While there are still days that feel like the end of summer, the cold nights remind us that winter is here. This winter season is also a reminder that there are plenty of fun seasonal activities to do. Instead of flying to Utah or Colorado, where they’re known for their fine powder snow, there are plenty of ski slopes located right outside of New York City.
Planning a day trip or a weekend to a ski resort in New York State is as easy as riding a train and bus combo or taking a car to your destination. There are several locations that are a one-and-a-half-hour to three-hour drive away from Manhattan. Although, many of these places that are closer to the city may not fulfill your idea of a winter wonderland escape. Keep in mind that if you’re wanting to hit the slopes within three hours of getting out of bed, you have to take what you can get.
The downside of traveling to slopes closer to the city is that a lot more fake snow is used. While it does snow on these slopes, the amount is not enough for a winter of skiing, so most resorts in this region will use snow that is manufactured on-site. Fake snow is a bit icier and not as deep, but it will still allow you to ski.
Because of COVID-19, expect these ski resorts to be operating differently than they would normally do. Most resorts are offering advance online booking/tickets depending on the day you want to book. Most resorts will also have some form of COVID-19 restrictions in a place like mask mandates, social distancing, limited capacity, and lift restrictions. If you want to check out some of the best resorts to visit outside of NYC, here is a list of some ski resorts that are closer to Manhattan and some that are further.
Best Ski Resorts Near NYC
Windham Mountain – 19 Resort Dr, Windham, NY
About a three-and-a-half-hour car ride away from Manhattan, this resort is fitting for those who want to make a day out of blue or green trails. The resort has 54 trails and the summit height is 3100 feet. They include equipment rentals and options for lodging if you wish to stay the night before another day of fun. If you’re looking to buy a season pass, they have many options available. Be quick, however, as these types of passes sell out quickly. Day passes depend on the date, but usually range from $50-$130. Windham Mountain encourages guests to book tickets in advance online and will have its own COVID-19 protocols.
Hunter Mountain – 64 Klein Ave, Hunter, NY
This resort is two-and-a-half hours northwest of NYC and is pretty easy to get to in decent traffic. With 67 trails, Hunter Mountain’s easy to harder trails will be able to attract people of all levels. The resort is operating at a limited capacity and will require advanced booking online. Tickets are as low as $70 and can be changed according to your needs. They are doing a 20% off before Nov. 21, so be sure to jump on that discount as soon as possible.
Holiday Mountain Ski and Fun – 99 Holiday Mountain Rd, Monticello, NY
About a two-hour drive away from the city, Holiday Mountain caters more to a younger audience. They only have six beginner hills, and be sure to call ahead to see which ones are open. This resort is best for beginners needing a place to learn how to ski. Tickets are only $42 for a full day, so it is the best bargain near NYC. Face masks are required and be sure to read all their COVID-19 protocols before visiting.
Belleayre Mountain Ski Center – 181 Galli Curci Rd, Highmount, NY
One of the most wallet-friendly ski resorts in the Catskills region, Belleayre is uncrowded and has 50 trails across 175 acres of different terrains. Over half of the trails are for intermediate skiers, with the rest being split between beginners and experts. The longest run is over two miles long and the center has an impressive 1,404 feet vertical. Belleayre lift tickets must be booked in advance online, as online booking will ensure your days of skiing as well as getting the best price. Day passes range from $49 to $95. There is also a local community you can check out after a long day of skiing.
Plattekill Mountain – 469 Plattekill Rd, Roxbury, NY
This resort is about a three-hour drive away from NYC but is well worth the drive if you’re a powder lover. Known as the powder capital of the Catskills, Plattekill lives in its own little canyon. It is the last family-owned mountain that is still operating in the region. They pride themselves on having a laid-back “indie,” vibe. Plattekill has 38 trails and 1,100 feet of vertical. Their ticket prices differ depending on if the day you go on is a holiday, but the site recommends buying tickets in advance and online. The mountain is open Friday-Sundays for skiing.