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Our Favorite Ski Centers in New York State!

Our Favorite Ski Centers in New York State!

There’s more to New York than the Big Apple. A lot more. Just geographically speaking, the place is huge. It’s the largest state in the east, and home to such landmark features as the Hudson River, the Catskills, and the Adirondacks. In the winter months, this immensity and broad diversity of terrain means a swath of excellent ski opportunities. From the Olympics-famous Lake Placid to the hidden gems of the farther reaches of the Adirondacks, there is a rich culture of cross-country skiing and winter activities north of NYC. If you’re in the area, be sure to check out some of our favorite Nordic venues and see what this awesome state has tucked away in its interior. Happy Trails!

Mt. Van Hoevenberg

Some ski centers are worth visiting for the epic terrain; others, for the long history of skiing and the ski community that has grown up around it; some very special places, like Mt Van Hoevenberg, have it all. Built to house the Nordic ski, bobsled and skeleton events at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics, Mt. Van Hoevenberg offers cross country skiing at the highest possible level. This means over 50 km of pristine, perfectly maintained trails, Olympian-worthy amenities including a cliffside rollercoaster and a state-of-the-art base lodge with a futuristic Swix concept store inside, not to mention the nostalgically stunning town of lake placid right down the road and oodles of ski ephemera and paraphernalia for Olympic nuts to get lost in.

Black River Environmental Improvement Association Trails

Located in the heart of New York State, this publicly-funded trail network provides invigorating and picturesque ski trails to the residents of surrounding Oneida County and its visitors. Built into a geologically unique Glacial Kettle, the trail network highlights numerous lofty lookouts and steep valley descents, and spectacular views of the Black River Canal and the Alder Creek Basin. Be sure to stop in at the warming hut at the trailhead in Boonville for rental gear to start your journey, and to thaw out at its end.

Lapland Lakes XC Ski and Adventure Center

Situated amidst the peaks of Northern New York, blessed by one of the richest snow pockets in the east, Lapland Lakes combines terrific skiing and snowshoeing with classic Adirondack hospitality. The cozy central lodge is surrounded by almost 40 km of trails designed by Olympic Nordic Skier Olavi Hirvonen, and flanked by a range of accommodating lodging options, decked out with every winter amenity. With cabins ranging in size from studios the family-sized farmhouses, and each equipped with a full kitchen, complementary linens, and a central sauna, winter guests can’t help but feel at home. Toss in night skiing and rental kick sleds for the kids to race around on, and Lapland Lakes really has something for every visitor.

Paul Smith’s College Cross Country Ski and Snowshoe Center

Another gem of the Adirondacks, this upstate school’s Nordic center offers over 30 km of terrain for both skate and classic skiing, as well as snowshoeing. The Center is open to the public, and has trails well-suited for skiers of all types. A variety of long loop trails showcase the center’s rolling climbs and lower, rolling climbs and its wildlife-attracting marshes down lower. Built on active logging land, Paul Smith’s trails let skiers observe and learn about the college’s student-run timber harvests, and keep skiers on their toes with the ever shifting and growing network.

Garnet Hill Lodge XC Ski Center

Perched high above the Upper Hudson, this New York Ski destination takes full advantage of its dependable winterly snowfall. An expert team of groomers sets track and corduroy daily along Garnet Hill’s 55 km of skiable terrain. To lessen the hassle of adventuring for new skiers and seasoned pros alike, Garnet Hill offers a ski bus, to loop you back to the main lodge after a long ski out in one direction. As if that kind of service weren’t reason enough to visit, this Lodge ski center maintains a professional ski school and a bar/restaurant open for three meals a day.

Pineridge XC

Situated in the heart of the Taconic-Berkshire wilderness, Pineridge offers visitors a unique vantage point of this area’s winter wonderland. 35 km of groomed trails, 15 km of snowshoe trails, and 5km of backcountry trails take skiers and walkers wandering a ways into the forest, where deer, fox, beaver and otter sightings are not uncommon. Some trails climb higher, opening out onto views of nearby Massachusetts and its Mount Greylock.

Mountain Trails Cross Country Ski Center

Inviting visitors into the heart of the Catskills, Mountain Trails’ narrow, winding terrain through thick forest is a wintry journey like no other. Called the “Catskills’ best kept secret,” this one of a kind ski and snowshoe center maintains pristine tracks for classic skiing along over 35 km of its hilly environs. Get all the rental gear, expert advice, and professional ski instruction you need at their central ski shop.

Mohonk Mountain House

Spread out over 30 miles of crisscrossing trails, the skiing at this New Paltz resort is breathtaking. Carrying skiers to views of the nearby lake, and pinnacles which lookout over the surrounding wilderness, there is endless interest and excitement to be had on Mohonk’s terrain. Be sure to check out the trails that cut directly alongside the lakeshore—and do take advantage of an après ski hot tub!

Bearpen Mountain Sports

Once the Princeton University Ski Bowl, this daunting Catskills mountain is living an exciting second life as a Nordic and outdoor activity center. Not only does Bearpen boast miles upon miles of top-notch cross country ski, snowshoe and fatibking trails, it is also home to the longest snow tubing run in New York, extensive frozen waterways for ice skating, and its own curling sheet!

Osceola Ski and Sport Resort

Situated in New York’s Tug Hill Region, this pristine ski destination is the product of careful planning and loving stewardship. A newer outfit, the trails were designed to accommodate skiers of all abilities, with terrain ranging from the steep and twisty to the gentle and beginner-friendly. Likewise, the lodge is brand new, full of cozy seating and grand views, and home to a fully stocked Nordic Shop and Café—all perfect for a day of skiing, socializing, and reconnecting with nature and with one another.

Interested in looking for ski areas in other states?  Visit the Cross Country Ski Areas Assocatiation for a complete list of ski areas in teh US and Canada!

About The Author

Pete Wilson

Pete is a Vermont native with a lifelong love of being outside. Ever since he bushwhacked a ski trail through his parents’ property, he’s been hooked on getting into the woods--whether it’s on skis or snowshoes, or going out for a trail run or a long hike. He studied English at Carleton College, and now after four years in Minnesota is back in the Green Mountains exploring the endlessly beautiful and intriguing locales across the Northeast.


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