The Big Apple might not be the first city that comes to mind when you think of skiing day trips. But it’s possible to hop on a train at Grand Central Station and be hitting the slopes in less than two hours. You can also catch buses from a number of places throughout the city that will whisk you away to some surprisingly good ski resorts and get you home in time for a late dinner. (For rates and schedules check out OvrRide, Urban Sherpa Travel, Sourced Adventures or NYC Snow Bus.) And if you’ve got a car, the only limit to your ski adventures is how many hours you’re willing to spend behind the wheel. Here are some of our top picks for skiing day trips from New York City.
An hour’s drive from the George Washington Bridge in Vernon Township, New Jersey, Mountain Creek is the closest ski area to NYC. It is beloved by generations of New York skiers who knew it as Great Gorge and then Vernon Valley. Boasting eight lifts, a 1,040-foot vertical rise and 167 skiable acres across four interconnected peaks, Mountain Creek is big enough to make you forget you’re in New Jersey. It also has night skiing on all 46 trails and 100% snowmaking coverage, ensuring good conditions even in non-snowy winters.
With three chairlifts, four magic carpets and 22 trails, Thunder Ridge in Patterson, New York, is a great ski area for families. But what really sets it apart is its convenience. Guests can board the Metro North Ski Train at Grand Central Station, get off in Patterson, and catch a free shuttle right to the slopes. The lifts run until 9 p.m. every day but Sunday, and the resort’s snowmaking system covers 100% of the terrain.
The resort most closely associated with NYC, Hunter sits just over two hours away in the scenic Catskill Mountains. Among the largest of New York state’s ski areas, Hunter has an impressive 1,600-foot vertical drop, three terrain parks and 67 trails spread out across 320 skiable acres. Famed for its snowmaking innovations, Hunter was the first resort in the world to install base-to-summit snowmaking, in 1968, and the first to achieve 100% coverage, in 1980. Weekends can get famously crowded, so try to ski on a weekday if you can.
Another 1,600-vertical-foot Catskills resort, Windham has 11 lifts serving 54 trails with a combined 285 skiable acres. Snowmaking covers 97% of the area, including Windham’s six terrain parks. The terrain parks run the gamut, from the beginner-friendly Wraparound Park to the advanced features of Wilbur Park and Jib Park.
A third, less crowded Catskills option, Belleayre Mountain in Highmount, New York, has a 1,404-foot vertical and 171 skiable acres. Skiers have access to 50 trails, eight lifts (including the Catskill Thunder Gondola), two terrain parks and an X-course. Snowmaking covers 96% of the terrain, which includes slopes for every level of skier.
Connecticut’s largest ski area, Mohawk Mountain, in Cornwall, sits about two hours away from Manhattan. It boasts a 960-foot vertical drop and 26 trails covering 112 skiable acres. The area is serviced by five triple chairs and four magic carpets, making it a great option for families. And snowmaking covers 99% of the terrain, so you’re guaranteed quality coverage. The resort even has night skiing if you’re not in a hurry to get back to the city.
Less than two hours from Manhattan in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, Camelback features 39 trails across 166 skiable acres and 800 feet of vertical. The resort, in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, also has the country’s largest snow-tubing park, with 42 lanes. Snowmaking covers 100% of the terrain, and three on-mountain restaurants keep guests fueled up for their skiing adventures.
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