Many people are surprised to learn that the Adirondack Park hosts two excellent ski areas: Whiteface Mountain in Wilmington, just outside of Lake Placid, and Gore Mountain, in North Creek. Host to the 1980 Olympic downhill-related competitions, Whiteface Mountain has the greatest vertical drop in the east. Steep and sometimes icy, Whiteface offers a wide variety of terrain with spectacular views of the High Peaks. Gore Mountain also boasts diverse terrain, from glades to black diamonds and first-time skier/rider friendly trails. Both mountains have high speed chairs and gondolas, and of course some nice places for an apres ski beverage. The Adirondacks are also full of opportunities for cross-country skiing & backcountry touring.
Whiteface Mountain | Wilmington, NY
Greatest vertical drop in the East. Whiteface was also the host of the alpine events in the 1980 Winter Olympic Games.
Gore Mountain | North Creek, NY
Gore Mountain offers 347 acres of skiable area. From beginner trails to expert terrain, this mountain provides something for everyone. The Base Lodge provides comfort uncomparable to many others due to its spaciousness and a vast supply of seating.
Snow Ridge | Turin, NY
Snow Ridge is a ski area located in Turin, NY, in the middle of the Tug Hill Plateau. The mountain averages about 230" of annual snowfall each year. Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy 22 trails accessed by 6 lifts.
McCauley Mountain | Old Forge, NY
Located in the central Adirondack in the town of Old Forge, NY. McCauley has a 633-foot vertical drop and 21 trails that provide skiing and riding for all levels. Given the cheaper ticket prices and the short lift lines, this mountain is great for families. It also averages about 281 inches of snowfall per year, so conditions are typically quite good.
Oak Mountain | Speculator, NY
This is a family-friendly ski area located in the town of Speculator, NY in the southern Adirondacks. It has 14 trails, 2 T-Bars, and one quad lift. For snowmaking, the mountain has 30% coverage. The total vertical drop is 650 feet. Oak Mountain also offers night skiing, snow tubing, and some great food at the Acorn Pub & Eatery that features Executive Chef Louis Petrozza (a.k.a Chef Lou, a runner-up on Hell's Kitchen)
Titus Mountain | Malone, NY
Located just south miles south of Malone, NY, Titus Mountain has 44 trails, offers night skiing, and has a tubing park. Located in Queensbury, NY, only 40 minutes north of Albany.
West Mountain | Queensbury, NY
West Mountain has 30 trails and snowmaking covering 80% of the terrain. This ski area offers up a variety of terrain, from gentle to steep slopes.
Mt. Pisgah | Saranac Lake, NY
Pisgah is a classic “small town” Adirondack skiing spot. The gentle slopes, dedicated staff, and welcoming atmosphere make it especially inviting for family skiing and tubing.
Big Tupper | Tupper Lake, NY
Located in Tupper Lake, NY, Big Tupper offers a refreshing Adirondack ski experience. Now volunteer-run by locals, this mountain has 23 trails and a 1,151 foot vertical drop.
Hickory Ski Area | Warrensburg, NY
Located in Warrensburg, NY, Hickory is an old-fashioned ski area that's still functioning in modern times. Often compared to Vermont's Mad River Glen, Hickory has vintage chairlifts, some steep/challenging runs, no snowmaking, and great base lodge.
Update: As of 2022/2023 season, Hickory is open for uphill/skinning. 24/7 access, self-serve kiosk in the parking lot. Users need to sign a waiver, register in & out. $10 per person per day or $100 for winter season.
Dewey Mountain Recreation Center | Saranac Lake, NY
Dewey is an up-and-coming ski center, especially among local children. The mountain is known for having a fair share of hills that make for some fun downhills.
Paul Smith's College VIC | Paul Smiths, NY
During the winter months, the PSC VIC becomes a cross-country ski center with over 25 miles of trails for classic skiing, skate skiing, and snowshoeing. The varied terrain is great for beginners and experienced skiers, with many loop options and connector trails.
New Land Trust | Saranac, NY
Established in 1977, the New Land Trust is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was inspired by a group of SUNY Plattsburgh students and friends. Located near the small hamlet of Saranac, NY, this 281.5 acre preserve offers over 20 trails and amenities such as a classic Adirondack lean-to, bunkhouse and outhouses. Open to the public from dawn to dusk, visitors are welcome to explore the trails with their leashed dogs. Donations are accepted to help maintain this unique space.
Moss Lake Loop | Eagle Bay, NY
In the western Adirondacks, Moss Lake is located on the road between Big Moose and Eagle Bay. The 2.5-mile loop offers opportunities for year-round recreational use.
Garnet Hill | North River, NY
The adjacent Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area contains almost 40 miles of mapped and marked trails.
