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12 Best New York Ski Resorts for Families

12 Best New York Ski Resorts for Families

New York State is a haven for skiing enthusiasts with some of the best ski resorts in the Eastern United States.

The best part? These resorts are just a short drive away from bustling cities like New York City.

So, in a matter of a few hours, you can trade the concrete jungle for snowy mountains and experience a winter wonderland like no other.

From family-friendly resorts to grand mountain slopes, New York ski resorts cater to everyone.

With night skiing available at nearly all locations, there are plenty of opportunities for families to maximize skiing in New York.

Looking for more adventures other than downhill skiing? New York ski resorts provide snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snow tubing, ice skating, bobsledding, and more.

Accommodation options are abundant, from slope-side condos and luxurious suites to utopian bed and breakfasts and standard hotels. The lovely towns near ski resorts offer fantastic dining and shopping ventures, making your vacation a complete package.

So get ready to hit the slopes and experience the thrill of these top ski resorts in NY.

12 Best New York Ski Resorts for Families

12 Best New York Ski Resorts for Families 1

#1. Whiteface Mountain

Whiteface Mountain
  • Vertical Drop – 3,430 feet
  • Skiable Terrain – 299 acres
  • Ski Lifts – 11

Tucked away in the famous Adirondack Mountains is the Whiteface Mountain, a skier’s paradise with an impressive summit elevation of 4,867 feet and a vertical drop of 3,430 feet.

Whiteface Mountain offers more than just runs for skiers and snowboarders. Families can take a scenic ride to the top of the mountain on the Cloudsplitter Gondola and enjoy the stunning views of the Adirondacks and Lake Placid.

Adventure seekers will be drawn to the steep terrain, particularly The Slides, a collection of narrow chutes that are sure to test the skills of even the most seasoned skiers.

For those looking for a more leisurely descent, the Wilmington Trail, a 2.1-mile intermediate run, is one of the longest in the Northeast and perfect for a long and scenic ride down the mountain.

The mountain has a total of 90 trails covering over 22 miles, with a variety of chairlifts and a gondola to choose from. Non-skiers can also enjoy the spectacular views from the top and relax at the picnic area and observation deck.

For boarders and freestylers, the resort offers 3 terrain parks and a half-pipe with a range of humps, bumps, and rails for endless fun.

Recently, Whiteface Mountain has made some significant improvements, including the introduction of RFID gate systems, making lift access more convenient.

Additionally, the new Legacy Lodge right at mid-station offers skiers a stunning place to dine and enjoy the scenic views. The resort also boasts 11 chairlifts, including the new SkyTrac high-speed quad, which replaces the old Bear and Mixing Bowl double chairlifts.

Beyond skiing, Whiteface Mountain is an ideal destination for visitors looking for some off-mountain fun. The accessible town of Lake Placid, host of the 1980 and 1932 Winter Olympics, offers plenty of dining, shopping, and entertainment options.

Stroll down the charming main street and experience the quaint mountain town atmosphere.

Where To Stay

If you’re planning to stay somewhere near Whiteface Mountain, consider the Whiteface Mountain Lodge for its family-friendly atmosphere and proximity to the ski hills.

Alternatively, stay in the nearby town of Lake Placid at the Golden Arrow, which sits right on the shores of Mirror Lake, or check out one of the many excellent Airbnb rentals in the area.

#2. Greek Peak Mountain Resort

Greek Peak Mountain
  • Vertical Drop – 952 feet
  • Skiable Terrain – 220 acres
  • Ski Lifts – 8

Found in the Upper New York State area, Greek Peak Mountain Resort is a hidden gem for families seeking a complete winter vacation.

Spread over 220 acres, this ski hill boasts 56 trails, making it the largest ski resort in the region. It has been designed with a focus on beginner routes.

The hill offers the perfect opportunity for novices to hone their skills. Meanwhile, adrenaline junkies can showcase their skills on the four terrain parks filled with slides, jumps, and spins.

The resort has recently invested in a top-of-the-line PB 600 groomer with Zaag attachment, ensuring perfectly groomed trails for early birds seeking corduroy bliss.

The rental shop offers brand-new skis and boards for beginners, while state-of-the-art machines in the service shop can tune up any skis that aren’t performing up to par.

Where To Stay

Greek Peak Resort & Hope Lake Lodge is the main accommodation option at Greek Peak, providing families with a perfect getaway destination.

