New York

The 14 Best Ski Destinations Within 5 Hours of NYC

The best slopes for a winter getaway.

Belleayre Mountain Ski Center NYC ski trips
Photo courtesy of Belleayre Mountain Ski Center

While unseasonable temperatures in NYC make it still feel like spring on some days, there’s no denying it: winter is coming. And you might be starting to think about ways to escape the city as the days grow shorter and colder.
 
Whether your preference is alpine or going freestyle (or snowboarding!), skiing in upstate New York or other nearby states offers a dose of exhilaration you can't get in the five boroughs.

And even during COVID times, skiing will likely still be on New Yorkers’ minds this winter. With plenty of safety measures across all resorts in effect—from face covering requirements and direct-to-lift gate access, to physical distancing measures and frequent staff testing—these facilities are making extensive efforts to ensure guest safety is paramount this winter. Please check each resort’s website prior to visiting, as advance reservations and specific safety precautions are required.

So whether it’s a day trip or a week-long (socially-distanced) holiday, here is our guide to the best skiing and ski trips near NYC that are worth making the trek for. And as always, please wear a mask and social distance responsibly.

Gore Mountain

North Creek, NY
Gore Mountain in upstate New York offers stunning views of the Adirondacks. This season, new high-speed quads are set to replace two double chair lifts, providing access to all four of its peaks and Straight Brook Valley. The redesigned Pete’s Paradise trail gives guests a new family-friendly option to explore. Plus, there’s twilight skiing for those who want a star-lit experience; a cross-country trail network of 11 piste (groomed) loops; and snowshoeing adventures through the “largest marble-cave entrance in the East.” Also this season: Gore has expanded its snowmaking capacity with higher-efficiency snow guns and energy-saving compressors.   
Where to eat and drink: Gore Mountain Area Dining
Find Airbnb nearby: Search North Creek area

Belleayre Mountain Ski Center
Photo courtesy of Belleayre Mountain Ski Center

Belleayre Mountain Ski Center

Highmount, NY 
Debuting in 1949 in the Catskills with five trails, Belleayre now has 50 trails, parks, and glades along with eight lifts across 171 acres of land. A ride on the Catskill Thunder gondola provides visitors with breathtaking views of the Catskill Forest Preserve and the chance to capture photos of the incredible wildlife and scenic landscape. Belleayre recently expanded its Discovery Lodge and this season, will debut an outdoor patio space complete with fire pits and outdoor seating. Known for its laid-back vibes and beginner-friendly topography, sustainability remains an important initiative at Belleayre—with more energy-efficient compressors, repurposed benches from old lift chairs, LED lighting, and upgrades to their snowmaking systems this season. 
Where to eat and drink: Belleayre Area Dining
Find Airbnb nearby: Search Highmount area

Camelback Resort
Photo courtesy of Camelback Resort

Camelback Resort

Tannersville, PA
Set in the picturesque Poconos Mountains, Camelback Resort is the region’s only ski-in/ski-out resort, featuring 39 trails over 166 skiable acres. And there’s a lot to experience this season, including a new quad Sunbowl lift that transports visitors from the mountain to the village—where they can check out a newly launched Ski & Ride Academy with pros to teach skiers of all ages and levels. It’s also home to America’s largest snow tubing park (there are even disco lights and music), where tubers can access 42 lanes and two magic carpet lifts. New to the park: a food truck with a hearty winter menu, beers and wines on tap, coffee drinks, and more. Luxury guest suites; dining options ranging from classic steak frites to Bavarian pretzels; a spa center; and fitness facility round out the experience—with plenty of upcoming holiday events this season for the whole family to enjoy (while responsibly distancing of course).
Where to eat and drink: Camelback Area Dining
Find Airbnb nearby: Search Tannersville area

Mohawk Mountain
Photo courtesy of Mohawk Mountain

Mohawk Mountain

Cornwall, CT 
Situated on 350 scenic acres in northwestern Connecticut, Mohawk Mountain gives skiers the chance to explore a diverse range of wooded and open downhill runs—offering the state’s most trails at 26 (which includes 16 night trails), biggest vertical drop (at 650 feet), and eight lifts. Cross-country trails for snowshoeing are available, with snow tubing added last season. Voted a top ski resort by Connecticut Magazine several years running, Mohawk Mountain recently expanded its lodge to accommodate increased physical distancing measures and now has an app-based food ordering system to better serve visitors.  
Where to eat and drink: Mohawk Mountain Area Dining
Find Airbnb nearby: Search Cornwall area

