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Great ski areas within four hours of New York City

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 2:20 PM

It's time to get skiing!Hubert Schriebl

It’s time to get skiing!

The Farmers Almanac, the Weather Channel and your trick knee are all saying that winter is coming in like a lamb this year — but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan a weekend or one-day getaway to the slopes right now.

Let the billionaire class fly to Aspen or Gstaad — there are plenty of challenging ski areas with ample snow within four hours of Midtown. Here’s our guide:

THE CLOSEST

Mount Peter

51 Old Mt. Peter Rd., Warwick, N.Y.

Driving time from Midtown: 1:17

Peak elevation: Not applicable

Number of trails: 14

Lifts: 5

Lift tickets: Adults, $ 30 (weekdays), $ 49 (weekends); kids 5-11, $ 25, $ 42. Free beginner lessons on weekends.

Website: www.mtpeter.com

OK, it’s not the tallest mountain on the East Coast. Hell, it’s not even the tallest peak in Orange County! But there’s no closer place to ski than Mt. Peter — the oldest ski area in New York State.

Camelback Mountain is the nearest ski area in the Poconos.Camelback Mountain

Camelback Mountain is the nearest ski area in the Poconos.

The 14-trail site was opened in 1936 by Macy’s, which wanted a place for winter fashion shoots. There’ll be a party on Jan. 23 with a parade and fireworks to celebrate the blessed event.

The entire ski area has snowmaking, so even if it’s sunny in Manhattan, you can still hop in the car after breakfast and get in six hours on the slopes. There is no lodging on site, but several bed and breakfasts run specials through the season.

ALSO NEARBY

Mountain Creek

200 Route 94, Vernon, N.J.

Driving time from Midtown: 1:24

Peak elevation: 1,480 ft.

Number of trails: 44

Lifts: 8

Lift tickets: Adults, $ 70; kids 7-18, $ 54; under 6, free. Large discounts online.

Website: www.mountaincreek.com

Belleayre Mountain, which is about two-and-half hours from Midtown, prides itself on its grooming.Belleayre Mountain

Belleayre Mountain, which is about two-and-half hours from Midtown, prides itself on its grooming.

The former Vernon Valley/Great Gorge/Crystal Springs site has grown into a sprawling complex featuring four peaks, including one of the largest terrain parks on the East Coast. No, the likes of Sammy Davis and Ann-Margaret aren’t skiing and hanging out in the Playboy Club anymore, but families are still flocking, thanks to the resort’s proximity and offerings.

A $ 20-million facelift in 2012 ushered in a new lodge, better rental facilities, a tubing area and even two Bag Jump air-bag zones.

NEXT CLOSEST

Camelback

301 Resort Dr., Tannersville, Penn.

Driving time from Midtown: 1:50

Peak elevation: 2,133 ft.

Number of trails: 34

Lifts: 16

Lift tickets: Adults, $ 53 (weekdays), $ 67 (weekends); youth, 6-18, $ 45, $ 49; under 6, free. Discounts online.

Website: www.skicamelback.com

Belleayre Mountain, which is about two-and-half hours from Midtown, prides itself on its grooming.Belleayre Mountain

Belleayre Mountain, which is about two-and-half hours from Midtown, prides itself on its grooming.

A full-year resort, thanks to its well-known waterpark, Camelback has a surprisingly good variety of trails given its less-than-two-hour drive time from Midtown. It also has the largest tubing area in the country, lots of night skiing and a much-hyped happy hour scene.

A good way to get out there is the OvRride bus service every Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting Dec. 26. Round-trip service, including a lift ticket and drinks on the bus, is just $ 90.

Catamount

78 Catamount Rd., Hillsdale, N.Y.

Driving time from Midtown: 2:20

Peak elevation: 1,893 ft.

Number of trails: 36

Lifts: 7

Lift tickets: Adults, $ 35 (weekdays), $ 65 (weekends); youth 7-13, $ 30, $ 55.

Website: www.catamountski.com

Straddling the New York-Massachusetts border, Catamount is a beginner’s paradise that also offers enough challenging runs for the seasoned skier.

Hunter Mountain is the biggest ski area in southern New York.Hunter Mountain

Hunter Mountain is the biggest ski area in southern New York.

And it’s usually not too crowded, even with lift ticket prices that are quite reasonable by today’s standards; some deals can bring the cost of a weekday ski day down to $ 20. Fourth and fifth graders can also ski free (with pre-registration).

Hunter Mountain

64 Klein Ave., Hunter, N.Y.

Driving time from Midtown: 2:22

Peak elevation: 3,200 ft.

