10 ski destinations close to Long Island

Shawnee Mountain?s Ski & Snowboard in East Stroudsburg, Shawnee Mountain’s Ski & Snowboard in East Stroudsburg, Pa., has 23 slopes and trails with a variety of terrains for the entire family. Photo Credit: Handout

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After an absolutely miserly allotment of snow two winters ago, Mother Nature compensated with a fairly generous accumulation last winter, one that allowed regional ski resorts to remain open well into March and silenced -- at least for the time being -- predictions of the imminent demise of the local winter sports industry. And with the "Farmers' Almanac" calling for another winter that's colder and snowier than normal, there's little need for Long Island skiers and boarders to trek way up North, especially for only a weekend -- not when within 150 miles of home, they can get to good-size mountains with challenging terrain in the Poconos, Catskills and Berkshires.

To aid you in plotting out your snow safaris, here are 10 of the more compelling "closer to home" options. While each can be done in a single (long) day, you could double the return on your investment in time and effort by spending the night. In addition to allowing you to partake of a little night skiing or tubing, you'll also get to enjoy the local après-ski scene -- and beat the daytrippers onto the slopes in the morning.

All lift-ticket prices are for non-holiday weekends.

MOUNTAIN CREEK, VERNON, N.J.

New Jersey's only true resort, Mountain Creek includes deluxe slopeside lodging and the area's only all-mountain terrain park. (973-827-2000, mountaincreek.com)

Vertical drop: 1,040 feet

Skiable acres: 167

Trails: 44 (25 percent novice, 50 percent intermediate, 25 percent advanced)

Ski lifts: 8

Features: 67 acres of terrain parks, night skiing, tubing (30 lanes)

Lift tickets: $65.99 adults (ages 19-61), $51.99 youth (ages 18 and younger), $51.99 seniors (ages 65 and over); free for those under 46 inches

Base accommodations: 60 rooms at The Appalachian and Black Creek Sanctuary, 973-827-5996, ext. 2, crystalgolfresort.com

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SHAWNEE MOUNTAIN, SHAWNEE-ON-DELAWARE, PA.

Nestled in a picturesque, secluded valley near the Delaware River, Shawnee Mountain is the closest of the Poconos resorts. (570-421-7231, shawneemt.com)

Vertical drop: 700 feet

Skiable acres: 125

Trails: 23 (25 percent novice, 50 percent intermediate, 25 percent advanced)

Ski lifts: 10

Features: 2 terrain parks, night skiing, tubing (6 lanes)

Lift tickets: $55 adults (ages 19-61), $40 youth (ages 18 and younger), $45 seniors (ages 62-69) and college students; children under 46 inches free (with paying adult)

Base accommodations: none

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CAMELBACK, TANNERSVILLE, PA.

The most comprehensive and established of the Poconos resorts, beginner-friendly Camelback features a spread-out design to reduce congestion and a location in the heart of the Poconos action. (570-629-1661, skicamelback.com)

Vertical drop: 800 feet

Skiable acres: 166

Trails: 34 (39 percent novice, 26 percent intermediate, 35 percent advanced)

Ski lifts: 15

Features: terrain park, big air bag, mountain coaster, night skiing, tubing (40 lanes)

Lift tickets: $63 adults (ages 19-64), $47 youth (ages 6-18) and senior (ages 65+), 5 and younger free with paid adult

Base accommodations: none

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BLUE MOUNTAIN, PALMERTON, PA.

Boasting the highest vertical in the state, Blue Mountain appeals to more competent skiers and boarders willing to travel the extra distance to get there. (610-826-7700, skibluemt.com)

Vertical drop: 1,082 feet

Skiable acres: 164

Trails: 39 (41 percent novice, 13 intermediate, 46 advanced)

Ski lifts: 13

Features: 6 terrain parks, big air bag, night skiing, tubing (21 chutes)

Lift tickets: (include night skiing): $63 adults (ages 22 and up); $48 youth (ages 6-21), 5and younger free with paid adult

Base accommodations: none

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HUNTER MOUNTAIN, HUNTER, N.Y.

