We all need to get outside this winter, especially given the hours of screen time our kids are racking up during COVID. If you’re looking for something new to do, Orange County has snow-capped mountains, ski slopes, ice rinks, riding stables, hiking, and biking trails plus loads of incredible views making it totally worth a day trip.
Here are some of our favorite ideas for outdoor winter fun in Orange County, NY. Before visiting, please contact the venue directly to confirm that they are still open and to check on any COVID restrictions and reservation requirements.
Bear Mountain Ice Rink, Seven Lakes Drive, Bear Mountain
Open through early March, this outdoor rink offers public and private skating sessions. Reservations are not accepted and it’s first come first serve so if the line is too long, you can make a plan B and go hiking through the scenic trails at Bear Mountain (pictured above).
Juckas Stables, 1204 NY-302, Bullville
Go on a horseback ride among the 117 acres of trails winding through the Orange County countryside. Novice and seasoned riders will enjoy spending time with the gentle horses. Lessons are available to people of all abilities in addition to hiring horses by the hour.
Mount Peter Ski Area, 51 Old Mount Peter Road, Warwick
Head to Mount Peter for skiing, tubing, snowboarding, and lessons. 14 trails with three chairlifts, one carpet lift, and one rope tow. 100 percent snowmaking. Night skiing. Rentals are available. Free beginner lessons on weekends and holidays. For more on other skiing destinations, click here.
Port Jervis Watershed Trails and Park, Elks-Brox Memorial Park, Port Jervis
Explore the park’s more than 35 miles of hiking and biking trails through mountain biking, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing. Open year-round, these family- and pet-friendly trails offer beautiful views of N.Y., N.J., and P.A.
Winter Weekends at Storm King Art Center, 1 Museum Rd, New Windsor
Experience Storm King’s gorgeous winter landscape during weekends through March. Advance tickets are required for all visitors. January weekends are sold out but you’ll be able to purchase tickets for a weekend in February soon. For details on Storm King, click here.
For more attractions, lodging and dining options in Orange County, head to orangetourism.org/winter. You can also download a free, 56-page digital travel guide with more ideas at OrangeTourism.org/travel-guide.