With a traditional mountain feel, this lodge also houses a gigantic indoor water park, providing an excellent alternative to skiing if it’s too cold or you just need a break.

Smaller children can enjoy the water park, while parents can take turns skiing with the older children, making it an ideal family vacation destination.

#3. Holiday Valley

Holiday Valley
  • Vertical Drop – 750 feet
  • Skiable Terrain – 290 acres
  • Ski Lifts – 9

Holiday Valley Resort may not boast of towering heights, but it compensates for it with nature’s generous gift of abundant snowfall and sprawling terrain.

The proximity to Lake Erie and the unique phenomenon of lake effect snow in winter blesses the slopes with knee-deep powder days, a rarity in most New York ski resorts.

The recent addition of the Yodeler quad chairlift worth a fortune has revolutionized the skiing experience on this unassuming mountain.

It has made skiing a more pleasurable experience, especially for beginners who struggled with the prior fixed grip quad’s loading and unloading. And for others, the thrill of reaching the top at lightning speed is a reward in itself.

Holiday Valley is like a treasure trove of diverse skiing experiences. Spread across several hills, the resort is like multiple ski areas rolled into one.

The well-groomed slopes offer something for everyone – whether it’s a long smooth cruise, a steep black diamond run, or a winding trail down the towering evergreens.

And when you’re not skiing, there’s still so much to do, with three base lodges, an excellent ski school, and other off-mountain activities like tubing and the Mountain Coaster.

Where To Stay

With some rooms offering magnificent views of the hills, the hotel also features a fantastic outdoor hot tub situated right beside one of the lifts, making it a perfect spot to unwind after a day on the slopes.

But the magic of Holiday Valley extends beyond the slopes. The quaint town of Ellicottville nearby is a charming winter wonderland in itself. The town’s adorable main street, lined with shops and eateries, is a delight to explore.

For those who seek the convenience of ski-in, ski-out accommodation, the Inn at Holiday Mountain is an excellent option.

#4. Gore Mountain

Gore Mountain
  • Vertical Drop – 2,537 feet
  • Skiable Terrain – 446 acres
  • Ski Lifts – 14

Located in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains, Gore Mountain is an unparalleled skiing destination in New York.

Boasting four peaks and a whopping 119 ski trails, Gore is the largest ski resort in the state. But size isn’t everything. The vertical drop of 2,537 feet and 446 skiable acres of diverse terrain will make even the most seasoned skiers swoon.

The mountain has been designed with skiers in mind – 40% of the runs are rated black diamond, 50% are rated intermediate, and 10% are for beginners. So, this is the place to be if you’re looking for a challenge.

With excellent snowshoeing and Nordic routes, perfect for those looking for a change of pace, Gore is more than just a ski resort.

It has recently undergone some upgrades, including two of the older chairlifts being transformed into conveyer load high-speed quads.

Plus, the snowmaking pumping system has been significantly improved, ensuring a quality snow experience for all visitors. Beginners can now also rejoice, with some of the easiest trails widened to allow for wider turns and “yard-sale-style” crashes.

Gore has no shortage of dining options either, with six different options ranging from grab-and-go cafeteria-style to full-service sit-down hotels and restaurants with breathtaking views.

Where To Stay

Looking for accommodation? The tiny town of North Creek has a few gems, including the Gore Mountain Lodge, situated close to the slopes for those long ski days.

For a family-friendly escape, consider a cabin rental in North Creek or take a short commute to Lake George, where you can indulge in luxurious accommodations at the Inn at Erlowest just outside of town.

#5. Peek’n Peak Mountain Resort

Peek'n Peak Mountain
  • Vertical Drop – 400 feet
  • Skiable Terrain – 160 acres
  • Ski Lifts – 9

Located in the heart of Pennsylvania’s snow belt, Peek’n Peak Resort is a winter wonderland for skiers and snowboarders.

With a vertical drop of 400 feet and an impressive 160 acres of terrain, this ski resort is not to be underestimated.

But it’s not just the size of the mountain that’s impressive. Peek’n Peak is perfectly situated to capture an average of 15 feet of lake effect snow each season, making for some incredible powder days.

For those who are feeling adventurous, Peek’n Peak has five terrain parks with some of the best rails, humps, and jumps in the area.

