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Skiing near NYC: The Catskill Mountains

Winter destinations in upstate New York offer a decent amount of snow for a weekend getaway

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The Catskill Mountains located in the southeastern part of New York is one of the most scenic destinations in the state, in just about two hours' drive from New York City. Being part of the Appalachian range, in the winter, the Catskills offer 89 mi (143 km) of ski slopes. There are six large ski resorts equipped with 33 ski lifts. The largest and most popular is Hunter Mountain. Belleayre is the highest, Windham is the most polished, and Plattekill Mountain is the most affordable.

When to go skiing in the Catskills

Skiing and snowboarding season in the Catskills usually runs from December through early April. However, the weather becomes spring-like already in mid-March, and the snow gets wet and mushy. January and February are the most reliable months in terms of snow.

How to get to the Catskills from NYC

The Catskills region can be easily reached from the city by car via Palisades Interstate Parkway North or Taconic State Parkway North and I-87. Another option is NY Trailways bus to Hunter, NY, that leaves from Port Authority in NYC. There are also several private operators, like NYC Snow Bus, which offers one-day ski trips and travel to Hunter and Windham Mountains with pick up spots in Downtown Brooklyn, Upper West Side, Times Square, and Union Square. The bus ride takes from 3 to 3.5 hours.

Best ski resorts

The premier ski getaway for New York City, Hunter Mountain boasts 34 mi (55 km) of diverse ski terrain. The summit of Hunter Mountain has an elevation of 4,040 ft (1,231 m). With four separate mountain faces and 67 trails, the resort can satisfy skiers and snowboarders of all levels. There are four freestyle areas and 13 chairlifts. The ski lifts operate from 8:30 am to 4 pm, while the base lodge opens at 6 am.

Windham Mountain is the second most popular ski resort in the Catskills. It's located just a 2.5-hour drive from New York City or an hour from Albany. The resort boasts 54 trails on two peaks, 11 chairlifts, and six terrain parks. About 97% of the ski terrain is covered by snowmaking machines ensuring the best surface conditions. Belleayre Mountain is a smaller resort with 50 trails and eight lifts while Platekill has just 38 trails, but offers the most affordable rates in the area.

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Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva