Nestled in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains is a little known ski area that boasts big fun. Willard Mountain is a small family-run, family friendly, low-key place with a few nice surprises. It has an approximate vertical drop of 500 feet and 14 labeled trails. Upon arrival, you will find a quaint lodge with plenty of tables, a cafeteria , and a bar/restaurant. (with the best french fries in town!), along with a rental shop and a well-quipped ski shop run by knowledgeable, experienced staff.
Once you have your equipment strapped on and are ready to go, you will notice that the lift lines are short. Willard Mountain has two double-chairs that run side by side–as soon as more than a few folks are lined up–they begin running the second lift. They also tend to run the second lift if ski-school is in session.
At the summit you will have a choice of many trails to ski/ride to the base. A good “warm-up” trail is the Bunny Hop. This long, meandering green trail is perfect for beginners and experts alike. “Joe’s Special” (know just as “The Joe’s to locals) or “The Billie’s” are fine choices for intermediate skiers. For the experts — give the “Upper Colonel” a try. This run is much more challenging than it appears from the lift. One doesn’t realize the steepness and slight pitch to the right of this section until you are on it!
With luck and a snowy season, “Wipe-out” and “White River Run” and will be open. These trails are natural snow only with little grooming. Swish through the trees on these challenging pistes and get your speed up to return to the lifts!
If you need a break from skiing, try the tubing area. It fast and the attendants seem enjoy their job.
Willard Mountain describes itself as “New York’s Coolest Little Ski Area” – and they are true to their word. Here you will find friendly, helpful staff from the parking lot attendant to the lodge employees, all the way to the lifties. Even the patrons are friendly as you wait in that short line and strike up conversations.
A great little gem if your’e the kind of skier who appreciates the smaller, non-commercial mountains that focus on the fun and friendship instead of all the “bells and whistles.”
|Base Elevation||910 feet|
|Summit Elevation||1,415 feet|
|Vertical Drop||505 feet|
|Longest Run||5,000 feet|
|Skiable Area||85 Acres|
|Uphill Capacity||3,000 / hour|
|Annual Snowfall||80 inches|