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Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding in the Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes is lucky to have great snow most winters. A lot of it is "lake effect" snow caused by temperature changes over the larger lakes, including Lake Ontario and Onondaga Lake. The average snowfall varies greatly throughout the region and looks like this: Ithaca--67.3 in./171 cm., Rochester--92.3 in./234 cm., Syracuse--115.6 in./294 cm.


Temperatures rarely dip below -20° F/-29°C anywhere in the region. There is often a January thaw, which can provided springlike conditions. Most areas rarely stay open beyond the end of March.


There are 9 skiing and snowboarding areas in the Finger Lakes.



Small but nice describes Brantling. Located in Sodus in Wayne County, it has ten runs, eight of which are lighted, with a maximum vertical drop of 240 feet. All runs are in the beginner and intermediate categories. Brantling has a lodge and ski shop. It provides equipment rentals and lessons.


The largest skiing and snowboarding center in the Finger Lakes, Bristol Mountain is located in Ontario County south of Canandaigua. It has 32 beginner, intermediate, and advanced (both diamond and double diamond) slopes and tails. The longest run is more than two miles. Bristol also has two terrain parks, one of which is listed as extremely difficult, and a half pipe. With a vertical rise of 1,200 feet, Bristol Mountain has the highest vertical of any ski resort between the Catskills and the Rockies. As a resort, Bristol Mountain offers all the standard amenities (lodges, ski shop, equipment rentals, lessons, etc.) as well as child care, conference, banquet, and wedding facilities, and lodging.


East of Syracuse at 8012 E. Genesee St. in Fayetteville, Four Seasons has the dubious distinction of being classified as the smallest ski area in the country by Skiing Magazine. But don't let its 80- foot vertical drop deter you, it has a double chair. Four Seasons offers downhill skiing, snowtubing, snowboarding, skiboarding, and cross-country skiing. Lessons and equipment rentals.


Located off U.S. Rt. 81 south of Cortland in Cortland County, Greek Peak serves a wide clientele from Pennsylvania and the New York City area as well as the college crowd from Ithaca, Cortland, and Dryden. Greek Peak has 29 trails serving beginner, intermediate, and advanced (single diamond) skiers and boarders. Telemarking is also permitted. The longest run--Arcadian Gate is 1.5 miles. Greek Peak's vertical drop is 952 feet. As a resort, Greek Peak offers a wide variety of amenities, including lodges, a ski shop, equipment rental, lessons, child care, and lodging. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are permitted on the property.


Hunt Hollow is a 400-acre private club located south of Honeoye Lake near the Livingston- Ontario counties line. A family ski club, it has more than 80 acres of skiing and snowboarding trails on the second highest mountain in western New York. Hunt Hollow's vertical drop is 825 feet. The terrain park has been in operation since 1997. Hunt Hollow offers a large lodge with several fireplaces, a full-service ski shop, equipment rentals, child care, outdoor grills, and a picnic area. Rental units with kitchenettes and mountain residences are available. Cross-country skiing is permitted on the property.


Conveniently located half an hour south of Syracuse and 15 minutes north of Cortland in Truxton in Cortland County, Labrador provides a wide variety of skiing opportunities for the entire family. With 22 slopes and trails for beginner, intermediate, and advanced (single diamond) skiers and boarders, Labrador Mountain has a vertical drop of 700 feet. It also offers a 2,500-foot terrain park and a 400-foot half pipe. Labrador offers two lodges, a ski shop, equipment rentals, ski lessons, and child care. Telemarking is permitted on the slopes.


Just 10 minutes from the Village of Skaneateles in Onondaga County, Skaneateles Ski Club is a small private, family-oriented facility. The club prides itself on its well-groomed slopes serviced by a single T-bar. Snowmaking, chalet.


Located just off U.S. Rt. 81 mid-way between Binghamton and Syracuse in Tully in Cortland County, Song Mountain Resort offers 24 trails for beginner, intermediate, and advanced (single diamond) skiers and boarders. The vertical elevation is 700 feet. Song Mountain offers two lodges, a ski shop, equipment rental, ski lessons, child care, and lodging.


Located in Fabius in Onondaga County, Toggenburg is a family center with 24 trails for beginner, intermediate, and advanced (single diamond) skiers and boarders. Its longest run is nearly a mile. Toggenburg offers both a terrain park and a half pipe. The center's vertical drop is 700 feet. Toggenburg provides two lodges, a ski shop, equipment rentals, and lessons.


Updated 30 November 2013








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