Snow Ridge is located in Northwestern New York, just north of Turin along SR 26. It is a mid-sized resort, covering just over 130 skiable acres across three peaks, with snowmaking coverage over about 50 percent of the park. There are 20 named trails and 3 terrain parks at the ski area. The difficulty mix for the trails breaks down to 10 percent novice, 30 percent intermediate, and 60 percent advanced. Numbers-wise, this equals 2 novice runs, 6 intermediates, and 12 advanced trails. The base lodge rests at 1350 feet, while the highest peak rises to 1850 feet, giving Snow Ridge a modest vertical of 500 feet.
Because of Snow Ridge’s position on the Tug Hill Plateau, they really live up to their name. This resort experiences some of the highest amounts of snowfall on the east coast. That makes the annual average snowfall at Snow Ridge a whopping 230 inches per year.
Of course all the snow in the world doesn’t mean much if you don’t have some great trails. And Snow Ridge has some good ones. From the base lodge, you’re going to have access to the Little Mountain Chair and the Snowy Meadows Chair. Snowy Meadows is an easy little cruising hill that is bordered by trees, so novices don’t have to worry about speedsters breaking their lines. Little Mountain hosts two intermediate runs, which are a great way to warm up for the other two peaks. The far peak holds a T-bar that pulls you up to four runs. Two are expert steeps and, there’s one intermediate steep and a bumpy mogul filled cruiser that leads to Kuersteiner, an expert rated run with a fun dogleg at the end. The two center chair lifts, North and Ridge Runner, allow access to the remainder of the runs. If you’re really after a challenge, head to the cluster of expert chutes at the upper right of the central mountain. Hitting Cruikshank will be fun for everyone with some experience under their belt. Be warned, these are expert trails and with fresh powder, it’s easy to garage sale if you aren’t careful.
You might overlook Snow Ridge because of the modest vertical, but doing so would be a disservice to both yourself and the resort. The huge amount of lake effect freshwater snow that falls more than makes up for the shorter runs and even on busy days, you can find fresh lines well into late morning. The groomers take their jobs seriously and there’s always fresh corduroy in the mornings. The trails are wide, which means that if you panic, you can always head to the edge to get better control without worrying about someone running into you from behind.
As with most upstate ski areas, there really is no slopeside development. Après-ski activities are limited to snacks and hot beverages at the lodge. But if you’re really after local flavor, heading into one of the local towns for a bite to eat is never a bad thing. For an amazing hunk of prime rib, hit the Buffalo Head in Forestport and don’t miss out on the cream pie for dessert.
Snow Ridge has long been one of the worst kept secrets for great skiing with a small mountain-feel. There’s a great ski school at the base for anyone wanting to learn and prices are still extremely reasonable. Whether you’re someone looking for a new ski spot or a family trying to find someplace with a few challenging slopes, Snow Ridge is a great place to add to your ski vacation destinations of choice.