New York City is not a place with quick access to white slopes. Drive a bit outside the city, though, and you’ll find ski resorts that offer the winter experience you might be craving. Here are Culture Trip’s top picks, all no more than three hours outside of NYC. Now get shredding.
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The Catskills are one of several mountain ranges within reach of NYC that offer year-round skiing. Hunter Mountain is the nearest resort and boasts 58 trails and 12 lifts across three mountains, as well as terrain parks for the particularly intrepid adventurers. You can reach the resort by bus or car in just under three hours.
The second set of mountains in close range to New York are the Poconos in Pennsylvania. Camelback Mountain Resort is equidistant from New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia and has the largest snow tubing park in the United States. The resort is fully lit for night skiing and offers three ski-in, ski-out restaurants for when you need to refuel.
Mountain Creek in New Jersey is the largest ski area in the state, with 46 trails and eight lifts, catering to all experience levels. If you get tired of skiing or boarding, there’s also a bike park and a waterpark on site, and the latter offers the world’s tallest (and only) double-looping water slide. Having been a local mainstay for 50 years, it’s a good, trustworthy option for New Yorkers craving the slopes.
Another Poconos option, this resort unifies two mountains, Jack Frost and Big Boulder. Big Boulder opened in 1947, followed by Jack Frost in 1972, and the two became an inseparable pair from then on, with a combined 35 trails and 17 lifts. The resort has a longer high season than most others in the Poconos, and it hosts plenty of events to keep you coming back year after year.
Just two and a half hours from NYC in the Catskills, Windham Mountain is a hulking 732 acres (296ha) of fun, with 54 trails and 12 lifts. It’s easy to reach by car, and the grounds offer a spa, a golf course, a bike park and plenty more to keep you occupied if the mountain trails begin to wear you out.
At only 75 minutes by car (also accessible via the MetroNorth Ski Train), Thunder Ridge is by far the nearest resort to NYC on this list. It doesn’t get much snowfall, but it has ample snowmaking facilities that enable it to stay open longer than other nearby resorts. It has 21 runs, splitting evenly between novice, intermediate and expert, and a large, relatively new terrain park.
Situated in the Catskills, Belleayre is a great option for anyone skiing on a budget. It’s owned and run by the state, which keeps prices down, and it can be handily accessed by train. It has 50 trails in total, and a 1,404ft (428m) drop, while still managing to have enough easy runs as to not alienate novices or families.
The Berkshires are generally thought of as a summer destination, but these Massachusetts mountains are also perfect for a trip during ski season. Jiminy Peak opened in 1948 and is the largest resort in all of New England. There are 45 trails and nine lifts, but perhaps most amazingly, Jiminy Peak is powered in large part by wind energy generated on site. The sustainability-forward mentality resonates through the entire resort, so if you’re environmentally conscious, this is the place to go.
Catamount sits on the state line between New York and Massachusetts, taking around two hours to reach. It was one of the first ski resorts in the Berkshires, having opened in 1939. Since 2018, it has undergone a major overhaul, including a brand new lift, a new lodge and vastly increased snowmaking capability. As well as the 36 trails, it is home to the longest zipline in the US – 5,523ft (1,683m)!
Roughly 95mi (150km) from NYC, Mohawk Mountain is the biggest ski area in Connecticut, a reputation it has retained since opening in 1947. As well as skiing and boarding, snow tubing is offered here, and the resort has 12 trails that are lit for night skiing (25 total). Mohawk played a big role in popularizing artificial snow, and if you need to wind down, yoga sessions are also available.