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For more than 50 years, Hunter has been New Yorkers' resort of first choice for good reasons: separate beginners' and experts' mountains, and an abundance of on- and off-slope action. (800-486-8376, huntermtn.com)

Vertical drop: 1,600 feet

Skiable acres: 240

Trails: 58 (30 percent novice, 30 percent intermediate, 27 percent advanced, 13 expert)

Ski lifts: 10

Features: terrain park, zip line (North America's highest and longest), tubing (18 lanes)

Lift tickets: $72 adults (ages 19-64), $65 young adult (ages 13-18), $50 junior (ages 7-12) and $10 ages 6 and younger

Base accommodations: 109-unit Kaatskill Mountain Club, 800-775-4641, kaatskillmtnclub.com; also main lodge and slopeside condos

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WINDHAM MOUNTAIN, WINDHAM, N.Y.

Despite being bigger than Hunter, Windham remains the Catskills "second resort," which is just fine with those who prefer its smaller crowds, separate black and blue areas, and less frenetic ambience. (800-754-9463, windhammountain.com)

Vertical drop: 1,600 feet

Skiable acres: 279

Trails: 52 (30 percent novice, 45 percent intermediate, 15 percent advanced, 10 expert)

Ski lifts: 12

Features: 5 terrain parks, big air bag, zip line, ice skating, night skiing, tubing (8 lanes)

Lift tickets: $75 adults (ages 18 and older), $65 young adult (ages 13-17), $58 junior (ages 7-12), $10 ages 6 and younger

Base accommodations: none

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BELLEAYRE MOUNTAIN, HIGHMOUNT, N.Y.

Owned by the state, Belleayre is the smallest of the three Catskill resorts but typically offers the best value and most casual atmosphere. (845-254-5600, belleayre.com)

Vertical drop: 1,404 feet

Skiable acres: 171

Trails: 55 (22 percent novice, 58 percent intermediate, 20 percent advanced)

Ski lifts: 8

Features: terrain park, Snowcat-access skiing and boarding

Lift tickets: $60 adults (ages 20-64), $54 college students and teens (ages 13-19), $42 juniors (ages 7-12), free 6 and under

Base accommodations: none

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CATAMOUNT, HILLSDALE, N.Y.

Friendly, intimate and often overlooked Catamount, with its separate beginner mountain and frequent discounts, is a favorite with families. (518-325-3200, catamountski.com)

Vertical drop: 1,000 feet

Skiable acres: 130

Trails: 33 (40 percent novice, 27 percent intermediate, 33 percent advanced)

Ski lifts: 6

Features: terrain park, night skiing

Lift tickets: $62 adults (ages 14-69), $51 junior (ages 7-13) and $27 child (6 and younger)

Base accommodations: 12-room Swiss Hutte Hotel, 518-325-3333, swisshutte.com

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SKI BUTTERNUT, GREAT BARRINGTON, MASS.

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Long-standing, low-key, family-owned-and-oriented Butternut is in charming and activity-laden Great Barrington. (413-528-2000, skibutternut.com)

Vertical drop: 1,000 feet

Skiable acres: 110

Trails: 22 (20 percent novice, 60 percent intermediate, 20 percent advanced)

Ski lifts: 11

Features: 2 terrain parks, tubing (8 lanes), night tubing

Lift tickets: $55 adults (ages 14-69), $45 youth (ages 7-13) and $20 child (6 and younger), $35 college students with ID

Base accommodations: none

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JIMINY PEAK, HANCOCK, MASS.

The closest true New England resort to New York, stunningly sylvan Jiminy Peak offers plenty of skiing and boarding along with the complete base village experience. (413-738-5500, jiminypeak.com)

Vertical drop: 1,150 feet

Skiable acres: 167

Trails: 45 (22 percent novice, 45 percent intermediate, 33 percent advanced)

Ski lifts: 9

Features: 3 terrain parks, mountain coaster, night skiing

Lift tickets: $67 adults (ages 19-64), $59 young adult (ages 13-18) and $50 junior (ages 12 and younger); tickets good for 8 hours from time of purchase.

Base accommodations: 159-suite Country Inn at Jiminy Peak and 85-unit Wyndham Bentley Brook Resort condos, 800-882-8859, jiminypeak.com

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