Kate Murphy

August 29, 2023

5 Best Ski Resorts Near NYC For Beginners

New York City’s fast-paced lifestyle and urban hustle can leave residents and visitors yearning for a change of scenery, especially during the winter months.

Thankfully, just a few hours’ drive from the city, a winter wonderland of ski resorts awaits beginners seeking to embrace the thrill of skiing. If you want to try skiing or bring your loved ones to the sport, these ski resorts near NYC are great. They have easy slopes, good teachers, and a fun winter getaway.

Mountain Creek Resort

Mountain Creek Resort, only 47 miles from NYC (it’s just 1 and a half hour drive!), is perfect for new skiers starting their skiing adventure. Mountain Creek is the #1 choice for ski beginners from NYC with easy slopes, helpful instructors, and places to practice tricks at your own pace. The resort’s accessibility and picturesque surroundings make it an ideal choice for a quick getaway from the city.

Beginner Slopes and their "Terrain Based Learning": For those new to skiing, Mountain Creek provides a variety of gentle slopes designed to foster confidence and skill development. These beginner-friendly areas are characterized by their manageable gradients and supportive environments, perfect for individuals of all ages taking their initial strides on the snow. Terrain Based Learning was pioneered at Mountain Creek and has been widely recognized as a game-changing revolution within the snow industry and has been adopted by some of the best ski schools in the country.

If you are looking for New York ski resorts for families but don’t want to spend too much time on the road, Mountain Creek will give you the perfect balance of relaxation of spending a day out of the city!

Intermediate Slopes: As your skills progress, the resort offers intermediate slopes that strike a balance between excitement and comfort. These slopes allow skiers to refine their techniques and enjoy a mix of speed and control as they navigate the diverse terrain.

Make sure to watch their Beginner’s Guide for ski and snowboarding. Knowing a few basic facts about your equipment will help set you up for success on your first day on the hill.

Now, ready to hit the slope? Every weekend, our Mountain Creek Ski/Board Day Trip From NYC takes you straight there!

Belleayre Mountain Resort

Nestled in the heart of the Catskill Mountains, Belleayre Mountain stands as a shining example of a ski resort that warmly embraces beginners on their skiing journey. Belleayre Mountain is known for its easy slopes, special areas for beginners, and welcoming atmosphere. It’s a great place for people trying skiing or snowboarding for the first time or looking for ski lessons in NYC.

Skiing Magazine called Belleayre “the best place to learn to ski in the East.” Why? Great teaching terrain, excellent instructors, wide variety of beginner trails separate from the rest of the mountain and terrain mountain-wide that becomes more challenging in increments. What’s more, they have segregated the Greens with the rest of the mountain and have their dedicated lift. If you are looking for family-friendly ski resorts in New York and don’t want your kids to get injured, Belleayre Mountain is the one to choose.

While Belleayre Mountain is perfect for skiing in New York for beginners, it also offers opportunities for growth and excitement. The resort typically features terrain parks with features designed to help beginners progress in a controlled manner. These parks might include smaller jumps, rollers, and introductory obstacles that allow new skiers to gradually build their skills and explore the realm of freestyle skiing.

Thinking about going? Our Belleayre Mountain Ski/Board Day Trip From NYC is partnering with Pennings Orchard.

Camelback Mountain Resort

Venture just over 80 miles from NYC, and you’ll find Camelback Mountain Resort, a haven for beginner skiers. Boasting one of the largest snow tubing parks in the country, Camelback offers an array of activities beyond skiing. For beginners, the resort’s patient instructors and easy-to-navigate slopes make it a fantastic choice for those taking their first strides on the snow.

Camelback Mountain provides Ski and Snowboard Lessons for Adults & Kids in the Poconos. Their Ski and Ride Academy is the place to go if you want to learn to ski or snowboard. Whether you are new to snow or a seasoned slider, with the help of their instructors, you will feel confident on the mountain. They are voted the #1 Ski Resort in the Poconos.

Windham Mountain Resort

Approximately a two-and-a-half-hour drive from NYC, Windham Mountain Resort boasts a reputation for being a haven for skiers of all levels. It has a total of 54 ski trails, which are serviced by 11 ski lifts, gondolas and/or trams. With 732 acres, Windham Mountain Ski Resort has a moderate amount of skiable terrain available for skiers. This area is equivalent to 296 hectares, 1.1 square miles, or 3.0 square kilometers.

Windham Mountain can be beginner-friendly, but it depends on the ski trails you ride. While it ranks in the lower half of all North American ski areas in terms of overall difficulty, it still has 80% of its trails rated at or above intermediate ski level.

Some beginner tips if you are going to Windham Mountain:

Try Both Skiing and Snowboarding: At Windham, they offer child and adult snow school (and private lessons) in both skiing and snowboarding so you can find which one you like better, through one-on-one with a professional.

Layering Is the Trick: Just like running outdoors, you want to have layers on you can peel off. After a few runs, it gets hot and you’ll learn how many pairs of leggings or thermals you’ll want to have on.

Take the Green: Just get up on the lift and try. Even if it takes you a few falls to get down, you can make it, but you won’t know until you try. Plus the Greens at Windham Mountain Resort are nice and powdery and long. Just take your time taking in the scenery. In fact, you might get some free tips from the ski school instructors while you’re up there.

Hunter Mountain

Nestled in the heart of the Catskill Mountains, Hunter Mountain is an iconic ski resort that beckons beginners and experienced skiers alike. The resort’s diverse terrain caters to all skill levels, with separate areas designed specifically for beginners. Hunter Mountain’s proximity to NYC, just a three-hour drive away, makes it a convenient choice for those seeking a dose of adventure without straying too far from the city lights.

At the heart of Hunter Mountain lies its unparalleled skiing and snowboarding terrain. The mountain boasts a variety of slopes catering to all skill levels, from gentle trails for beginners to challenging runs that test the mettle of seasoned experts. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, the trails offer excitement and opportunities for improvement. Each run adds to your snowy adventure.

Compared to Windham and other ski resorts that have closer proximity from NYC:

- Hunter Mountain offers better facility for beginners. It has a pretty large separate section of the mountain for beginners. It does not have magic carpet like Windham but it offers 3 chairlifts. As a beginner, it felt great to be able to use the chairlift instead of magic carpet.

- Hunter Mountain offers larger and various lounging areas and food options than Windham and all other ski resorts.

- Hunter Mountain does not offer discount to college students.

- Hunter Mountain is the farthest from the city (3 hours on the road)!

In conclusion, while Hunter Mountain provides the best quality of snow, it is the least beginner-friendly among the 5 ski resorts. The only blue off the peak ‘Belt Parkway’ can be really crowded and get quite icey throughout the day. There isn’t a green from the peak so you are left on Hunter East or the green off the quad on the front face which is a couple of tiny trails not worth the money if that’s all you can ski/board.

Still want to give it a try? Our NYC Ski Bus To Hunter Mountain will take you there!


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