Seek out solitude with these scenic places to cross-country ski or snowshoe near New York City. You can enjoy the natural beauty of your surroundings and get in some great cardio while you’re at it. So grab your boots, skis, poles, and snowshoes from your storage unit and get them tuned up and ready to hit the trails as soon as the snow falls.
Rockland Lake State Park
Just 35 miles north of Manhattan, in Valley Cottage, on a ridge of Hook Mountain above the west bank of the Hudson River, Rockland Lake State Park’s location places it conveniently within an hour’s drive of Manhattan (depending on traffic). There are several miles of picturesque, wooded trails around the lake and in the hills for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Rentals aren’t available in the park, so bring your own gear or scope out a rental shop that’s on the way.
Fahnestock Winter Park
Around 90 minutes from the City, in Carmel, New York, Fahnestock Winter Park (part of the larger Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park), offers over 11 miles of machine-groomed, tracked, and mapped trails for beginning and experienced skiers and snowshoers. For those with kids, the park offers easy terrain near the warming lodge, plus a sledding hill. Ski rentals are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are fees for vehicles to enter the park and for trail passes.
Bear Mountain State Park
Bear Mountain State Park is in the rugged mountains of the Hudson Valley, around 50 miles north of NYC,and is a prime spot for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing, and ice skating at an outdoor rink in the winter months. Nordic ski lessons are offered for kids from 3 to 12 years of age (check the website for updates about availability due to current health and safety requirements), but rentals aren’t available onsite, so bring your own gear or pick it up en route.
High Point Cross Country Ski Center
Located in Sussex at the northernmost tip of New Jersey, the High Point Cross Country Ski Center – nicknamed “New England nearby” – is about 70 miles from the City, and it’s 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 at an altitude of just over 1,600 feet. Equipment rentals are available onsite and trail fees are charged. No car? No problem. High Point is a short taxi ride from nearby Port Jervis, New York, and Port Jervis is accessible by train (New Jersey Transit from New York Penn Station) or bus (Short Line from New York Port Authority).
If you’d like to keep your snow sports closer to home, grab your gear and head to Central Park when there’s a heavy snowfall in the city. The Central Park Conservancy allows cross-country skiing in the park when there’s a base of at least 6 inches.The bridle path, Sheep Meadow, Great Lawn, and North Meadow all offer great places to ski, and you can snowshoe on any of the paths or meadows that the Central Park Conservancy doesn’t plow.
Winter Gear Storage
And when you’re done, don’t forget to thoroughly clean and dry your equipment before returning it to storage. A self storage unit at CitiWide Self Storage makes a great winter gear locker. The Long Island City location keeps your equipment within easy reach, freeing up space at home while providing plenty of room to store everything safely and property to avoid damage.
Winter is just around the corner, so get ready to enjoy that crisp, chilly air and the calming sound of your skis whispering rhythmically over the snow. Be sure to check each venue’s website prior to your visit for current snow and weather conditions and any COVID-19 restrictions or advisories.
For more great tips for play, fun, and organization in New York City, check out our blog.