It's hard to narrow down the best ski resorts in New York as each has so much to offer. However, whether it is the closest, highest, most beginner-friendly, most extreme or something else entirely, you will find what you seek in one of these fantastic resorts.
A quick two hour drive from NYC and you will be on the slopes in no time. Hunter Mountain Ski Area, one of the most popular in the Catskill Mountain Range, offers various terrain on three different peaks. Recent expansion has increased the skiable acreage to 320, and the addition of a new high-speed six chair promises a swifter trip up the mountain. Two different terrain parks give snowboard enthusiasts the chance to impress their friends and improve their tricks. However, if you haven't quite reached extreme status, the resort offers a variety of group and private lesson options for all skill levels.
With 54 trails spanning 285 skiable acres on two peaks, Windham Mountain Ski Resort offers a variety of terrain with something for everyone. The breakdown of 11% expert, 16% advanced, 45% intermediate, and 30% beginner makes this mountain ideal for groups comprised of folks with varying skill levels. In addition to the various downhill slopes, the mountain also delivers ample fun in the form of terrain parks, glades, and areas reserved explicitly for tubing. Also, skiers and boarders that aren't ready to call it a day when the sun goes down enjoy nine runs over 50 acres that are lit for night skiing.
The Finger Lakes Region of New York boasts the largest ski resort in central New York. Greek Peak Mountain Resort has gone from a wildly popular winter sports destination to a four-season attraction. The 220 skiable acres, with 29% advanced terrain, 32% intermediate terrain, and 39% beginner terrain attract newbies and experts alike. For travelers not interested in a downhill adventure or those looking to try something new; tubing, snowshoeing, and cross-country opportunities are easily accessible at the Outdoor Adventure Center and Cross Country/Nordic Center at Hope Lake.
When considering a family ski vacation many factors come into play, and your choice for the right destination for skiing in New York will depend on the age and experience levels of your family members. However, the following should provide enough variety and adventure to please almost anyone.
Since it was home to the 1980 Winter Olympic Alpine Ski Events and is a training facility for current Olympic hopefuls, you would assume that Whiteface Mountain Ski Area has all the challenging terrain that an avid skier would hope to find. But, don't let its history of hosting world-class athletes deter you, the resort is both family and beginner skier friendly. Of the 283 skiable acres, 20% is beginner rated terrain, and the resort offers a mixed bag of lessons, programs, and activities for kids and teens. If you are looking for something unique, Whiteface offers, to anyone over 48" tall, a chance to explore bobsledding. Along with Park City Utah, Whiteface is only one of two U.S. locations where your family members can try this elite winter sport.
In North Creek, 110 trails, 27 glades, seven freestyle areas, and 11 cross-country loops make up what amounts to the most terrain of any ski resort in New York State. Gore Mountain Ski Resort traverses four peaks and offers up over 2,500 feet of vertical. Here, kids of all ages can take part in numerous clinics, camps, lessons, and programs. You can even start a family tradition of friendly competition, track your improvements, and work on your carving skills on the resort's complimentary timed Carve Course.
Just outside of the beautiful hamlet of Ellicottville, NY is one of the states premier ski destinations. Holiday Valley Ski Resort offers 290 skiable acres with 60 runs, 39 of which are lit to enjoy the slopes at night. Four terrain parks provide big adventure with a variety of jumps, rails, and riders in different degrees of difficulty, including Penguin Hill, designed purposefully with kids in mind. More kid-friendly exploits are found in the hidden secret fort in the Tannenbaum area, the Senaca Clan Rock Hunt, and the Mountain Adventures Rangers Programs.