Forget Vermont or Colorado: Find some of the best spots to ski right here in NYS
By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
You don’t have to go to Colorado or even Vermont to get your alpine skiing fix. Homegrown hills offer plenty of powder for downhill enthusiasts.
Eastern New York
The Adirondacks boast numerous renowned places to ski, including Gore Mountain, with a mix of terrains; West Mountain, which offers moonlight skiing and tubing; Snow Ridge, boasting the heaviest snowfall in the East; Big Tupper and Oak Mountain, providing a family-oriented, affordable ski trip; Whiteface/Olympic Mountain, providing the highest vertical east of the Rockies; Titus Mountain, bringing more to the mountain than just skiing, and Mount Pisgah, with night skiing to lengthen the day’s activity.
The Catskills’ Hunter Mountain and Windham Mountain allow skiers to get on the slopes even if snow’s not in the forecast with 97 to 100 percent snow coverage, thanks to snowmaking equipment.
Central New York
Greek Peak in Cortland offers skiers 33 trails. As a true ski resort, everything a skier needs is on site, including dining, rentals and lodging. But it also offers a spa, fitness center and year-round, indoor water park.
Toggenburg Mountain in Fabius provides 22 runs in various levels of difficulty up to single black diamond. Its owners also own Greek Peak, about a half hour’s drive away. The facilities offer package deals, making it easy to stay at Greek Peak and include both facilities on a single ski trip.
Labrador Mountain in Truxton and Song Mountain in Tully also provide package deals. Why not do both in one trip? Labrador offers 20 trails (17 lit) and Song Mountain 24.
Snow Ridge’s 21 trails in Turin aren’t particularly high in elevation (500 feet) or challenging (only 20 percent are “advanced”) but if you’re looking for a friendly ski venue in Central New York, Snow Ridge delivers. Its Tavern230 (yes, one word)exclusively sells Snow Ridge Winter Lager by Good Shepherds Brewing.
Woods Valley in Westernville also represents a small but pleasant ski lodge. It offers snowmaking and lit trails, as well as a full menu at the Tap Room 46.
Western New York
Holiday Valley in Ellicottville, about an hour’s drive from Buffalo, maintains more lifts and more trails — try 58 on for size — than any other in the region. The shopping down Washington Street is also fun after the skis come off.
Peek’n Peak Ski Resort in Clymer, about a 90-minute drive from Buffalo, leans more toward difficult trails to challenge hardcore ski buffs with its 26 trails.
Bristol Mountain in Canandaigua provides 35 slopes and trails on 138 acres. Lighting on nearly all the trails enable night skiing. Snowmakers cover all the terrain to ensure it’s always a great day to go skiing.
Brantling in Sodus isn’t a big resort — it offers just nine slopes — but it’s a family-oriented ski venue that works hard to accommodate skiers of all ages and abilities. Half its runs have snowmaking capability and surface lifts. One has a T-bar and four use handle tows. All are lit for night skiing. Guests may bring their own food or purchase food at the cafe. It may not be maybe a ski mecca, but it’s worth stopping by if you’re in the area.