding area’s best and most varied terrain. Plus, the resort’s growing variety of on-site rooms is all within walking distance of the base lodge, which means you can be the first one on the slopes and the last one off! New to skiing? The resort offers skiing lessons at their snow sports school to better prepare you for hitting the slopes. Family-oriented, close to Great Barrington, MA, and the Hudson Valley, Catamount Mountain Resort is an ideal location for all skier types and makes for an unforgettable vacation and is perfect for outdoor adventures.
pineridge cross country ski area
Address: 1463 Plank Road, Petersburg, NY 12138
Distance from Albany-Rensselaer Station (ALB): 18.7 miles (+ Enterprise Rental Car pick-up at the station)
For the outdoor lovers interested in a more relaxed type of winter sporting, have no fear: New York State offers plenty of picturesque cross-country skiing and snowshoeing locations, too. Pineridge Ski Area, nestled in the foothills of the Taconic and Berkshire Mountains, offers visitors the chance to explore hundreds of acres of untouched wilderness. Wind through beautiful snow-blanketed forests of hardwoods and evergreens, ski along the picturesque Poestenkill Creek, or hike up to an elevation of 1746 feet where you can spot New York’s Taconic Range and Mount Greylock in far-off Massachusetts. Two new trails have been cleared for this season, currently dubbed Trail #6 and Trail #7. Ski rentals are also available at the resort, which is convenient for those of us who don’t own our own pair. When you’ve had your fill of the fresh mountain air, cozy up in the lodge by a warm fire with hot refreshments and good company. Pineridge Cross Country Ski Area is only a short drive outside the Capital District and a worthwhile trip for expert and amateur cross-country skiers alike across New York State.
mohonk mountain house
Travel back in time this season and indulge yourself with a stay at the Mohonk Mountain House, a stunning Victorian castle resort only 90 miles north of New York City. With over 40,000 acres of protected lands, there’s plenty to keep you active and entertained for a weekend getaway: cross-country ski alongside the lake, head for the Sky Top Tower outlook or choose one of the many other trails that honeycomb the property. For the places you can’t reach by cross-country, switch out your skis for snowshoes for some additional trailblazing. What makes Mohonk Mountain House extra special is its wide variety of winter activities. This family mountain resort offers hiking along the snow-covered preserve, snowshoeing and even snow tubing.
When the great outdoors has tired you out, book a relaxing massage at the Mohonk Mountain House’s award-winning spa or warm up with a campfire and some marshmallows at the newly built outdoor fire pits. Guests can also participate in a range of outdoor activities scheduled daily, including live music every weekend. This season, look forward to Jazz on the Mountain from Jan. 20-23, Couples’ Romantic Getaway: February from Feb. 10-13, and many more exciting events. Whatever you do during your stay at the Mountain House, expect to leave relaxed, content, and ready to book your next visit.
rocking horse ranch
This all-inclusive family resort in Highland, N.Y., is only 90 minutes from New York City and a 15-minute drive from Amtrak’s Poughkeepsie station, making it the ideal location for those city dwellers looking to get their children and families into the great outdoors this season. Keeping true to its name, the Rocking Horse Ranch specializes in horses and trail rides, but you can expect a range of other fun outdoor activities in the snow, too. This winter, race down the resort’s 500-foot-long snow tubing lanes, take the new state-of-the-art Magic Carpet™ Conveyor Lift back up to the top, and then do it all over again at the Winter Fun Park! Your winter stay also offers access to the park’s NEW real ice-skating rink (rentals included), some small hills for skiing (instruction and equipment included), and horse-drawn sleigh rides through 500 acres of magical woods. Don’t forget to stop and admire the 50,000 blue lights covering the pine trees on the property. Still not sold? Perhaps the unlimited supply of hot chocolate will convince you! This season, look forward to the Presidents’ Break event from Feb. 17-26 and the Scout Weekend from Mar. 24-26, where you can enjoy tubing, the Eldorado Hot Springs, indoor pools & waterslides, and much more!