Take Five Skiing Guide – Best Ski Spots Near NYC
While some people I know just try to hole up through the whole winter until it starts to get sunny again, I grew up with snowy winters and love to get out even when it’s dead cold to see and enjoy it! But now that I live in New York City, the snow is beautiful for a little less than an hour before it all becomes a grey soup that I have to hurdle over at every street corner. While there definitely are some parks and other gorgeous spots to enjoy the snow within the city, I once had a great night sledding on cardboard boxes on fresh snow in Central Park, it’s amazing to do a winter getaway outside New York City.
Now I’m no Winter Olympian, but I skied a good amount growing up and it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. What I also love about the ski spots I went to is it’s just as fun to hang out at the lodge, and there’s usually a ton of other great stuff to do if skiing isn’t your thing. Since I might try to hit the slopes again, I figured I would look into some awesome places to ski near the city, and share my findings with you all! If you see me there, don’t say anything if I’m bloodied by how much I’m falling over.
Thunder Ridge – Patterson, NY
Thunder Ridge is the closest and most casual-friendly resort I could find. It’s only a little more than an hour to drive to get there, and they even have a great Metro-North program that makes it even more accessible for skiers that don’t have cars. On top of these amazing options to get to the park, they have special deals including college night specials which gives anyone with a valid student ID night ticket discounts, and a Mid-Week Special which offers discounted lift tickets from Monday-Thursday all season besides a couple of select weeks. Thunder Ridge’s slopeside lodge looks absolutely gorgeous, and there are a ton of local restaurants to eat at after you’ve tuckered yourself out.
Thunder Ridge is an amazing casual destination to get into skiing at any age because it has tons of daily lessons and mostly pretty easy trails, but veteran skiers shouldn’t rule it out. It’s so easy to get to Thunder Ridge that it’s perfect for when you get a last minute free day and want to do something fun and spontaneous that also won’t break the bank. There are a couple of advanced runs and a terrain park to satisfy the more experienced crowd.
Windham Mountain – Windham, NY
The Catskill Mountains have a ton of great ski resorts and are a super popular ski destination for most people, with most Catskill slopes taking around 2 to 3 hours to drive to. Windham Mountain is one of the closest Catskill resorts at about 2 hours away and has a great mix of beginner, intermediate, and a couple of terrifying double black runs for all skiers. This spot seems perfect for my skill level because the runs are primarily intermediate, which is me to a T. Windham Mountain even has a ton of lodging options for people planning a group or family getaway, and non-skier friendly activities like a snow tubing park and spa.
Windham Mountain looks like a perfect casual option for families and a group of friends looking for a chill getaway, and still some tough trails for adrenaline junkies! There are some cool events coming up in February, like a laser show on the 19th and even a couple of concerts.
Hunter Mountain – Hunter, NY
Hunter Mountain is an absolutely gorgeous resort located about 2 hours 45 minutes from New York City in the Great North Catskills, and is absolutely worth the slightly longer travel time with a pretty huge 58 total ski trails that will be great for seasoned and beginner visitors alike. The trail map makes the available slopes look really appealing, with a ton of forks and multiple paths that will make multiple rides down super exciting. Hunter Mountain may be top of my aspirational ski trip list, but I have to bribe one of my friends with a car into driving me!
There’s also a ton on offer here for the non-skiing inclined. There’s a snow tubing park available for families and adults, and if you haven’t tried snow tubing before I’m mentioning it twice because it’s really freaking fun! Hunter also has very reasonable rates for adult first-timer group lessons, so if you always wanted to try skiing or snowboarding and never could, this is a pretty solid option!
Thank you for reading my little list of awesome ski spots! I hope I’ll have the time to go to one of these places this year, and that this blog might motivate someone else to get out and try it too! Given the ongoing Covid-19 situation going on, make sure you travel safely and research the safety policies in place at each of the resorts I’ve listed before going. Please be responsible and wear a mask around strangers as much as you can, you don’t know who is vulnerable or not and they all deserve to enjoy their time safely. Plus, it’ll warm you up anyway.