Winter Attractions: Snow Tubing and Skiing in New York

Outdoor activities and ski resorts to visit on your next adventure, open now!

Winter Attractions blog header

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! 


Belleayre Mountain is a popular site for snowboarders and downhill skiers and an ideal location for day-trippers from New York City. Photo Courtesy of Belleayre Mountain Facebook.

Belleayre Mountain 

Address: 181 Galli Curci Rd. Highmount, NY 12441
Distance from Rhinecliff-Kingston Station (RHI): 47 miles (+ Enterprise Rental Car)

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.

The 240-acre park spans four different mountain faces and features 67 trails, 13 lifts, four freestyle terrain parks and plenty of nearby accommodations. Photo Courtesy of Hunter Mountain Facebook.

Hunter Mountain Resort

Address: 64 Klein Ave, Hunter, NY 12442
Distance from Hudson Station (HUD): 26.6 miles (+ Enterprise Rental Car with drop-off at the station)

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.

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. Photo Courtesy of Windham Mountain Facebook.

windham mountain

Address: 19 Resort Dr, Windham, NY 12496
Distance from Hudson Station (HUD): 30.4 miles (+ Enterprise Rental Car w/drop off at station)

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.

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. Photo Courtesy of Bristol Mountain Facebook.

bristol mountain

Address: 5662 NY-64, Canandaigua, NY 14424
Distance from Rochester Station (ROC): 37 miles (+ Enterprise Rental Car)

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.

With 14 lifts and 110 trails, there’s always more to explore at Gore. Photo Courtesy of Gore Mountain.

gore mountain ski resort

Address: 793 Peaceful Valley Rd, North Creek, NY 12853
Distance from Albany-Rensselaer Station (ALB): 88 miles (+ Enterprise Rental Car at the station)

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. Photo Courtesy of Whiteface Mountain Facebook.

whiteface mountain

Address: 5021 State Route 86, Wilmington, NY 12997
Distance from Albany-Rensselaer Station (ALB): 146 miles (+ Enterprise Rental Car at the station)

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.

This 290-acre resort boasts 60 slopes and trails, 13 lifts, three base lodges, two hotels, an aerial park mountain coaster and numerous amenities. Photo Courtesy of Holiday Valley Facebook.

holiday valley ski resort

Address: 6557 Holiday Valley Rd, Ellicottville, NY 14731 
Distance from Buffalo Exchange Street (BFX) and Depew (BUF) Stations: 52 miles

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. 

Hit the slopes at one of the largest skiable areas in the Berkshire/Taconic Mountain's. | Photo from Catamount Ski Area
Hit the slopes at one of the largest skiable areas in the Berkshire/Taconic Mountain's. | Photo from Catamount Ski Area

catamount mountain resort

Address: 78 Catamount Rd, Hillsdale, NY 12529
Distance from Hudson Station (HUD): 20 miles

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.

New York State offers plenty of picturesque cross-country skiing locations too, and Pineridge Ski Area is one of the best. Photo Courtesy of Pine Ridge Cross Country Ski Area Facebook.

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

Address: 1000 Mountain Rest Road New Paltz, NY 12561
Distance from Poughkeepsie Station (POU): 17.8 miles

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

Address: 600 US-44, Highland, NY 12528
Distance from Poughkeepsie Station (POU): 6.4 miles
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, all day long! Photo Courtesy of 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!

Tobogganing in Chestnut Park

tobogganing at chestnut ridge park

Address: 6121 Chestnut Ridge Rd, Orchard Park, NY 14127
Distance from Buffalo Exchange Street Station (BFX): 17.4 miles
This list has covered most of the winter activity basics so far, but one thing you don’t see every day is good old-fashioned, high-speed tobogganing. Luckily, New York State doesn’t disappoint: Chestnut Ridge Park just outside Buffalo is home to several historic tobogganing shoots that have attracted crowds from all over Western New York since the 1930s. Visitors can bring their own toboggans and race down the 20-foot chutes from the top of the park’s highest hill for the chance to get an unforgettable ride (and possibly some frostbite). Tobogganing is available on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. No snow sleds, though? No problem! The park recently announced its decision to allow freeskiing and snowboarding access on the hill for the first time in 30 years. Chestnut Ridge will also provide a tow line to help thrill-seekers get back up to the top faster, so the fun won’t show any signs of slowing!

Taking Ski and Snowboard Gear on Amtrak

Ski or snowboard gear may be either checked or carried on for free in lieu of baggage and must be covered in a protective or hard-sided case. Carried items must weigh less than 50 pounds and be less than 72 inches in height, while checked items can be up to 50 pounds and 75 linear inches in height. Learn more here.

Enterprise Rent-a-Car Information

New York By Rail has partnered with Enterprise Rent-A-Car to provide rental cars to Amtrak customers. Click here to find more about the services available for the station you are traveling to. Call the branch 20 minutes before your Amtrak train is expected to arrive at the station to confirm your pick-up time. It’s that simple!

Further Information Regarding Travel
Amtrak has taken several initiatives to ensure the safety of its passengers. They have committed to requiring face masks for all passengers, converting the cafe car to takeout only, adding social distance signage, and much more.
Learn More Information Here