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Ski the Adirondack and Catskill Mountain Peaks This Winter

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2021-01-10 07:40:00

This winter, when it’s time to bust out the skis and snowboards, look no further than Upstate New York.

Upstate New York is home some of the best ski resorts in the entire eastern half of the country, with 26 ski resorts spread across the state, featuring hundreds of trails suited for everyone from bunny-hill-bound beginners to those who consider the slopes their second home. And while every corner of Upstate is home to great powder this time of year, some of the most beloved ski resorts in the state can be found in the Adirondacks and the Catskills.

If you think about skiing the Adirondacks, the first name to come to mind is probably Whiteface Mountain, and for good reason. Located in Lake Placid, the town that played host to the winter Olympics twice, Whiteface has the biggest vertical drop east of the Rockies, and it’s also home to the famed Wilmington Trail, which is over 2 miles long and the longest intermediate trail in the Northeast. There are actually three peaks within the 22-mile expanse of skiing area at Whiteface, with 86 different ski trails, and a five-star ski and snowboard school on site.

But Whiteface isn’t the only mountain in town. Less than two hours south, Gore Mountain, in the town of North Creek, is another famous Adirondack ski resort in its own right. Gore boasts the distinction of being the biggest ski mountain in the Northeast, with four peaks and 110 different trails to choose from; its longest ski run is nearly 4.5 miles long. Gore also has its own snow sports school of its own offering lessons, camps, and other instructional programs for kids and adults.

And while West Mountain in Queensbury may not be as famous as Whiteface and Gore, it has plenty to offer of its own accord, with 30 trails spread out over 126 acres and a mix of steep and gentle hills, plus a convenient location between Lake George and Saratoga Springs. West Mountain also has snow tubing trails for those who prefer not to strap any kind of gliding objects to their feet but still want to enjoy the slopes—a bonus for many, including kids!

The Catskills may have a smaller footprint than the Adirondack Park, but their ski areas are just as popular as their neighbors to the north. Hunter Mountain is one of the best-known in the region, with three separate peaks and 58 trails spread over 240 acres, and a 1600-foot vertical drop. Terrain is pretty evenly split, with 30% each dedicated to beginner, intermediate and advanced level trails, and the remaining 10% allotted to expert trails.

A learning center offers lessons for all ages and skill levels, for skiers, snowboarders or both, and Hunter’s on-site snow tubing park has the distinction of being the largest of its kind in New York State.

Less than half an hour down the road is Windham Mountain Resort, located in the town that shares its name, offers a whole range of winter vacation experiences. It’s home to 54 trails spread out of 285 acres and two peaks and has its own 1600-foot vertical drop, making it a favorite destination for many skiers in the Catskills region. A snow tubing park and guided snowshoe trails can also be found here, along with a variety of specialized ski and snowboarding lessons for all ages. And a little further south, in the heart of the Catskills, Bellayre Mountain is home to 50 ski trails and a vertical drop of more than 1400 feet, plus a snowsports school offering individual and group lessons for all ages, plus kids camps throughout the winter. 

Before you go, though, make sure to check each ski resort’s website—the majority are requiring preregistration this winter to get lift tickets, and you will need to fill in your dates online to see if any spots are open on your chosen dates and, if so, pre-purchase your tickets. Make sure to check each resort’s safety policies and requirements, too; things are a little different this winter, but you can still have some outdoor fun on the slopes if you do your homework ahead of time!

Photo credits

Whiteface mountain run view photo credit Whiteface Mountain
Skiier at Whiteface photo credit Whiteface Mountain
Chairlift view photo credit Gore Mountain
Two skiiers at summit photo credit West Mountain
Kid snow tubing photo credit Windham Mountain
View from summit at Hunter Mountain photo credit Hunter Mountain

posted at: 2021-01-10 07:40:00, last updated: 2021-04-06 15:57:39

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