And with 26 named runs across a variety of terrain, there’s something for everyone, from beginner skiers to seasoned pros. But if you need a break from the slopes, head over to the tubing park for some icy thrills and dance music.

Where To Stay

When it’s time to rest those tired legs, Peek’n Peak has plenty of accommodation options. Choose from cozy hotel rooms or spacious condos since there’s something to suit every budget and taste.

And for families, the Pool & Play Zone is a must-visit, with an indoor pool, outdoor hot tub, and indoor sports courts to keep everyone entertained.

So if you’re looking for a winter getaway that’s sure to be memorable, head to Peek’n Peak Resort with your family for some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the region.

#6. Bristol Mountain Resort

Bristol Mountain
  • Vertical Drop – 1200 feet
  • Skiable Terrain – 138 acres
  • Ski Lifts – 6

Cradled in the scenic Upstate New York area, Bristol boasts an impressive title – the greatest vertical in the area, soaring slightly over 1,200 feet.

But that’s not all. This resort also lays claim to the longest run-around, spanning 2 miles in length. Adrenaline junkies can take their pick from 38 runs, offering an array of terrains and levels of difficulty.

Whether you family has speed demons seeking the thrills of Morning Star’s Nastar Race system, cruisers looking for long and open trails like Upper Galaxy, or freestylers drawn to Highpoint Terrain Park’s obstacles, Bristol has something for everyone.

With 2 high-speed chairs to get you back up in mere minutes, you can easily maximize your vertical, particularly on quieter weekdays.

Fuel up at the base with a variety of dining options, and take advantage of the highly-regarded ski school for a quick confidence boost on the slopes.

If cross-country skiing is more your speed, explore the winding trails that hug the mountain’s peak. Don’t forget to peek at Bristol’s event calendar as they’re known for planning exciting and engaging happenings for snow enthusiasts.

Where To Stay

As for lodging, Bristol Mountain ski resort offers a wealth of options for every taste and budget.

For a cozy stay close to the action, check out the Holiday Inn Express in Canandaigua. Or, indulge in some luxury at the stunning Hotel Canandaigua by Hilton, just a stone’s throw from the hill.

#7. Belleayre Mountain

Belleayre Mountain
  • Vertical Drop – 1404 feet
  • Skiable Terrain – 175 acres
  • Ski Lifts – 8

Nestled in the midst of the picturesque Catskill Mountains, the Belleayre Mountain Ski Resort offers an extensive network of 64 trails over 175 acres for skiing enthusiasts.

This family-friendly ski resort boasts over 50 named runs with a vertical drop of more than 1,400 feet.

Additionally, there are three snowboard parks/courses, plus top-notch skiing instruction offered at the Snow sports school.

The resort has eight lifts, including the Catskill Thunder Gondola, to take you back to the top of the hill. Recently, new RFID lift ticket readers have been installed to hasten loading.

More than half of these trails cater to snowboarders, and intermediate skiers, making it an ideal destination for visitors who relish black diamond or blue square runs.

With snowmaking that blankets 96% of the mountain, trail coverage is usually excellent. The resort’s gondola is a delight for children and adults alike and provides a cozy and comfortable ride to the summit during chilly weather.

If downhill skiing is not your thing, nearly 6 miles of cross-country trails offer breathtaking scenery for exploration.

There are fantastic trails and ski routes all over the resort, and while they may lack the thrill of major challenges, they are still great fun to discover. Belleayre Ski Center also offers Nordic skiing along various forest trails.

The resort has recently undergone several enhancements, including a brand-new day lodge, significant investments in snowmaking, and a new high-speed quad lift, making skiing at Belleayre more enjoyable than ever before.

The roads leading to the slopes have been fixed, ensuring that your car’s suspension won’t be jolted by bumpy or potholed roads.

The resort features a wide range of dining options to keep you energized all day, such as waffles, pub food, deli soups and sandwiches, and grab-and-go food.

Prior to hitting the slopes, check the snow report or take a peek at the trail map on Belleayre‘s website to get an idea of the mountain.

With a reloading SKI3 Card that gives access through RFID direct-to-lift gates, you can bypass the ticket window and head straight to the slopes.

Where To Stay

There is plenty of lodging options available at and around the resort, from cozy cabins and bed-and-breakfast inns to private home rentals and hotels.

While the best accommodations maybe 10-15 miles away from Belleayre, the easy skiing and lack of crowds at the resort make it worth the trip.