Number of trails: 57

Lifts: 12

Lift tickets: Adults, $ 55 (weekdays), $ 68 (weekends); teens, $ 49, $ 55; 7-12, $ 40, $ 42. Many discounts available online.

Website: www.huntermtn.com

The granddaddy of all the nearby ski-areas, Hunter prides itself on its size, snow, fast lifts and snazzy accommodations. Left unsaid are the crowds, mostly from the city (hence the cutesy trail names like “Bleecker Street” and “Central Park North”).

On the plus side, more than $ 1 million was spent to improve the area’s already well-respected snowmaking. And even when it’s crowded, the most challenging areas are eminently skiable.

Hunter Mountain is the biggest ski area in southern New York.Hunter Mountain

Hunter Mountain is the biggest ski area in southern New York.

Bottom line: a day-trip to Hunter is a rite of passage for New York families. Check OvRride for deals.

Windham Mountain Ski Resort

19 Resort Dr., Windham, N.Y.

Driving time from Midtown: 2:31

Peak elevation: 3,100 ft.

Number of trails: 54

Lifts: 12

Lift tickets: Adults, $ 72 (weekdays), $ 82 (weekends), $ 84 (Saturday holiday); teens, $ 55, $ 70, $ 72; youth 7-12, $ 47, $ 60, $ 63; under 6, $ 10, $ 10, $ 10.

Website: www.windhammountain.com

Like its slightly closer big brother in Hunter, Windham is a massive ski area with dozens of trails, plus a popular night skiing area.

Windham earns kudos for plenty of intermediate runs, giving a wider group of skiers more to do.

Mount Snow is not as tall as Stratton, but it is a bit closer to New York.Mount Snow

Mount Snow is not as tall as Stratton, but it is a bit closer to New York.

Belleayre Mountain

181 Galli Curci Rd., Highmount, NY

Driving time from Midtown: 2:26

Peak elevation: 3,429 ft.

Number of trails: 50

Lifts: 8

Lift tickets: Adults, $ 54 (weekdays) and $ 66 (weekends); teens, $ 48, $ 56; under 6, free. Large discounts online.

Website: www.belleayre.com

The state-run Belleayre Mountain is rarely as crowded as the other nearby ski areas. It also earns good reviews for its rustic approach — though some skiers use the term “run down” instead of rustic.

Adirondack Trailways runs buses to the mountain every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. The $ 103 fare includes the lift ticket and round-trip transport from the Port Authority. The bus gets you to the mountain at just after 10 a.m., and leaves at just after 4 p.m., which seems a bit short.

THE FOUR HOUR RANGE

Stratton is the tallest mountain in southern Vermont.Hubert Schriebl/Hubert Schriebl

Stratton is the tallest mountain in southern Vermont.

Mount Snow

39 Mount Snow Rd, West Dover, Vt.

Driving time from Midtown: 4 hours

Peak elevation: 3,600 ft.

Number of trails: 85

Lifts: 20

Lift tickets: $ 90-$ 95 (adults), $ 70-$ 75 (youth/seniors).

Website: www.mountsnow.com

This place is so big that it pretty much gobbles up the crowds it gets, thanks to 85 trails and 20 lifts, plus a large terrain park. And big snowmaking improvements were made in the off season.

Snowmaking began in early December and lift tickets were just $ 59 lift tickets (regular prices typically kick in just before Christmas).

And OvRride has a hard-to-beat $ 110 round-trip deal that includes the hefty lift ticket price. Of course, to get all the way to Vermont, the bus has to leave at 4 a.m., but still…

Stratton is the tallest mountain in southern Vermont.Hubert Schriebl

Stratton is the tallest mountain in southern Vermont.

If you want to sleep over, Mount Snow has a ski-and-stay package that starts at $ 79 per person, midweek.

Stratton Mountain

5 Village Lodge Rd. Stratton Mountain, Vt.

Driving time from Midtown: 4:01

Peak elevation: 3,875 ft.

Number of trails: 97

Lifts: 11

Lift tickets: Adults, $ 89 (weekday), $ 105 (weekend); youth, $ 79, $ 89. Large discounts online.

Website: www.stratton.com

Regulars love Stratton for its excellent conditions and smaller crowds — except on holiday weekends.

The resort spent much of the off-season building a large new base camp, which is expected to fully operational when the first natural flakes fall.

And even if they don’t, Stratton makes plenty of snow across its hundreds of skiable acres.

The mountain-averse will like Stratton Village, which has dozens of shops, eateries, a spa and other services.

Stratton offers bus service, but it’s not cheap: $ 79 each way, with no break on lift tickets. OvRide has better deals, but, again, the round-trip leaves really early.

gkuntzman@nydailynews.com


Lifestyle – NY Daily News

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