Hunter Mountain
Photo by Rob Sharpe

Hunter Mountain

Hunter, NY  
Spanning 240-skiable acres with 67 trails, 12 lifts, and a vertical drop of over 1,600 feet, Hunter Mountain is located in the glorious Northern Catskill Mountains. Celebrated as the “snowmaking capital of the world” with 100% coverage of its vast acreage, Hunter is welcoming visitors this season with enhanced safety protocols. The newly launched Epic Pass gives visitors entry and priority access at 34 affiliated Vail Resorts (which owns Hunter) in the United States, with multiple properties included within the northeast. The snow tubing park offers plenty of family-friendly fun—with thousand-foot lanes, a fire pit, snack bar, and kid-friendly magic carpet lifts. With four mountains, three freestyle terrain parks and snowboarding, lessons at every skill level, plus a day lodge and plenty of (safely distanced) dining options, there are endless adventures for first-timers and seasoned experts alike.
Where to eat and drink: Hunter Mountain Area Dining
Find Airbnb nearby: Search Hunter area

Thunder Ridge

Patterson, NY
For family-friendly ski resorts, Thunder Ridge is repeatedly at the top of the list. With an enthusiastic welcome for skiers at every age (quite literally, they teach everyone from tots to seniors) and skill level, the resort’s Snowsports School offers lessons on both a daily and multi-week schedule. Outfitted with 22 trails designed to meet the skiing and snowboarding needs of both novices and aficionados alike, Thunder Ridge is dedicated to bringing lots of fun to the slopes for the whole crew. The cozy lodge features a glass atrium to enjoy refreshments while looking out at the mountain base and surrounding terrain.
Where to eat and drink: Thunder Ridge Area Dining
Find Airbnb nearby: Search Patterson area

Mountain Creek

Vernon Township, NJ
Stretched over four peaks, with 167 acres and eight lifts (including two high-speed quads), Mountain Creek is the site of New Jersey’s largest snowboarding and ski area. Featuring the region’s tallest skiable vertical (at 1,040 feet), the freestyle area alone includes 67 acres, with night skiing available across the entire terrain. Mountain Creek recently introduced Sno-Go bikes as another way to enjoy the slopes, granting ski-bike riders full mountain access; there’s also a snow tubing park that’s accessible via a magic carpet lift. The resort’s Snowsports School also offers daily lessons —whether for a single session or all season long. The onsite Beirgarten has an outdoor patio to indulge in bratwursts and brews, while The Appalachian offers onsite accommodations complete with fireplaces and mountainside views.
Where to eat and drink: Mountain Creek Area Dining
Find Airbnb nearby: Search Vernon Township area

Windham Mountain
Windham Mountain

Windham Mountain Ski Resort

Windham, NY
The serenely scenic Catskills is home to Windham Mountain Ski Resort, which has 54 trails and six freestyle-friendly terrain parks across two peaks on 285-acres of a skiable expanse. A multi-million dollar renovation over the last couple of years brings this boutique resort experience to life with a new snow machine, charming guest rooms, a European-style “Umbrella Bar” and reimagined restaurant, and a new high-speed lift. The Windham Mountain Adventure Park provides six lanes of snow tubing for family fun, along with kid snowmobiles and a cozy lodge. There’s also cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, ice skating, and more—along with lessons for every age and skill level to enjoy socially-distant mountain adventures at every turn. 
Where to eat and drink: Windham Mountain Area Dining
Find Airbnb nearby: Search Windham area

Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort

Hancock, MA 
In a remarkable feat, Jiminy Peak—the first mountain resort in the U.S. to have installed a wind turbine—now receives 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. Its green efforts also extend to hundreds of energy-efficient snow guns, LED lights to guide skiers on night trails, and electric car charging stations. With 45 trails and nine lifts, Jiminy Peak is among the largest of New England’s ski resorts, with a vertical drop of 1,150 feet. Plus, it offers lessons for skiers at all levels; snowshoeing trails for six miles; and mountain coaster off-ski rides to twist and turn through a 3,600 foot pathway—all against the gorgeous backdrop of the Berkshires. Please note: Out-of-state guests must complete a COVID-19 related Massachusetts travel form prior to arrival.
Where to eat and drink: Jiminy Peak Area Dining
Find Airbnb nearby: Search Hancock area

Whiteface Lake Placid

Wilmington, NY
As claims to fame go, it’s pretty hard to top being a host of the Winter Olympics—which Whiteface Mountain Resort did in 1980, immediately setting expectations (shall we say)  sky-high for arriving visitors. And with the tallest vertical drop on the eastern seaboard (at 3,430 feet), it certainly meets them. With an impressive 87 trails and 11 lifts, one of the longest single intermediate runs in the Northeast, miles of groomed cruisers and an impressive range of lessons—including ones for guests with disabilities, Whiteface is hard to beat. There are also terrain parks for tots and intermediates alike, while a 15-minute ride on the Cloudsplitter Gondola reveals spectacular views of the Adirondacks and Lake Placid.
Where to eat and drink: Whiteface Lake Placid Dining
Find Airbnb nearby: Search Wilmington area

