As a New Yorker without a car, I have been trying to find a ski area where daughter can take ski lessons but doesn’t require renting a car. I finally found Thunder Ridge Ski Area, located in Patterson, New York, just 60 minutes outside the city and 2 hours by train.
I signed my daughter up for the group lesson which lasted 75 minutes because I was unsure if she would take to the sport. I loved the fact that parents are not allowed in the ski area and for good reason parents can be a distraction to children especially if they are learning a new sport and that was the case with my daughter but the instructor talked to her for a bit and I could tell after a couple of minutes she was all smiles and ready to go. After only one lesson, she wants to go again, which is fantastic. Thunder Ridge also offers a half day program which is a 3 hour lesson plus lunch. If I were to do it all over again, I would have opted for the longer lesson.
Thunder Ridge offers various trail levels from those just coming off a lesson to the most experienced skier. Interested snowboarders can also take lessons.
For parents who don’t want to ski or can’t ski like myself, there is a spacious lodge with a panoramic window where you can view the beginner slopes or just hang out and read.
If you are hungry, there is a cafe that offers special daily entrees, various snacks and beverages.
The one caveat is that if you are taking a lesson, arrive at least 90 minutes in advance of a lesson to allow enough time to get all your gear. It is the one negative I have about the place is that the set up to rent equipment is not well organized or positioned.
Thunder Ridge Ski Area
137 Birch Hill Road & Route 22
Patterson, NY 12563