While spring is finally rearing its pretty head after a seemingly endless barrage of blustery blizzards, it’s easy to forget that there is still time left for winter activities. For an easily accessible, final snow-fix of the season, head to Windham Mountain for some winter fun that extends well beyond the slopes.
One of Windham’s greatest draws, aside from its convenient location two hours from the city (and the Catskill’s highest vertical), is its commitment to providing more for visitors than just first-rate skiing and boarding.
The Big Air Bag at Windham allows visitors to take the Olympic-style plunge without the fear of breaking bones and shattering your hardcore image. The Big Air Bag, situated at the base of a high jump in the mountain’s terrain park, allows skiers and riders to live out their dare-devilish dreams with a soft and cushy landing. The Big Air Bag is open to all guests over the age of 12, and some experience with jumping is preferred. A Daily Air Fare ticket can be purchased with your lift ticket for $10.
Windham’s Adventure Park, just a short shuttle ride from the base lodge, offers 10 lanes of high-speed snow tubing ($20/per person for a two-hour tubing session) and an ice-skating rink ($5/session, $5/rental skates). Weather permitting, the tubing and ice rink will be open through March 21, 2010. (If you are traveling with little ones who are too small for the Big Air Bag, take them to the new bungee trampoline attraction at the base lodge.)
And when that killer appetite inevitably strikes, succumb to your stomach’s gruñidos at Rock’n Mexicana Cantina + Grill, a new addition to the mountain’s recently renovated Winwood Inn (5220 Main Street; 518.734.3000). Rock’n Mexicana offers a traditional Mexican menu with a creative twist—may we suggest the Queso Fondido appetizer—alongside an extensive tequila list that will restore that snow glow real quick.
How to get there: Multiple ski and board companies operate weekend day-trips to the mountain. Visit Windham online for a complete list of tour operators. Adirondack Trailways operates three buses daily from New York Port Authority to the town of Windham (mere minutes from the mountain) for $67.50 roundtrip. Once you arrive in the town, you can either take a walk over to the Winwood Inn and catch the free shuttle over to Windham or call the mountain and arrange for transportation. If you are traveling with a large group and are interested in renting a car once you get upstate to explore the area, another option would be to take the Amtrak from New York Penn Station to Hudson, New York, about 40 minutes from Windham. There is an Enterprise Car Rental (518.828.5492; enterprise.com) nearby, and you can arrange for them to pick you up at the station.
(Windham Mountain, 33 Clarence D Lane Road, Windham, NY, 800.754.9463, windhammountain.com)
Photo: Courtesy of Tyler McCall