Cascade Welcome Center | Lake Placid, NY
The Adirondack Mountain Club’s Cascade Welcome Center on state Route 73 opened for the season on Nov. 11, 2022. It includes a retail shop with cross-country ski rentals. The center offers 12 miles of trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The operators are also planning some programs this winter, such as cross-country skiing clinics, ski maintenance workshops and naturalist walks.
Mt. Van Hoevenberg Ski Center | Lake Placid, NY
The Olympic Cross Country ski trails of Mt. Van Hoevenberg have delighted individuals, couples and families for over 35 years. Constant trail upgrades and world class grooming on 50 km of rolling Adirondack terrain have been the hallmark of our Olympic legacy.
Scott's Cobble Recreation Center | Lake Placid, NY
Features 10-20 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails and a goal of reacquainting local communities with the culture of Nordic skiing. Operated by High Peaks Cyclery in partnership with the town of North Elba.
For more info on this project, read this article on LakePlacidNews.com.
Lake George Recreation Center | Lake George, NY
The Lake George Recreation Center is a popular choice for outdoor recreational activities for all seasons, including mountain biking, hiking, a dog park, cross-country skiing, and snow tubing.
Fern Park Recreation Area | Inlet, NY
Located on Loomis Road, in Inlet, Fern Park is a four-season recreation area. In the winter this free park offers 20 miles of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails, groomed sledding hill, indoor skating rink, public restrooms, warming hut, and plenty of off-road parking.
Adirondack Woodcraft Camps | Old Forge, NY
10 + km of cross country ski trails that wind through beautiful fields and forests with one 2km lit loop for sparkly night skiing! Fee required - single day or season passes available.
McCauley Mountain XC-Ski Trails | Old Forge, NY
Groomed trails for traditional skiing and skate skiing. There are 3 major loops - a 2.5k, 5k, and 7.5k. Day passes are $5.
Tupper Lake XC-Ski Center | Tupper Lake, NY
As the winter whites begins to cover the ground, the Tupper Lake Golf Course transforms into a glorious groomed cross-country ski center, the James C. Frenette Sr. Recreational Trails. The continuously growing network of trails includes a series of loops that will offer an enjoyable experience for cross-country skiers and snowshoers of all abilities. Also, a new and innovative system has made skiing possible even after sunset, during evenings, and into the night. The system uses motion-activated solar lights placed at regular intervals along the trail. The lights turn on as the skier approaches, lighting the way, and then turn off once the skier has passed. This ensures a minimal impact on the environment, as there is no constant burning of energy from full-scale lighting, preserving the natural beauty and serenity of the woods.
Lapland Lake | Northville, NY
Located in Northville, this ski center was designed and is still maintained by Olavi Hirovonen, who skied in the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley in California. The trail system includes more than 50 kilometers of trails and winds through pine and hardwood forests. For those that are interested in skiing for a few days in a row, this is a great place to go because it offers lodging.
Backcountry Skiing & Touring
Jackrabbit Trail | Multiple Towns
Founded in 1986, the Jackrabbit Trail is a unique opportunity for cross-country ski touring. It links populated areas, developed cross-country ski centers, and some longer sections of wilderness skiing to make possible a tremendous variety of ski trips. Connecting the towns of Paul Smiths, Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, and Keene, the trail stretches for more than 30 miles across the North Country.
Camp Santanoni | Newcomb, NY
The 4.7-mile carriage road (now known as Newcomb Lake Road) back to the Great Camp is always open for hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and more, but during the winter there are three special open house weekends co-sponsored by AARCH, the Town of Newcomb, and the Adirondack Interpretive Center. During these weekends, the restored buildings are opened up so that visitors can stroll through the Great Camp and learn about the cultural heritage of the region.
Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway | Wilmington, NY
All it takes is a few inches of snow and the Toll Road can be an enjoyable experience from the toll booth all the way to the summit. Die Hard skiers can often be found making their first strides towards the summit of Whiteface as early as October.
Additional Curated Resources (External links which leave our website)
- Skiing in the Central Adirondacks by Rich Macha
- A Curated List by Region: XC Skiing in the Adirondacks by Adirondack.net
- Skiing the Prospect Mt Highway by Phil Brown
- XC Ski to Second Pond - Siamese Ponds Wilderness by Off on an Adventure
- Dip into Winter on the Jackrabbit by Justin Levine
- Stony Pond – Scenic Trails between Minerva and Newcomb by Rich Macha
Adirondack Community Avalanche Project
A place for winter enthusiasts in the Adirondacks to submit their snowpack and avalanche observations.
The mission of the project is to increase awareness of avalanche hazards in the Adirondacks and share snowpack, avalanche, and weather observations to help our community mitigate the risks of winter recreation.
Logo by Dan Cash Design
ADK Life Story
Avalanche Safety 101
Featured in Adirondack Life Mag, Tim Rowland writes about some of the dangers of backcountry skiing, along with some resources on how to be prepared for these excursions in the ADK.