Stratton Mountain Resort

Stratton Mountain, VT
Snowboard lovers have Stratton to thank as the place that started it all—the resort was the first to give snowboarders slope-access nearly forty years ago. With the highest peak in Southern Vermont, Stratton gives skiers plenty of downhill action too (the vertical drop is over 2,000 feet)—over its 99 trails, four high-speed lifts, a summit gondola, and a terrain that’s plenty fit for both novices and advanced skiers. This Thanksgiving, the annual Gooble Gobble Wobble 5K gets a virtual upgrade and there’s plenty of socially-distanced holiday feasting to be had at Table 43.1 in the Black Bear Lodge. Starting in December, the resort will open up its groomed trails for riders to explore via fat bike rentals; the four-lane snow tubing park complete with firepits and a warming hut; and 5k lit trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at the Nordic Center. Please note: All out-of-state visitors in Vermont must adhere to the latest quarantine requirements.
Where to eat and drink: Stratton Mountain Area Dining
Find Airbnb nearby: Search Stratton area

Killington Resort

Killington, VT
Thrill-seekers may have met their match at Killington Resort, a self-proclaimed “beast” of adventure for skiers and snowboarders, which is the largest in the Eastern U.S. With an eye-popping 155 trails (with the highest vertical drop exceeding 3,000 feet) spread over a staggering 1,509 skiable acres, Killington is truly in a league all its own. Visitors can zip around the massive resort with the help of 21 lifts and three gondolas. Tickets to Killington entitle guests to access the neighboring Pico Mountain to enjoy what can only be called a “mega mountain playground” for the winter adventurer. Can’t miss stops include: freestyle riding through log rails and rainbow trees in The Stash terrain park; taking a Meet the Mountains guided tour (after all, there are well over a thousand acres to explore); and tubing under the lights at Killington’s Tubing Park. Please note: All out-of-state visitors in Vermont must adhere to the latest quarantine requirements.
Where to eat and drink: Killington Area Dining
Find Airbnb nearby: Search Killington area

Okemo Skiing from NYC
Image courtesy of Okemo Mountain Resort

Okemo Mountain Resort

Ludlow, VT
With one of the best-known snowmaking reputations in the East, Okemo—in addition to its world-class service (with two luxuriously heated high-speed lifts) and cozy lodgings—has long been a family-friendly favorite among Vermont-locals. Winter sports lovers will have access to 121 trails over 632 skiable acres, and Okemo can also boast having the longest superpipe in the East (at 500+ feet). Nestled in Okemo State Forest, the gorgeous scenic surroundings play host to activities-for-every-age under the winter sun—from snowboarding and Nordic skiing to snow tubing, as well as multiple terrain parks and expert-led ski lessons. The newly launched Epic Pass offers access to multiple Vail Resorts in Vermont and around the United States, and the Epic Mix app (updated this season) includes their Time to Dine feature to help visitors plan meals off the slopes while avoiding the rush. Please note: All out-of-state visitors in Vermont must adhere to the latest quarantine requirements.
Where to eat and drink: Okemo Mountain Resort Dining
Find Airbnb nearby: Search Ludlow area

Mount Snow

West Dover, VT
Welcoming winter revelers for nearly seven decades, Mount Snow spans four mountains over 601 acres with 80 trails and 20 lifts to accommodate the well-frequented resort (a preferred locale by New Yorkers and Bostonians alike). Home to the only all-park mountain face in the East, the 100-acre Carinthia comprises an impressive total of 10 parks; multi-mile trail runs; a tree-skiing zone; and rails, jumps, and pipes for every nature-driven twist and turn for visitors to indulge in. And with the 42,000 square foot debut of its Carinthia Base Lodge last season, Mount Snow now offers plenty of socially distant dining options—a sit-down restaurant, two bars, made-to-order food stations, and more, with a Time to Dine feature in the Epic Mix app providing a virtual assist to enjoy ski-break meals while socially distanced. Also a Vail Resorts property, Mount Snow’s Epic Pass gives skiers and riders access to this and multiple U.S. resorts this season. Please note: All out-of-state visitors in Vermont must adhere to the latest quarantine requirements.
Where to eat and drink: Mount Snow Dining
Find Airbnb nearby: Search West Dover area

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Swathi Reddy is a Louisiana-born, NYC-based freelance writer and marketer. Formerly a Food & Wine staffer for over a decade, she can't think of anything better to do in life than talking about food while eating food. Except maybe discussing cocktails (or wine).
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