Skiing In The Adirondacks: A MapQuest Guide
Ski resorts in the Adirondack Mountains of New York blend history and escape with some of the best skiing in the Northeast. From lively Gore Mountain, to Olympic-caliber trails at Whiteface Lake Placid, to the "East's heaviest snowfall" at Snow Ridge, there's plenty to ski and do in the Adirondacks.
Gore MountainAs far as East Coast ski areas go, Gore Mountain offers a fairly challenging set of alpine trails, with about 60 percent intermediate and 30 percent expert runs. While a lot of the tougher trails -- including 19 challenging glades -- traverse the mountain's summit and its High Peaks "Dark Side," Gore's lower slopes are a haven for beginners. But there's a lot more to do at Gore Mountain than just downhill skiing. Five terrain parks, eight cross-country runs, and snowshoeing trails offer a diverse variety of winter sports entertainment.
The resort's apres-ski options are also impressive. In addition to on-site amenities, Gore's proximity to the town of Lake George -- a popular regional gateway -- is an added bonus for travelers looking for a true Adirondack winter escape. The town's lively blend of brewpubs, shops, restaurants and lodging options appeal to both family vacationers and college students on break.
Adirondack Ski & Snowboard Resorts Map
Click pinpoints for driving directions.
Whiteface Lake PlacidFor a taste of Adirondack history, head north to Whiteface Lake Placid. Situated atop one of the Adirondack High Peaks, Whiteface Lake Placid is possibly the most famous ski resort in the region, having hosted downhill, slalom and giant slalom events during the 1980 Winter Olympics. While American sports memories of those games inevitably turn to the triumphant victory of the United States ice hockey team over the Soviet Union, Whiteface also witnessed great moments of Olympic history. Swedish slalom star Ingemar Stenmark won gold medals in both slalom and giant slalom, and Lichtenstein's Hanni Wenzel won the same events in the women's division (as well as capturing silver in the downhill competition).
Today, professional skiers still train at Whiteface's Olympic Center, located in the town of Lake Placid, which also houses the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. Runs at the resort feature East Coast big mountain skiing that rival the best of the West. Whiteface Lake Placid's vertical rise of 3,430 feet is the longest continuous run on the East Coast, and its 86 trails offer a preponderance of intermediate-to-expert-level terrain, with a healthy dose of easier sections as well.
WATCH: 2009 Opening Day Festivities At Whiteface Lake Placid
Snow RidgeBut bigger isn't necessarily better. And if good things come in small packages, Snow Ridge surely demonstrates how good small-scale East Coast skiing can get. An enclave of 22 trails and 130 skiable acres located just outside the Adirondack Park in Turin, New York, Snow Ridge is about half the size of Whiteface Lake Placid and Gore Mountain. But rest assured, it's no bunny hill: The majority of its runs are black diamonds! Snow Ridge makes up for its diminutive size with a whopping 230 average inches of snowfall per year (its heaviest year racked up 374 inches -- a record for resorts east of the Rockies).
With Lake Ontario only about an hour's drive away, consistent lake-effect snow all but guarantees good cover throughout the season, which is fortunate because only about half of the resort's trails have snowmaking capacity. Additionally, the resort offers a reciprocity program with neighboring Labrador, Song and Toggenburg Mountains, where full season pass holders at Snow Ridge can purchase discounted lift tickets at the other three.
Did we miss your favorite ski and snowboard resort in the Adirondacks? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
Plan your next winter getaway with MapQuest's ski resort guides for winter travel destinations in the U.S. and Canada.