Windham, for a day trip (New York)
It’s not the biggest mountain in the world. But if you live in the New York area — as do more than one-third of American Jews, according to the recent Pew survey — you only have a couple of options if you’re a decent skier looking for a day trip.
Forget those places in New Jersey. Get up early and make the two-hour drive to the Catskills. When you see the sign on the Thruway for Hunter Mountain, you might be tempted to turn off. Hunter’s not a bad choice.
But if you hang on for one more exit you’ll find Windham Mountain, a lesser-known ski area of comparable terrain with only a fraction of Hunter’s crowds. At 279 acres, Windham is actually 40 acres larger than Hunter, and the snow is just as good. Which is to say, even when Mother Nature is not being helpful, there’s plenty of snowmaking to keep the trails covered.
Yes, it might get icy. And no, you won’t mistake it for the Rockies or the Sierras. But if you don’t have a week to kill and a couple thousand dollars to burn, and you just need to skip out on work for a day, Windham will feel sublime.
Size: 278 acres
Vertical: 1,600 feet (Base: 1,500. Summit: 3,100 feet)
Special features: You can get there from Manhattan by bus.