Margaretville Inn & Bed and Breakfast, located in nearby Margaretville, is one of the area’s most popular places to stay. When traveling to/from the mountain, be sure to explore the charming villages and towns that dot the landscape.

#8. Hunter Mountain

Hunter Mountain
  • Vertical Drop – 1600 feet
  • Skiable Terrain – 310 acres
  • Ski Lifts – 13

Located within the rolling hills of the Catskills, Hunter Mountain is a winter oasis, just a hop, skip, and jump from the Big Apple.

With four mountains to explore, skiers of all skill levels will find themselves spoilt for choice, as 85% of the trails are evenly split between beginner, intermediate, and advanced runs.

The remaining 15% are reserved for daredevils, offering heart-pumping runs through steep drops and glades.

Thirteen lifts are at your service to whisk you up to 67 trails, each catering to a different level of ability. Four terrain parks scattered throughout the mountain provide the perfect playground for those who like to catch some air.

If you’re feeling a bit spent after a day on the slopes, take a break with some snow tubing or ice-climbing, where experienced guides will take you up to the summit for a bird’s eye view. Or, simply relax and rejuvenate at the luxurious Mountain Club Spa.

Where To Stay

You can choose from cozy on-hill condos or beautifully restored inns and hotels in nearby Tannersville or Windham. For a unique experience, split your time between both towns and ski Hunter Mountain and Windham Mountain, only a short 20-minute drive away.

Hunter Mountain is part of the EPIC ski pass program, but be warned, day lift tickets are limited for the 2022/23 ski season to prevent overcrowding.

Guaranteed access is provided for EPIC season pass holders and EPIC Day Pass holders, as well as those taking ski lessons. Keep an eye on the resort’s website for updates on the availability of day lift tickets.

#9. Catamount Mountain Ski Resort

Catamount Mountain Ski
  • Vertical Drop – 1000 feet
  • Skiable Terrain – 119 acres
  • Ski Lifts – 8

Right in the Berkshires, sitting on the edge of Massachusetts, lies the intimate Catamount. Despite its smaller size, the resort boasts a decent 1,000-foot vertical drop.

For families with beginner skiers, one-third of the trails are rated as easy. Meanwhile, cruising skiers will also find Catamount a worthy challenge.

Daredevils can also tackle the black diamond-rated double Catapult run, known to be one of the most vertical ski runs in the whole of the Northeast.

Where To Stay

With ample options for accommodations, you won’t have to worry about where to stay. The resort features a progression park and two terrain parks, ensuring there are plenty of challenges for everyone.

The 2022/23 season brings even more excitement as a new groomer joins the mountain’s equipment stable, leaving behind glorious corduroy trails for skiers to carve up.

#10. Windham Mountain Resort

Windham Mountain
  • Vertical Drop – 1600 feet
  • Skiable Terrain – 285 acres
  • Ski Lifts – 11

Nestled in the inviting Catskills, Windham Mountain is a winter wonderland that offers an adrenaline-packed skiing experience for all levels of skiers.

With a massive 1,600-foot vertical drop spread over two mountains and 54 runs that cover 754 acres, it’s a skier’s paradise that guarantees you will never run out of slopes to conquer.

For those with a flair for snowboarding, Windham is a must-visit. The resort boasts six terrain parks that are packed with every imaginable hump, bump, and crazy rail, making it the perfect destination for adrenaline junkies.

And with 11 lifts that can move nearly 23,000 people up hill each hour, the weekend crowds are easily managed, giving you more time on the slopes.

While Windham is an easy drive from New York City and can be done as a day trip, it’s worth considering a weekend getaway. Imagine packing your gear Friday morning, blasting off from your desk at five, and hitting the slopes that evening for a session of night skiing.

The next morning, sign up for First Tracks and carve up the perfect corduroy before the crowds have even turned on their coffee makers.

Take a short dinner break and do some more night skiing, then roll out of bed early for another session of First Tracks on Sunday. You may be unable to walk on Monday, but the experience will be worth it.

Where To Stay

For your stay, Windham Mountain offers plenty of accommodation options and a free shuttle to the highpoints that operates during weekends and throughout the season.

Recent improvements have been made to the tune of over twelve million dollars, ranging from new lifts to increases in snowmaking and new grooming machines.

