Slowly planning your winter getaways? It's already time to make some plans. Zooming north on the train after work, I feel like a kid again, giddy with nose-pressed-to-window anticipation, escaping to a skier’s paradise in the Poconos.
Why any New Yorker would pay to fly to a ski community baffles me; everything you could want in an active and picturesque winter wonderland is at your fingertips in the mountains of Pennsylvania, just a few hours north of New York City.
Where to Get Active in the Poconos: The Slopes & Stables
Blue Mountain Ski Area
1660 Blue Mountain Drive, Palmerton | 610.826.7700 | skibluemt.com
Blue Mountain offers 130 skiable acres, 30 trails (12 beginner, 6 intermediate, and 12 advanced), with 3 trails over a mile long, 3 terrain parks, a snowcross, a 400 foot half-pipe, and a 14-slide tubing park that is over 1,000 feet long. Blue Mountain also has the highest vertical drop in the Pocono Mountains at 1,082 feet.
Camelback Ski Area
One Camelback Road, Tannersville | 570.629.1661 | skicamelback.com
Camelback is one of my all-time favorite ski resorts in the Pocono Mountains. I grew up skiing here as a child and have continued to ski here after college. I have also had the privilege of being a part of Camelback’s premiere ski school, as a ski instructor. Camelback has lots to offer skiers and snowboarders of all levels, with an 800-foot vertical drop, 33 trails (all lit for night skiing), 3 terrain parks, 2 half-pipes, and 14-slide tubing park. Read the oM Guide to Skiing at Camelback.
Elk Mountain Ski Resort
Route 374, Union Dale | 570.679.4400 | elkskier.com
Voted Best (Snow, Grooming, Value, Weather) in Pennsylvania by Ski Magazine; Elk Mountain, with 1,000 feet of vertical excitement, and 27 trails from beginner to expert level, offers a vast variety of terrain, from long winding trails, to challenging steeps, both with and without bumps.
Jack Frost & Big Boulder Ski Areas
Jack Frost | 1 Jack Frost Mountain Road, Blakeslee | 570.443.8425 | jfbb.com
Big Boulder | 1 Lake Drive, Lake Harmony, PA | 570.722.0100 | jfbb.com
Jack Frost & Big Boulder Ski Areas are located in the heart of Pennsylvania’s scenic Pocono Mountains. Ski both of them in one day with the regular lift pass that gets you into either one. With 36 trails, including glades skiing, 6 parks, and 17 snowtubing chutes combined, Jack Frost & Big Boulder will keep skiers, snowboarders, and snowtubers entertained.
Montage Mountain Ski Resort
1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton | 855.SKI.SWIM | montagemountainresorts.com
Montage Mountain features over 200 acres of terrain, with 30 trails in total (all lit for night skiing), terrain park, half-pipe, and season glade skiing.
Mountain Creek Riding Stable
ROUTE 3, Cresco | 570.839.8725 | mtcreekstable.com
Mountain Creek Riding Stable is the most enjoyable trail ride in the Pocono Mountains. Enjoy a beautiful ride through Mountain Creek and over three miles of wooded trails. Safety equipment, pony rides, sleigh and wagon rides also available.
Where to Unwind in the Poconos: Entertainment
Mount Airy Casino Resort
44 Woodland Road, Mount Pocono | 877.MT.AIRY1 | mountairycasino.com
At Mount Airy Casino Resort, choose from 2,500 machines, including reel-spinning machines, big jackpots, and the newest themed video slots. You can also play the latest video poker, blackjack, and roulette games.
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