Long Island has many natural wonders — but no mountains — so to ski we Islanders must travel to find snowy peaks to conquer. Here are four spots found around the Northeast that each offer skiing situations suitable for the experienced, the beginner and for those looking to hang and relax at the resort:
FAMILY-FRIENDLY (BEGINNERS TOO)
If you or your youngsters need to get better acquainted with skiing, this independently owned and operated ski area located within the Berkshire Mountain region features ski and snowboard lessons for levels of ability, beginner to experienced. The facility also offers a $100 “First Timer’s” package that includes a beginner’s area lift ticket, a two-hour group lesson and an equipment rental package. Visitors who arrive midweek (excluding holidays) can also find $35 lift tickets. The resort features 22 trails and a 1,000-foot vertical drop. For those looking for an even easier experience, Butternut has an 11-lane snow tubing center with a lift that will make the trip uphill a relaxing one. For even more to do, the surrounding town features dining and shopping options to explore, as well as a vibrant arts scene and several museums.
INFO 380 State Rd., Great Barrington, Massachusetts; 413-528-2000, skibutternut.com
Boasting the most vertical drop of any resort in Vermont (more than 3,000 feet), Killington lives up to its nickname of “The Beast” with trails that run across six peaks that include various pitches, surfaces and exposures — and during its peak season, more than 40% of its trails are considered extremely or most difficult, due to the natural terrain and human-made tweaks. The resort also hosts the “Outer Limits” mogul run, a freestyle skiing competition billed as the longest and precipitous such run in the eastern United States Among its extreme trails to try, the steepest is known as “Ovation:” found on its 3,800-foot Skye Peak, anyone who makes it down is said to deserve applause. The resort, which already featured four base lodges, has added a fifth that just opened for the 2022-2023 season dubbed the K-1 Lodge, which features an escalator as well as a food court and a pub. Party people should also look to the resort’s Wobbly Barn restaurant, which has an adjacent nightclub where the après-ski scene features DJs and live music weekend mid-December through most of March.
INFO 4763 Killington Rd., Killington, Vermont; 800-734-9435, killington.com
FUN FOR NON-SKIERS
Omni Mount Washington Resort
Home to Bretton Woods — known as the largest ski area in New Hampshire, the resort is set at the base of Mount Washington, which at over 6,200 feet makes it the highest peak in the northeastern United States — and the facility is also wrapped by thousands of acres of forestland. During the winter, visitors can go on winter hikes or try snowshoeing, or hit the slopes via snowtubing. Adjacent to the resort are the Bretton Woods Stables, which offer sleigh rides come the winter. For some indoor pampering, Omni has a full-service spa and salon, as well as a heated indoor pool and hot tubs. Dining is also an option, with its Fabyan’s Station restaurant already open and its Bretton Arms Inn Dining Room and Wine Bar slated to open this winter. The Bretton Woods Ski Area is also planned to feature après ski parties this snowy season. Of course, should the skiing bug finally bite, Bretton Woods holds 63 trails and 35 glades located over more than 450 acres where snowboarders can also ply their craft.
INFO 310 Mount Washington Hotel Rd., Bretton Woods, New Hampshire; 603-278-1000, omnihotels.com
Jay Peak Resort
Skiing is definitely a must in the lineup of things to do at this sprawling resort featuring three hotels and several condominiums. The mountain is around 3,900 feet in height—so high that the facility employs a unique Aerial Tram to get from the base to the summit. Passengers can look out at both the Green Mountain region and across the border into Canada. Its gladed tree skiing is known as the best in the East, with various levels of difficulty spread across over hundreds of acres.
For those who’d rather skip the slopes, the resort has its Pump House Indoor Waterpark, a 50,000-square-foot space featuring a number of waterslides, such as La Chute, which sends guests hurtling at 45 mph and through a 360-degree rotation before splashing down into the pool below. The park also has its Double Barrel Flowrider surfing machine and its “Big River,” which floats guests through caves, under waterfalls and over rapids.
Jay Peak also has the Ice Haus arena, an indoor hockey rink and several onsite dining options, plus apres ski opportunities at its Bullwheel Bar, where weekends include live music and concerts in its Foeger Ballroom.
INFO 830 Jay Peak Road Jay, Vermont; 802-988-2611, jaypeakresort.com