If the faster paced winter sports of skiing and snowboarding are not for you, consider cross-country skiing as a way to free yourself from the frosty concrete jungle of Manhattan. The beautiful white noise of open forests and snowboarder-free mountains are only a train or bus ride away.
These cross-country skiing escapes near NYC are all close enough to be a day trip, but just far enough to make you forget the city.
New York | Hudson Valley
New York’s Hudson Valley is the most easily accessible without a car of the upstate territories and serviced by a variety of public transportation carriers.
Bear Mountain State Park | Bear Mountain | 845.786.2701 | nysparks.state.ny.us
Bear Mountain is a longtime favorite fair-weather destination for New Yorkers looking for an outdoor adventure more exerting than traversing Central Park’s Great Lawn. With such abundant greenery and grand vistas of the Hudson Valley, it’s easy to forget you’re less than 50 miles from the city. The cross country ski trails and other snowy activities (they even have tobogganing!) make Bear Mountain a convenient wintertime destination as well, whether you opt for a day trip on the Short Line or an overnight stay at the rustic Bear Mountain Inn.
How to get there: Short Line bus out of New York Port Authority offers day-trips to Bear Mountain for $26.70 adult roundtrip, $13.25 for children.
Clarence Fahnestock State Park | 1498 Route 301, Carmel | 845.225.3998 | nysparks.state.ny.us
Fahnestock Winter Park is an inexpensive ski option only one hour from New York City with trail fees priced at $9/day for an adult ticket and $16/day for ski rental equipment. The park boasts a large terrain for cross-country skiers, and there is also a small sledding hill to break up your day trip. Nonskiers can enjoy the nine miles of winding trails by snowshoe, which can be rented by the hour ($7 for adults) or for the day ($15).
How to get there: Metro North from New York’s Grand Central Station to Cold Spring. The state park is about a 15-minute taxi ride (about $20 each way) from the station. Make sure to book your cab in advance as Uber/Lyft aren’t active in this area yet.
New York | Adirondacks
Lapland Lake | 139 Lapland Lake Road | Northville, NY | 845.518.863 | laplandlake.com
About four hours from New York City, this remote retreat in the scenic Adirondack Forest Preserve offers cozy cottages and champion cross-country. Lodging rates include accommodations in one of Lapland’s tupas—private cottages with living and dining areas—or rooms and full-access to cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, the children’s tubing hills, and ice-skating. Lapland’s discounted midweek rates apply Sunday through Thursday nights (excluding holidays) and are worth considering if scheduling allows.
How to get there: Lapland Lake is accessible by train (Amtrak out of New York Penn Station) or by bus (Greyhound or Adirondack Trailways out of New York Port Authority). Once you arrive in the Adirondacks however, it is necessary to either rent a car or take a taxi to reach the vacation center. Visit Lapland online for local taxi service suggestions. Check out the range of rates here.
New Jersey | Sussex County
High Point Cross Country Ski Center | 1480 State Route 23 | 973.702.1222 | xcskihighpoint.com
Located at the northernmost tip of New Jersey at an elevation of 1,600 feet, the High Point Cross Country Ski Center, nicknamed “New England nearby,” is one of the snowiest spots of the metropolitan area. More than half of the center’s cross-country ski trails are designated for beginners, and they also offer special child-friendly trails as well as a separate path for snowshoers, which crosses the highest point in the state.
How to get there: High Point is a short taxi-ride from nearby Port Jervis, New York. Port Jervis is accessible by train (New Jersey Transit out of New York Penn Station) or by bus (Short Line out of New York Port Authority). $19 adult half day ticket, $17 child.