Dining and base lodge areas have also been renovated and updated to provide a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

But the newest addition to Windham Mountain this season is the SkyTechSport Simulator.

For a modest fee, you can experience the thrill of tackling a downhill slalom race, all while supporting the Adaptive Sports Foundation charity. So what are you waiting for? Plan your ski adventure at Windham Mountain today.

#11. Plattekill Mountain

Plattekill Mountain
  • Vertical Drop – 1, 100 feet
  • Skiable Terrain – 75 acres
  • Ski Lifts – 4

Looking for a ski resort that offers a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere and a variety of trails for all skill levels? Look no further than Plattekill Mountain.

This family-owned and operated resort boasts 38 trails that cater to skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, including gentle runs for beginners and challenging black diamond and double black diamond trails for experts.

Plus, if you’re looking for a change of pace, you can enjoy some exhilarating snow tubing on the mountain.

Plattekill Mountain is a popular choice among visitors who appreciate its affordable prices and uncrowded slopes.

With recent upgrades to its snowmaking infrastructure and streamlined equipment rentals, the resort is better equipped than ever to provide an unforgettable skiing experience.

Where To Stay

When it’s time to rest and recharge, you’ll find a variety of nearby accommodations, ranging from cozy bed and breakfasts to charming hotels.

Come see for yourself why Plattekill Mountain is a favorite among skiing enthusiasts looking for a laid-back mountain vibe and excellent skiing options.

#12. Titus Mountain Ski Resort

Titus Mountain Ski Resort
  • Vertical Drop – 1, 200 feet
  • Skiable Terrain – 200 acres
  • Ski Lifts – 10

In the heart of the Adirondack Mountains near the Canadian border lies the ultimate winter weekend getaway known as the Titus Mountain.

A hidden gem, this family-friendly resort offers 50 trails spread across three mountains with a decent 1,200 feet vertical drop – perfect for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.

But if you’re feeling adventurous and crave some ungroomed action, head over to the “Forever Wild” region of the mountain for uncharted, snow-covered terrain.

And if that’s not enough, Titus Mountain also offers night skiing on Fridays and Saturdays. When it’s time to rest those tired legs, there’s an abundance of cozy lodges and hotels to choose from.

But if you’re a boarder or freestyler, make sure to book your stay close to the Moon Valley terrain parks, which boast all the usual features you love: humps, jumps, rails, boxes, and jibs.

For a thrilling and fun-filled family activity, don’t miss out on snow tubing. Glide down icy chutes on a round rubber tube and feel the wind in your hair as you scream with delight.

Where To Stay

There are plenty of hotels and lodges nearby, so you don’t have to worry about your stay. With the border just a short distance away, many of Titus Mountain‘s visitors hail from the north.

And don’t be surprised if you find yourself sharing a chairlift with a friendly Canadian. Lastly, as an added bonus, the resort frequently offers Canadian dollars at par – making it an even more affordable and irresistible winter destination.

FAQs

FAQs

Q: How Many Ski Resorts Are There in New York?

A: New York State is a skiing enthusiast’s paradise with a grand total of 43 ski areas, 10 of which are world-class destination resorts.

Q: What Is The Best Ski Resort For Families in Upstate New York?

A: The best ski resorts for families in Upstate New York include Whiteface Mountain, Gore Mountain, Peek’n Peak, Windham, and more. With abundance of snow-covered peaks and scenic trails, you’re sure to have a blast on your family ski vacation in these resorts.

Q: What Is The Biggest Skiing Mountain Within NY State?

A: Gore Mountain in North Creek. This ski mountain spans across four majestic peaks and boasts the coveted title of the largest ski resort in New York State.

With more than 100 trails to choose from, it offers a spectacular vertical drop of 2,500 feet, catering to all levels of skiers, from beginners to experts.

Wrap Up

Wrap Up

New York State boasts some of the finest ski resorts in the East, offering a plethora of winter activities suitable for families and adventure seekers alike.

With the convenience of being located just a few hours away from New York City and other metropolitan areas, these ski resorts make for the perfect winter getaway.

From skiing and snowboarding to snow tubing and ice skating, visitors can indulge in an array of winter activities while enjoying breathtaking scenic views.

So, what are you waiting for? Just gear up and plan your next epic winter escape to one of these New York ski resorts for an unforgettable experience!

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Picture of Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.
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