Just to the southeast of where the Genesee River carved the Grand Canyon of the East at Letchworth state park, Swain Hill rises from the river valley. The privately-operated ski club offers children’s programs, lessons, rentals, lodging and a fully-equipped ski shop. Within the last few years Swain has also began offering lessons and rentals of ski bikes for those wishing to try something new.
Swain Ski Resort offer skiers and riders 650 feet of vertical drop spread across 120 acres. Five lifts, including three quads service 35 trails. Despite its modest stats Swain’s green “Mile Sweep” offers exactly that, 5280 feet of cruising.
Like many ski areas in the region, Swain is an integral part of the community and you will often find local school events being hosted on the mountain. To support all this activity Swain has snowmaking on 97% of its mountains and the majority of the runs are open for night skiing as well.
From Quad One you can make it to any part of the mountain, with the steepest trails are centrally located. The headwalls of Robinson’s run and Last Will certainly get the blood flowing. As these trails feed into the bottom they open up providing ample room for wide carves. Skiers left of Quad One offers traditional East coast skiing with tight wood lined trails that weave in and out of each. Directly next to quad one and traveling half the distance is quad two. This only feeds the lower half of the mountain but it is a great place for beginners and children to get started.
As you travel skier’s right to quad 3 the mountain again Mellows out to blue and green runs. The terrain Park is located under Quad 3 off of Clark. It offers a good variety of boxes and jibs that are surprisingly progressive for a smaller Resort. In a vein similar to the stash at Killington, Swain also has an all natural park located on the Black Forest Run.
In addition to the terrain park, riders can find three blue glades serviced from Quad 3. The glades are laced in between blue cruisers with sustained pitch like 80 Acres as skiers make their way to the bottom.
Swain has a few dining options, but the best place for an end of the day beer is the Shawmut Grill. Recently remodeled, the bar and grill offers a hearty menu and a good selection of craft beers. All of it below traditional ski resort pricing. In fact Swain offers very reasonable lift ticket prices and on certain days, like wacky Wednesdays or college night, tickets are below $30.
Swain is located off of Route 70 about an hour south of Rochester. Swain is primarily a family-oriented ski resort, but it is also a great place for those looking to avoid crowds. There are rarely lines and most days you can walk right on to the lift. A decent mix of terrain will keep most skiers and Riders busy but I highly recommend the ski bikes for anyone wanting to try something new.
Note that for the 20/21 season, Swain is now part of the Indy Pass.
Swain Trail Map
|Summit Elevation||1,970 feet|
|Base Elevation||1,320 feet|
|Vertical Drop||650 feet|
|Longest Run||5,280 feet|
|Skiable Area||120 Acres|
|Uphill Capacity||8,400 / hour|
|Annual Snowfall||130 inches|
Ski Day Checklist
|Address 1||2275 Co Road 24|
|Address 2||Swain, NY 14884|
|Wx Page||NWS BUF|
|Point Forecast||NWS Swain|
|Health and Safety||Our Response|